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Biodiversity Heritage Library meetings in Australia

Martin Kalfatovic, along with the Biodiversity Heritage Library Technical Director, Chris Freeland, attended the kick-off meeting of the Biodiversity Heritage Library Australia node meetings in Melbourne and Canberra in early June.

MELLib2 In Melbourne, the meetings were held at the Melbourne Museum. Housing both natural science as well as historical collections, the Melbourne Museum is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Dr. Ely Wallis, project leader for the BHL-Australia, served as host and guide for the visit in both Melbourne and later Canberra. While in Melbourne, there was also an opportunity to visit the library of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

Meeting with staff from numerous libraries in Australia, discussions about selection, prioritization, and workflow of mass scanning were discussed. A special tour of the museum's library was also conducted. Staff displayed a number of rare items from the collections, including Georg Rumpf's D'Amboinsche Rariteitkamer (1705) and the proofs of the unpublished third volume of Frederick McCoy's Prodromus of the zoology of Victoria (c. 1891). You can read a longer account of the BHL staff visit in the Melbourne Museum newsletter.

MELLib Following on the visit to Melbourne, the group traveled to Canberra for meetings with the staff of the Atlas of Living Australia (the parent organization to BHL-Australia), hosted by ALA Director, Donald Hobern. BHL technical staff Phil Cryer (Missouri Botanical Garden) and Anthony Goddard (Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) gave a technical overview of the BHL storage infrastructure to the assembled group.

The meeting also saw the final signing of the agreement between BHL and BHL-Australia to partner on creating open access taxonomic literature. W. Mark Lonsdale (Chief, CSIRO Division of Entomology, on behalf of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation [CSIRO] and the parent organization of the Atlas of Living Australia) became the final signatory, completing the agreement authorized by Cristián Samper (Director, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, on behalf of the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the Encyclopedia of Life) and J. Patrick Greene (CEO, CEO of Museum Victoria). Also attending the reception and signing event was Sen. Kate Lundy (Canberra, ACT), a supporter of biodiversity, Web 2.0, and networking  related initiatives in Australia.


MRKNLA Martin Kalfatovic also gave a general overview presentation of the Biodiversity Heritage Library at the National Library of Australia for around thirty interested staff. This presentation was bookended by meetings with NLA staff involved in a variety of digitization projects (including newspapers) and the development staff of the NLA's Trove project.

– Martin R. Kalfatovic

Presentation for the National Library of Australia

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