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Monday, May 9, 2016

BHL Day: Celebrating 10 Years of Open Access to Biodiversity Literature


2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. As part of our #BHLat10 celebrations, and in conjunction with our Annual Members Meeting, we hosted a public BHL Day on April 12 at the Natural History Museum, London. The program highlighted BHL's impact on the global science community and featured speakers from biodiversity-related disciplines.

Richard Lane giving the opening keynote at BHL Day.

Speakers for BHL Day included Ian Owens, Director of Science at the Natural History Museum, London (NHM); Gowan Dawson and Geoffrey Belknap from the University of Leicester; Jane Smith, Head of Library and Archives at NHM; and Martin R. Kalfatovic, BHL Program Director. The program's opening keynote speaker was Richard Lane, Consultant and Independent Advisor in Science and Museums and former Director of Science at NHM. The closing keynote was provided by Rod Page from the University of Glasgow and creator of BioStor. See the links at the end of this post to view the presentations by each speaker.

Rod Page giving the closing keynote at BHL Day.

BHL Day also afforded us an excellent opportunity to share the exciting news that BHL Australia has joined BHL as our 16th Member! We marked the occasion with a ceremonial signing of the BHL Memorandum of Understanding between BHL, Museum Victoria, and the Atlas of Living Australia during the event. Learn more.


Dr. Nancy E Gwinn (left), Director of Smithsonian Libraries and Chair of the BHL Members' Council, and Dr. Elycia Wallis, BHL Australia Project Lead and Manager of Online Collections at Museum Victoria, signing the BHL MOU. Back Row, Left to Right: Constance Rinaldo (Librarian of the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University | Vice-Chair, BHL Members' Council); Jane Smith (Head of Library and Archives, Natural History Museum, London | Secretary, BHL Members' Council); Carolyn Sheffield (Program Manager, BHL); Martin R. Kalfatovic (Associated Director, Digital Programs and Initiatives, Smithsonian Libraries | Program Director, BHL).

And of course, no celebration is complete without a cake! BHL Day culminated in a reception which included a special #BHLat10 dessert.

BHL at 10 cake!

You can explore our live-tweeting of the event on our @BioDivLibrary account under the hashtag #BHLDay.

A toast to celebrate 10 years of inspiring discovery through free access to biodiversity knowledge.

BHL Day was a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the impact that BHL has had on scientific and historical research for the past ten years. We extend a special thanks to the Natural History Museum, London, for hosting the event and to the NHM Library staff who helped make this event a reality. We're also grateful to all of our marvelous speakers for showcasing the importance, history, and growth of our library. We look forward to continuing our work to inspire discovery through free access to biodiversity knowledge for many decades to come.

Links to BHL Day Presentations: