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BHL – Biodiversity Heritage Library

BHL – Biodiversity Heritage Library

Since 2007, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) has been digitising the holdings of partner libraries worldwide and making the digitised material freely available online. With approximately 57 million pages, it is the largest digital library for biodiversity literature from the 15th to 21st centuries. This counteracts a major obstacle to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): the lack of access to taxonomic knowledge. This knowledge, bundled in scientific publications of past centuries, has so far been insufficiently exploited in digital form.

The BHL consortium cooperates with the international taxonomic community, publishers, bioinformaticians and computer scientists to develop tools and services that provide better access, more interoperability and better reuse of content and data. BHL provides a range of services, data exports, and APIs to allow users to download content, harvest source data files, and reuse materials for research purposes. Through the Global Names Recognition and Discovery (GNRD) service, BHL indexes the taxonomic names throughout the collection, allowing researchers to locate publications about specific taxa.

The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin coordinated the "BHL Europe" project in 2009-2012 and became a full member of the BHL consortium in 2018.

Website:Biodiversity Heritage Library

BHL-Europe – Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe

Under the auspices of the Museum für Naturkunde, the existing digitisation schemes throughout Europe were coordinated and brought together between May 2009 and April 2012. The “Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe" (BHL-Europe) project was supported by 3.4 million euros of EU funding. The project consortium comprised 28 partner organisations, including many large natural history museums and botanical gardens in Europe.

Easy-to-use user interface

The project gives multilingual access to biodiversity literature through a globally accessible free web portal. Novel advanced search functions enable rapid retrieval of the required information. Besides this specialist portal, literature can also be accessed via the European digital library EUROPEANA.