Sometime over the past weekend, the Biodiversity Heritage Library portal loaded it’s 10 millionth page!
Due to the way volumes are ingested from the various scanning centers, it’s a bit tricky to pick which was the EXCACT 10 millionth page, but for the sake of this blog post, I’m going to say that it was one of the pages of Coleopterorum catalogus by Junk and Schenkling. I’m picking this item because, as you taxonomic cognoscenti out there know, beetles (coleoptera) represent, perhaps, the most common type of animal. Indeed, the noted biologist J.B.S. Haldane is reputed to have quipped that, if nothing else, nature reveals that God has “an inordinate fondness for beetles.”
But I digress …
Ten million is a big number, but still a magnitude of difference from the, perhaps, 60-100 million that the Biodiversity Heritage Library hopes to make available in the coming years. Those 10 million pages represent nearly 25,000 volumes (and about 8,700 titles) – a respectable, but not massive library of taxonimic literature. We’ve learned a lot along the way (factoid: taxonomic literature seems to be running at about an average of 417 pages per volume) and are working on ways to expand what we can digitize and how.
Thanks to all the staff in the contributing libraries and our scanning partner (the Internet Archive) for getting us to the 10 million mark.
Details of the “10 millionth page”
Berlin :W. Junk,1910-1940.
Smithsonian Institution Libraries