Anniversary of the first organizational meeting for the BHL

On June 12, 2006, representatives from the first ten partners of the just forming Biodiversity Heritage Library met in Washington at the Smithsonian Institution to plan for the formation of the BHL.

Representatives from the Smithsonian Libraries; the Missouri Botanical Garden; the Natural History Museum (London); the Marine Biological Laboratory / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library; the American Museum of Natural History; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology; and the Field Museum attended the meeting. Representatives from the two remaining founding institutions, Harvard Botany Libraries and the New York Botanical Garden, were unable to attend.

Also attending the meeting were Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive, the longtime BHL partner in digitization activities; staff from OCLC; and representatives from a number of technology firms interested in the nascent work of the BHL.

Since 2006, BHL has grown from a group of ten founding institutions to a worldwide consortium of 23  Members and Affiliates in the US and the UK and global nodes in Europe, China, Brazil, Africa, Egypt, Mexico, Singapore, and Australia. We look forward to the next nine years, and hope to add many millions more pages to our library. Can we reach 100 million pages by 2024?

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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.