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Monday, January 23, 2017

BHL Adds University of Toronto Libraries as a New Member



The Biodiversity Heritage Library is pleased to welcome the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) as a new Member. UTL is the first Canadian library to join the Biodiversity Heritage Library as a Member.

The University of Toronto Libraries system is the largest academic library in Canada. Ranked fourth among North American peer institutions by the Association of Research Libraries, the UTL system is particularly strong in the sciences and includes 10 dedicated science libraries. Among these is the Gerstein Science Information Centre, Canada’s largest standalone science and health library. Additionally, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library holds rich collections on the history of science and medicine, including an exhaustive collection of original works by Charles Darwin.

“The University of Toronto Libraries is thrilled to become a Member of the Biodiversity Heritage Library,” asserts Neil Romanosky, UTL’s Associate Chief Librarian for Science Research and Information and Director of the Gerstein Science Information Centre. “Given the rapid rate of extinction of species across the globe, we see membership in BHL as an important opportunity to support the search for knowledge by preserving our wealth of historic biodiversity materials and sharing them more widely.”

Martyn, Thomas. Thirty-eight plates, with explanations; intended to illustrate Linnaeus's System of vegetables, and particularly adapted to the Letters on the elements of botany [by J.J. Rousseau] By Thomas Martyn. (1799). Art by Frederick Polydore Nodder. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/32193301. Digitized by University of Toronto Libraries from the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

As a BHL Member, the University of Toronto Libraries will enhance BHL’s collection by contributing rare and unique material from its holdings of over 12 million print volumes. As the host of an Internet Archive (IA) scanning center, the Libraries has already digitized a large portion of its collection. Over 3.3 million pages of natural history literature from UTL are currently available in BHL.

“The University of Toronto Libraries and BHL share a commitment to open access and the promotion of digital scholarship through global partnerships and the development of innovative tools and technology,” affirms BHL Program Director Martin R. Kalfatovic. “We look forward to the expertise and leadership that UTL will bring to the BHL consortium as we work together to build our online collection, enhance our services, and empower researchers around the world through free access to biodiversity knowledge.”

The BHL consortium now consists of 18 Members and 15 Affiliates.

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