Wednesday, January 30, 2008

BHL presentation at the National Agriculture Library

Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
Smithsonian Institution Libraries staff members Martin Kalfatovic and Suzanne Pilsk gave a presentation on BHL to staff from the National Agriculture Library, the USDA Agriculture Research Service, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and others.

  • The Biodiversity Heritage Library. Martin R. Kalfatovic and Suzanne C. Pilsk. National Agriculture Library: Issues and Answers Seminar. January 30, 2008. Beltsville, MD.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

"How's THAT for a tag cloud?!"

The NC State Insect Museum blog gave the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Finally got around to perusing my December, 2007 issue of Systematic Biology and saw this article by Godfray et al. about taxonomy and the Web. The authors provide nice summaries of emerging, alternative strategies for tackling the biodiversity and bioinformatics crises: CATE, uBio, DiGIR (to be replaced by TAPIR soon?), GBIF, Biodiversity Heritage Library initiative (how's THAT for a tag cloud?!), ZooBank, TDWG, iSpecies, and Wikispecies (my least favorite; at least I am not yet totally convinced that this is a good model for taxonomy). I find it curious that the Encyclopedia of Life was barely mentioned (and never by name) in that article, especially given its high profile and funding level. I'll have to remember to link some of these projects to our museum page, as we will undoubtedly be exploiting these resources and techniques to expose the data housed within our cabinets.
- Insect Museum blog

Friday, January 4, 2008

Senior Programmer needed to assist BHL development

The Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT), located in St. Louis, MO, is seeking to hire a Senior Programmer Analyst to work on several large biodiversity informatics projects, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) online at

Primary responsibilities for this position include leading the development effort for MOBOT's LAMP-based applications, complementing the existing .Net team. Up first on the development schedule is the instantiation of Fedora ( at MOBOT as a repository layer in our multi-platform, SOA-based infrastructure, then refactoring applications and building new ones to utilize Fedora. Future projects include enhancement of the BHL GUI and development of tools for managing digital library content.

Qualifications include a BS in Computer Science or related field, 5 years experience developing enterprise-level applications, and 2 years experience leading a development team. Experience managing data and applications in an open source environment (LAMP and its variants) required. Experience managing biodiversity and/or library datasets preferred, but not required.

To apply online, please visit:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Biodiversity Heritage Library - Europe

The BHL ( currently consists of English language collections from the USA and UK (although we have huge amounts of material in over 40 other languages). I am working with European colleagues to develop a programme of activity in Europe to cover the other European languages. German and Netherlands colleagues are already working on bids and trial scanning. We are preparing a bid to the EU eContentplus programme for money to manage these activities across Europe (unfortunately, the EU will not fund scanning directly) and this will be lead by the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.

We are currently looking for partners to join the eContentplus bid - in particular, we are looking for institutions with substantial collections of biodiversity literature, experts in scanning and digitisation, and researchers interested in OCR (optical character recognition) technologies. If you are interested in joining us, please contact me on

Graham Higley
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008