BHL and Vienna! BHL-Global Updates

So, as many of you may already know, BHL has gone global – way global, with BHL-Europe and BHL-China well underway, and a memorandum of understanding has just been signed with Australia. BHL and the Bibliotecha Alexandrina (for an Arab-language BHL) have had some preliminary discussions. Many of our BHL staff are currently in Vienna, Austria working with the BHL-Europe team to discuss project details and developments. Here’s a short update from one of our own, Constance Rinaldo of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard; Ernst Mayr Library, regarding the exciting developments of BHL on a global scale:

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“BHL staff have just completed several days of our first BHL meeting: BHL-Europe that is. The weather in Vienna has been warm and humid with rain for part of most days. Our BHL-Europe colleagues are productive, energetic and committed, including working through lunch on Sunday May 30! Over the course of the week, we spent many hours discussing PR, communication and dissemination, GUIDs, the GRIB (a tool used by the BHL staff to articulate which books each institution will scan), use cases scenarios for workflow and user survey. Our BHL-Europe colleagues seemed pleased with the help and discussion we offered, and we also gathered new ideas. Europeana has coordinated logos among the partners and they have a model which may serve BHL-global well. Several of us had an amazing tour of the libraries of the Natural History Museum in Vienna where most of the book collections are still tied to the specimen collections. The tour ended with viewing Vienna from the roof of the Natural History Museum and an impromptu lunch provided by Andrea Kourgli, the Librarian.”

Top: General library collections, Natural History Museum in Vienna.
Bottom: BHL staff Martin Kalfatovic (back left) and Suzanne Pilsk (back right) having lunch in museum librarian Andrea Kourgli’s (front left) office.

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.