Thomas Garnett of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History heads a scanning and digitization group of encyclopedia workers. They are cooperating with the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a project through which 10 major libraries are scanning and placing on the Web pages from volumes that describe species. Some 80 million pages come from publications old enough to be in the public domain, and the scanners are starting with those.
The Feb. 2, 2008 issue of Science News includes an article by Susan Milius (“Biological Moon Shot“) on the Encyclopedia of Life and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. BHL member staff Tom Garnett and Martin Kalfatovic are quote in the article.
In talking about the vital business of opening library resources to far-flung scientists, Garnett rolls his eyes at the mention of a specialized source for historians of science that has become one of the library’s most popular downloads—the 1904 treatise Ants and Some Other Insects: An Inquiry Into the Psychic Powers of These Animals.