Biodiversity Heritage Library Adds Washington University as New Member

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), headquartered at the Smithsonian Libraries, welcomes Washington University Libraries (St. Louis, Missouri) as a new member. The 14th member of the BHL consortium, Washington University Libraries will help identify and digitize historical science literature from its collections and add these to the BHL’s online holdings, where all materials may be accessed free by the public.

Founded in 1853, Washington University in St. Louis is a medium-sized independent research institution widely recognized for its teaching, research, patient care and service to society. Washington University operates seven academic divisions (art and architecture, arts and sciences, business, engineering, law, medicine, and social work and public health), served by 12 libraries whose print holdings number nearly 4.5 million, in addition to millions more books and journals available electronically. For more information about Washington University Libraries, visit

“The Biodiversity Heritage Library is the preeminent global repository for historic science literature,” said Martin Kalfatovic, BHL program director and associate director for digital services at the Smithsonian Libraries. “We are excited that the Washington University Libraries are joining us in building a vast information center that provides resources to researchers, students and anyone interested in biodiversity.”

The current members of the BHL include: the American Museum of Natural History (New York, N.Y.), the California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco, Calif.), Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.), the Botany Libraries (Harvard University), the Ernst Mayr Library at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge, Mass.), the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), the Marine Biological Laboratory of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, Mass.), the Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Mo.), the Natural History Museum (London), the Kew York Botanical Garden (Bronx, N.Y.), the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew, United Kingdom), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), and the United States Geological Survey. Additionally, the three institutions participate at the affiliate level: the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, Ill.), American of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (Philadelphia, Pa.) and the Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County. Beyond the English-language efforts, BHL-Europe was founded and includes 28 institutions that are working to digitize European literature. In addition, China, Australia, Brazil, and Africa have created national or regional nodes that may be accessed through the BHL portal.


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Carolyn Sheffield served as the BHL Program Manager from July 2013 - February 2019. She is currently the Associate Director of Library Technology and Digital Strategies at the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She holds a Masters of Library Science from the University of Maryland.