Within the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) project, the holdings of American and British partner libraries have been digitised since 2007. The digitised content has been made freely available online, helping to overcome one of the main obstacles in implementing the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) – a lack of accessible taxonomical knowledge. This knowledge is concentrated in scientific publications of past centuries and not enough is available in digitised format.
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.