Tired of Poinsettias? Bah, Humbug!

  Our friends at The Biodiversity Heritage Library asked this question in social media last year and offered up vibrant, joyful portraits of the amaryllis instead. But one commentator declared “Poinsettias rule!” And indeed poinsettias do reign as an economic powerhouse of the nursery industry, cultivated all over the world. The public areas of the various Smithsonian museums and the neighboring Botanic Gardens on the Mall in Washington now have abundant, seasonal more »

Beyond Shells: The Birth of Malacology

Until the late 18th century, the study of mollusks was based largely on shells. Very little research or published information existed about molluscan anatomy and soft tissues. Giuseppe Saverio Poli, recognized by many as the father of malacology, changed this with his monumental publication, Testacea utriusque Siciliae eorumque historia et anatome (1791-1827).

“’Tis A Gift To Be Simple” But to Have a Splendid Garden Buy Shaker Seeds

In honor of Earth Day and National Garden Month, we take a look at one of the lesser known influences in the seed and garden business – the Shaker community.

Biodiversity Heritage Library Adds New Partner

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) has welcomed a new member: the Library of Congress. The fifteenth partner of the BHL, the Library of Congress will contribute to the digitization of historical science literature in the collection. All material will be online, free and available to the public.

Check out the BHL’s new user interface!

The Biodiversity Heritage Library has released a new user interface. The new interface was informed by usability studies and is based on the design and functionality of the BHL-Australia portal.

Wikimania 2012 & BHL

On July 10-14, 2012, Smithsonian Libraries staff members JJ Ford, Gilbert Borrego and Grace Costantino attended the 8th Annual Wikimania Conference in Washington, D.C. to explore possible collaborations between Wikipedia and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), of which the Smithsonian Libraries is a founding member, is an open access, global digital library initiative dedicated to digitizing the biodiversity-related materials held in the collections of BHL consortium member libraries.

SIL and BHL in South Africa

On June 10-15, 2012, Dr. Nancy Gwinn (Smithsonian Libraries Director and Biodiversity Heritage Library Executive Committee Chair),Martin Kalfatovic (Assistant Director, Digital Services Division, Smithsonian Libraries and BHL Program Director), and Grace Costantino (BHL Program Manager), along with several other BHL colleagues from across the US, traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to attend a series of meetings aimed at creating a BHL for sub-Saharan Africa.

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