Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update on BHL-Europe and job posting for Team Leader and ICT specialist

The lack of access to the published biodiversity literature is a major obstacle to efficient research and a broad range of other applications, including education, biodiversity conservation, protected area management, disease control, and maintenance of diverse ecosystems services. This literature also has cultural importance as a resource for the study of the history of science, art and other non-science applications. Currently, a large number of small projects are digitising biodiversity material in numerous institutions across the EU to make access more open, but the corpus will still be seriously fragmented. These projects do not use common standards or interfaces and are not interoperable. In alignment with the EC i2010 initiative, the project "Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe" (BHL-Europe) aims to make the biodiversity knowledge available to everybody who is interested by improving the interoperability of European biodiversity digital libraries.

BHL-Europe will review and test different approaches for such libraries based on the experiences of the partners involved in the project. The consortium will establish a best practice approach and promote the adoption of standards and specifications for the large-scale implementation in a real-life context. BHL-Europe will provide a multilingual access point for search and retrieval of digital content through EUROPEANA. In addition, it will provide a robust multilingual portal with sophisticated search tools to facilitate the search for taxon-specific biodiversity information. The project will also develop operational strategies and processes for long-term preservation and sustainability of the data produced by national biodiversity digitisation programmes. BHL-Europe will generate activities to raise awareness and to ensure that the project outputs are known and used by the target users and that the proposed approach directly addresses user needs. BHL-Europe experience and best practice will be shared with the wider digital library community.

The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is leading this three year project carried out within the eContentplus programme of the European Commission and is looking for a

Team Leader and ICT specialist
code number 05/09

- Salary group BAT-O IIA / Ib

- From 1st of May 2009

- Subject to the final approval of project funding

- Position limited for 3 years

- Full-time position

Tasks: Lead the work package "Analysis of domain content and management of the content acquisition process" of BHL-Europe; Develop, enhance and maintain bibliographic informatics and metadata exposure tools; Support and coordinate the development and implementation of integrative work-flows, tools and interfaces for the ingestion and presentation of digitised content; Coordinate with the other work packages, related networks, and scanning centres; Fundraising activities to set up scanning projects.

Qualifications: Completed Diploma/Master in informatics or qualifications in related subjects; Experience with open source programming languages (e.g. PHP, Perl), database programming (e.g. MySQL), markup languages (e.g. HTML, XML), Web site development, OAI interface development, and development of tools based on Web 2.0 technologies; Experience with library specific skills (e.g. management of metadata, work with OPAC); Project management skills (incl. MS Project); Background in life sciences desired; Fluent in English and German; Excellent inter-personal and communication skills; Experience with fundraising.

Museum für Naturkunde is an equal opportunity employer, committed to the advancement of individuals without regard to ethnicity, religion, sex, age, disability or any other protected Status.

For further information please contact Dr. Henning Scholz, ++49-30-2093-8864

Further information of the Leibniz-Gemeinschaft:

Applications are accepted in English and German and should be sent under code number 05/09 within 2 weeks (April 2, 2009) to:

Museum für Naturkunde
Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Invalidenstraße 43
10115 Berlin

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tuatara in the news ... and in BHL

The Associated Press ran a story on March 20 with the headline, "Rare reptile found first time in 200 years" (see the MSNBC version).

The tuatara is a member of the order Sphenodontia and important to the study of the evolution of lizards and snakes. Thought to be extinct on the main islands of New Zealand, the discovery of this hatchling is great news.

You can find out more about the tuatara and the genus Sphenodon in over 2,000 pages of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. An illustration (above) of Sphenedon punctatus can be found in Reptiles and batrachians, by E. G. Boulenger (1914) contributed by Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Updates to BHL exports now include LCSH and all pages

Following user requests, the BHL exports now include Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and metadata for all pages in the BHL collection.

The updated documentation, including URLs to files and database schema, is available at:

For a more lengthy description of motivation for these exports and plans for future services, please read Export of titles & scientific names in BHL now available for download.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

BHL on Twitter

Yes, we might be a little slow to the game, but the BHL now has a Twitter account. Please follow us and see what worthy of 140 characters!