Tuesday, August 2, 2011

BHL on Flickr

Ever wanted to take a break and scan through some of the cool images of flora and fauna in the BHL collection? With our new BHL Flickr account now you can. Recently, we have started to develop our Flickr profile, BioDivLibrary, more and more by adding images from our BHL twitter (@BioDivLibrary) feeds and our BHL Book of the Week blog posts.

Approximately once a day on our Twitter account we tweet about a BHL Species of the Day (Twitter hashtag = #SpeciesoftheDay) and a BHL Page of the Day (Twitter hashtag = #bhlpod). By tweeting about interesting pages we come across in the BHL collection, we are able to highlight content that would otherwise remain buried. If you do not follow us on Twitter, you can easily view the pictures we post daily via our Flickr account.

For those of you who follow our blog, you know already how we feature an interesting book once weekly through our BHL Book of the Week posts. While in our blog we can only showcase a few key images from the work, in our Flickr account we can show many more. For example, we featured the book: Cabinet of Oriental Entomology and now you can see its corresponding image set in Flickr. All BHL Book of the Week posts have not yet been integrated into the Flickr account, but we are working to upload the images when we can.

We are also experimenting with uploading images of interesting books to our Flickr account that are not featured via Twitter or our blog such as Histoire naturelle des champignons comestibles et vénéneux, in an effort to further showcase the fascinating images of flora and fauna we have in the BHL collection. We envision that someday a more sophisticated image search could be made available to our users but for now, Flickr is a great, low-barrier option that allows us to present our images in a new way. If you have found a book in BHL that you think would be a great candidate for our Flickr profile, please let us know by submitting your comments to our feedback form:

Besides being a low-barrier and fun(!) way of displaying our images, Flickr offers us the opportunity to supplement Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) species pages with images from the BHL collection. See this EOL page on the Aegotheles savesi for example, which features a plate from an Ibis journal volume in BHL EOL automatically harvests any Flickr images that conform to the following criteria:

1) images must be added to the EOL Flickr Group
2) images must be public
3) images must have one of the following Creative Commons licenses:
- Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)
- Creative Commons Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC)
- Creative Commons Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA)
- Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA)
4) images should be tagged with taxonomic name information according to a specific "machine tagging" process, see more about machine tagging below

EOL harvests images from any Flickr user, not just BHL. If you are a Flickr user and would like to have your images harvested by EOL, please see the following for more information:

We would greatly appreciate the help of our users in tagging our BHL images. It would especially be helpful if you could help us add machine tags for the taxonomic names associated with our images. It is often the case that a plate from a 19th C. book lists the outdated taxa for the organism(s) featured and for us librarians behind the BHL Flickr account, this is a sometimes difficult task to identify the proper accepted name to attach to the image.

As in the above example for the Aegotheles savesi image, the machine tag used was:

“taxonomy:binomial=Aegotheles savesi”

Other examples of machine tags include:


For more information about machine tagging, please see the instructions provided by EOL:

Machine tagging is the best-case scenario, but if you would rather simply tag our images with normal tags as you would any other Flickr image, please feel free. We encourage you to help us tag our images with taxonomic information, geographic information, color, etc.

As the BioDivLibrary Flickr profile continues to grow we will keep you posted via our Twitter account and our blog. Again, we welcome any suggestions for interesting images that you feel should be featured.

-Bianca Crowley, BHL Collections Coordinator