.: Biodiversity Heritage Library

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is an online library providing free and open access to the legacy literature of taxonomy and biodiversity.
The published literature on biological diversity has limited global distribution; much of it is available in only a few select libraries in the developed world. These collections are of exceptional value because the domain of systematic biology depends more than any other science-upon historic literature. Yet, this wealth of knowledge is available only to those few who can gain direct access to significant library collections. Literature about the biota existing in developing countries is often not available within their borders. Biologists have long considered that access to the published literature is one of the chief impediments to the efficiency of research in the field. Among other results, free global access to digitized versions of the literature would repatriate information about the earth’s species to all parts of the world.
The Smithsonian Libraries is proud to be one of the founding members of the BHL - a consortium of 12 natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the literature of biodiversity held in their collections as a part of a global "biodiversity commons." The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access principles. In partnership with the Internet Archive and through local digitization efforts, the BHL has digitized millions of pages of taxonomic literature, representing tens of thousands titles and nearly 100,000 volumes.


Quarterly Reports of SIL's activity in BHL

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