Smithsonian Libraries’ staff attend BHL-Europe meetings in Vienna

On June 10, 2010, the Biodiversity Heritage Library hit a new milestone with the integration of the BHL content (42,000+ titles, 80,000+ items, 30 million+ pages) into the Europeana digital library (via BHL-Europe).  Europeana can be found here,, do a search on "Smithsonian Contributions" to see some of the SIL content. Thanks to the SIL team of Bianca Lipscomb and Suzanne Pilsk who have been working with the BHL-Europe staff on metadata and collections related issues. On a related note, Smithsonian Libraries' staff attend BHL-Europe meetings in Vienna. Suzanne Pilsk, Martin Kalfatovic, and Bianca Lipscomb joined fellow Biodiversity Heritage Library staff Connie Rinaldo (Harvard/Museum of Comparative Zoology), Chris Freeland (Missouri Botanical Garden), Matthew Person (Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institution), Mike Lichtenberg (Missouri Botanical Garden) at the first annual review meeting of the Biodiversity Heritage Library Europe meeting in Vienna, Austria, May 25-28, 2010. BHL-Europe was conducting a review of its first year activities and and charting the path forward, for both their own direct project needs more »

Medical Heritage Library invites Smithsonian Libraries’ staff to talk about the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Martin R. Kalfatovic, Assistant Director, Digital Services Divsion, was invited by the recently formed Medical Heritage Library (MHL) to share some some thoughts about the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). The meeting was held in Rochester, MN, just around the corner from the famed Mayo Clinic. The MHL was formed in late 2009 using BHL as a model. Though the content of the two projects is much different, the congruent similarity is the focus on the heritage literature of the respective disciplines. Working with funding from the Open Knowledge Commons through the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the MHL is a consortium of many of the top history of medicine collections in the United States. Members are: The National Library of Medicine (Bethesda, MD) Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine (Harvard Medical School) New York Public Library Long Health Sciences Library (Columbia University) Cushing/Whitney Medical Library (Yale University) Also on the presentation panel with me was Lori Jahnke (The College of Physicians of Philadelphia), CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Academic Libraries who is more »

BioOne annual meeting in Washington

Alvin Hutchinson and I attended the annual meeting of BioOne on April 23, 2010 here in Washington, DC. BioOne is a global, not-for-profit collaboration bringing together scientific societies, publishers, and libraries to provide access to critical, peer- reviewed research in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences. BioOne is also an important partner with the Biodiversity Heritage Library. David Remsen (Secretariat, Global Biodiversity Information Facility [GBIF]) spoke about the nature of taxonomic publishing as it pertains to the naming of organisms. Remsen, formerly of the Marine Biological Laboratory/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution library, was one of the minds behind the formation of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL). As one of the key creators of the taxonomic intelligence tools that underlay BHL, he has been an important contributor to the success of BHL. He spoke about the importance of taxonomic name finding, and related problems. Amy Brand (Assistant Provost for Faculty Appointments, Harvard University) gave an overview of Harvard's Office of Scholarly Communications which manages the university's open access program and digital repository. more »

BIREME Headquarters In the afternoon of February 11 I visited the headquarters of BIREME and met with technical and library staff. BIREME is an important technical and library project in Brazil. Founded in the 1960s, it has played an important role in the dissemination of health science and related information within Latin America. Most recently, BIRMEME has launched SciELO (Scientific electronic library online), an important aggregation of science publications online. SciELO participants include much of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Portugal and Spain. SciELO is both a publication platform as well as a delivery tool and is used by a wide variety of journals. SciELO is also fully open access with no subscription or access charges for users. At BIREME, I met with Marcia Y. Barretto (overseeing IT infrastructure and related activities), Fabiana Montanari (on the library side of things) and Renato Toshiyuki Murasaki (the lead technical developer). Marcia also introduced me to a number other support staff and also gave me a tour of the physical more »

Visit to the Instituto Evandro Chagas, Belém, Brazil

Instituto Evandro Chagas, Belém, Brazil Along with Abel Packer and Marcia Barretto of BIREME, I paid a visit to the library and director of the Instituto Evandro Chagas.  The Institute is a basic and clinical research institution located in Belém with an extensive campus. A wide variety of research is carried out there, with a specialization in diseases of the Amazon. It is a recognized leader in these areas. The library is nearly totally virtual with very few print collections. Serving the researchers of the Institute, the library is located in an beautiful new building on the campus, the library reading room was filled with researchers working at terminals. Following on the library meeting, we met with Elizabeth Conceição de Oliveira Santos, director of the Institute. Dr. Santos discussed the need for increased online materials, and integration of these materials in the learning environments. – Martin R. Kalfatovic

Visit to the Museum of Zoology, University of São Paulo

Museum of Zoology,  University of  São Paulo On February 11, I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Zoology, part of the University of  São Paulo. The museum has a collection of over eight million specimens and a fine library. The library of the museum will be an important part of Brazil's collaboration in the Biodiversity Heritage Library. After arriving, I was given a tour of the museum which helped to set the context for the library collection. Currently, the major temporary exhibition is on Charles Darwin. As part of the exhibition, the museum has pulled numerous examples of the types of species Darwin collected and ingeniously displayed them in cases that emulate the look and feel of type types of packing cases Darwin would have used on the voyage of The Beagle. Also included in the exhibition were editions of Darwin's works and publications related to Darwin from the library's collections. Moving behind the scenes, I was given a tour of the entomology collection (one of the museum's more »

Visit to Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi Library

Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi Library, Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, Belém, Brazil Along with Abel Packer and Marcia Barretto from BIREME and Bráulio Dias, Director of the National Biodiversity Program, Ministry of Environment, I received an extensive tour of the library of the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi. The library itself is located at the research campus of the museum on the grounds of the Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia, a number of miles from the museum. The Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi is a Brazilian research institution and museum located in the city of Belém, state of Pará. It was founded in 1866. The museum has an extensive research program in the Amazon region, with a strong focus on life sciences (especially taxonomy) as well as earth sciences and anthropology. The museum has also maintained an important program of publication since its founding that continues through today. The library visit was led by Francileila Cavalcante and Nelson Sanjad, assisted by other members of the library staff. Cavalcante and Sanjad brought out more »

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