The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), in its global efforts to digitize biodiversity literature and make it freely available to the world, ensures that this precious knowledge is available to everyone, everywhere. The BHL currently provides access to over 42 million pages and over 87,000 images and is changing the face of research methodology. Scientists around the world are using BHL to identify and classify species, facilitate further scientific research, and support conservation efforts to prevent extinctions.
This post was written by Kevin Barnard, summer intern in Discovery Services. Preserving the Libraries’ digital treasures is an ongoing challenge that sometimes needs an extra pair of hands to get things moving, especially when dealing with legacy digital assets.
In the early 20th century, few things excited the public more than the development of mechanized flying machines. Whether aircraft or dirigible, these machines were documented in the specialized and popular literature of the day. The Smithsonian Libraries is committed to digitizing its special collection of rare books and journals on the invention and growth of aviation. Many of the tiles we’ve scanned and digitized to date are accessible through the Internet Archive.
The past couple of months in the web-development world have been spent building a foundation for a method of presenting digitized book-like things on the Smithsonian Libraries website. This has been an interesting time creating a home for the history, art, and culture part of our scanned collections.
This post was written by Martin Kalfatovic, Associate Director, Digital Services Division, Smithsonian Institution Libraries. On October 11-12, Nancy Gwinn, Director of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, and I participated in the Digital Public Library of America’s (DPLA) Midwest workstream and plenary meetings. The meetings were held in some wonderful meeting spaces at the Harold Washington Library Center of the Chicago Public Library (interesting side note: the building holds the record for largest public library space!).
–This post was contributed by Kimberly Lesley, American Art and Portrait Gallery Library intern, summer 2012. This summer I had the opportunity to work on two projects at the Smithsonian American Art Museum/National Portrait Gallery Library: evaluating titles from the print reference section and selecting public domain titles for digitization. The majority of time was spent on the former, evaluating once heavily relied upon indexes and reference titles against databases and open access online resources. As I paged through volumes of reference titles I was grateful for the vast amounts of information available online with a few keywords and a couple clicks.
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.