BHL Welcomes Two New Affiliates

The Internet Archive, a non-profit institution based in San Francisco and long-time BHL partner in digitization efforts, and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, one of the world’s premier natural history museums, based in Leiden, The Netherlands, have joined the Biodiversity Heritage Library as Affiliates. These new partnerships will allow BHL to expand the breadth and depth of its online collection and strengthen the consortium’s technical expertise. The BHL consortium now consists of ten Affiliates and fifteen Members.

The Internet Archive

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The Internet Archive (IA) was founded in 1996 with the mission to provide “Universal access to all Knowledge.” The organization seeks to preserve our shared cultural heritage and to provide open access to our cultural artifacts in the digital era, supporting the work of historians, scholars, journalists, students, the blind and reading disabled, as well as the general public. The Internet Archive’s digital collections include more than 460 billion Web captures, moving images (2.2 M videos and films), audio (2.5 M recordings, 140k concerts), texts (8M texts and digital books), software (100,000 items) and television (3M hours). It has created new models for digital conservation by forging alliances with more than 400 libraries, universities and national archives around the world. IA employs approximately 150 staff worldwide, including those scanning books in 30 centers in 4 continents, with expertise in a wide variety of areas including digitization, technical development, large scale storage, web archiving, collection management, fundraising, and public outreach, particularly in the policy realm.

The Internet Archive has been partnering with BHL on digitization and technical activities for over a decade. IA’s scanning technology was the basis for BHL scanning starting in 2006. IA also built and manages the underlying technical infrastructure that delivers and stores the BHL content. BHL was also the proud recipient of the Internet Archive’s Internet Heroes award in 2015.

“This move to Affiliate status formalizes a relationship that stretches back over ten years,” emphasized Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive Founder and Digital Librarian. “The Internet Archive was built through the collaboration of people and institutions from all around the world. One of the earliest library consortia to partner with IA was the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Through its collaboration with the BHL, IA maintains a strong interest in biodiversity, but the key benefits to both organizations in the Archive’s joining BHL as an Affiliate will be in the areas of technology, collaborative grants, building new partnerships, and advocacy for open content.”

The Naturalis Biodiversity Center

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The Library of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center is of national importance, holding approximately 350,000 books, journals, rare books, drawings and a variety of archival material. The library collection of the Dutch Entomological Society is also incorporated. For almost 200 years, collection concentrations have been linked to Naturalis’ research themes. Through its affiliation, Naturalis will enhance the Biodiversity Heritage Library’s current corpus of over 48 million pages through the contribution of titles not yet found within BHL’s collection.

“I am very pleased that we now can share our digitized library collection in BHL,” stated Caroline Pepermans, Head of Library Collections at Naturalis. “In our domain BHL is ‘the’ global repository of legacy biodiversity literature. Our affiliation fits very well with our strategic goals of sharing knowledge, resources and data. We are excited to participate in such an innovative consortium as BHL.”


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Grace Costantino served as the Outreach and Communication Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library from 2014 to 2021. In this capacity, she developed and managed BHL's communication strategy, oversaw social media initiatives, and engaged with the public to excite audiences about the wealth of biodiversity heritage available in BHL. Prior to her role as Outreach and Communication Manager, Grace served as the Digital Collections Librarian for Smithsonian Libraries and as the Program Manager for BHL.