BHL Presentation: Washington, DC: June 25, 2007

The Biodiversity Heritage Library: An Overview Hosted by Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Join Smithsonian Libraries’ staff and others for an overview of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) project. The BHL is a cooperative mass-scanning project done in collaboration with the Internet Archive. The BHL plans to digitize a significant portion of the legacy taxonomic literature (pre-1923 and selected titles after) and provide open access for all users.

In addition to an overview of the BHL project by two member librarians, Robert Miller of the Internet Archive will discuss the Internet Archive scanning project. There will also be time of a visit to the Smithsonian Libraries’ Internet Archive Scribe Scanning station located down the hall from the meeting room.

Welcoming Remarks. Nancy E. Gwinn, Director, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

“The Biodiversity Heritage Library: A Cornerstone of the Encyclopedia of Life”. Martin R. Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Institution Libraries

“An Overview of the New York Botanical Garden Digitizing Program”. John Mignault, Systems Librarian, The LuEsther T. Mertz Library, The New York Botanical Garden

“Universal Access to Human Knowledge: Book Scanning at the Internet Archive.” Robert Miller, Director of Books, Internet Archive


The talks will last from 10 – 11:30 am. Please try and arrive at about 9:45 am to get into the building and to the room. There will be a mild security check (bag check, etc.). I hope to have visitor passes prepared ahead of time for everyone.

Please come to The National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution). Please enter the building through the entrance at 10th St. and Constitution Ave. The building does not open to the public until 10 am. If you arrive early, come in and identify yourself as attending the BHL meeting and the security staff will pass you in. Smithsonian Library staff will be waiting to escort you to the presentation room. If you arrive after 10:15 or so and there are no escorts, please call the Smithsonian Libraries’ Director’s Office (202.633.2240 – this can be done from the security desk or via cell phone) and staff will come and get you.

When: June 25, 2007, 10 am to 11:30 am
Where: Smithsonian Libraries, National Museum of Natural History, Cathy Kerby Seminar Room, East Court, CE340
Contact: Please RSVP to Martin Kalfatovic ( ; tel: 202.633.1705). Staff will be on hand to escort visitors to the Kerby Seminar Room
Details: visit the BHL blog for additional information on this event:

BHL Blog:
BHL portal:
Internet Archive:

BHL Member Institutions:
American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY)
The Field Museum (Chicago, IL)
Harvard University Botany Libraries (Cambridge, MA)
Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge, MA)
Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA)
Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, MO)
Natural History Museum (London, UK)
The New York Botanical Garden (New York, NY)
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Richmond, UK)
Smithsonian Institution Libraries (Washington, DC)

Avatar for Martin R. Kalfatovic

Martin R. Kalfatovic is BHL Program Director and Associate Director, Digital Programs and Initiatives Division, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives. As the BHL Program Director, Mr. Kalfatovic functions as the executive director and manager of the international consortium of over 80 natural history, botanical garden, government, and university libraries engaged in the mass digitization of taxonomic literature. The position also serves as a key contact for government, NGO, and academic leaders at both the national and international level. Within his role at Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, Mr. Kalfatovic is responsible for the Libraries’ active Digital Library program. This program includes the creation of digital editions of library materials, online exhibitions, and new digital publications.