BHL Day at the Melbourne Museum, opening event for the 5th Global BHL meeting

BHL Australia and the Melbourne Museum hosted “BHL Day” at the museum on 31 January 2014. Representatives of all the global BHL nodes (with the exception of BHL Egypt) were in attendance. BHL members were joined by staff and volunteers from BHL Australia as well as from the Atlas of Living Australia.

The day began with Caroline Martin, Bunjilaka Manager at the Melbourne Museum who welcomed the group with a traditional welcome from the indigenous people of Australia. Tim Hart, Acting CEO of the Melbourne Museum gave a welcome to the day’s events. The Global BHL delegates also received a special tour of the First People exhibition by multimedia designer (and BHL Australia scanning coordinator) Joe Coleman.

The morning session consisted of presentations from each of the attending nodes.

  • Nancy Gwinn, Chair, Biodiversity Heritage Library
  • Ely Wallis, Biodiversity Heritage Library Australia
  • Jinzhong Cui and Fenghong Liu, Biodiversity Heritage Library China
  • Jiri Frank, Biodiversity Heritage Library Europe
  • Abel Packer and Fabiana Montanari Lapido, Biodiversity Heritage Library SciELO (Brazil)
  • Anne-Lise Fourie, Biodiversity Heritage Library Africa

After the presentations, three “provocative” questions were presented to the audience (which consisted of a number of Melbourne Museum, CSIRO, and Atlas of Living Australia staff (including ALA Director John La Salle). The questions posed were:

“Recent Literature” by John La Salle (Atlas of Living Australia). What are the questions and concerns about BHL more actively engaging in the acquisition of in copyright material?

“Topic Based Reprint Collections” by Robin Wilson (Senior Curator, Marine Invertebrates, Museum Victoria). Many scientists hold extensive reprint collections around their subject area of expertise. What provision can we make for incorporating such collection into digital repositories without inadvertently infringing copyright laws? How do we strike a balance?

“Archival Materials” by Martin Kalfatovic (Smithsonian Libraries / BHL). How can, and should, BHL proceed on expanding its collections of non-print materials (e.g. field notes, art work, etc.)?

The questions engendered lively and useful discussion and input for BHL writ large.

There was also a tour of the Melbourne Museum rare book collection and scanning center where the group met with the volunteer scanning staff.

A reception and opportunity to catch-up with colleagues ended the evening.

The Global BHL members wish to give Ely Wallis (Museum Victoria/BHL Australia) special thanks for organizing the event which was one of the most productive at a Global BHL meeting.

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.