Biodiversity Heritage Library Welcomes Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle as a New Member

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The Biodiversity Heritage Library is pleased to welcome the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN) as a new Member. As BHL’s 17th Member, MNHN will expand the breadth of BHL’s collection and service to the global scientific community.

The Muséum’s membership came into effect at a ceremony in Paris at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle on 2 December 2016. During the ceremony, Dr. Bruno David, President of the Muséum, signed a certificate of membership on behalf of MNHN, and Dr. Nancy E. Gwinn, Chair of the BHL Members’ Council and Director of Smithsonian Libraries, co-signed the certificate on behalf of the BHL consortium.

Established in 1793, “le Muséum” – as it is simply known in France – is the national natural history Museum of France. The MNHN Library holds more than 2 million items reflecting the vast spectrum of the Muséum’s research activities. The library has been digitizing its collections for well over a decade, often in connection with European and international digital collaborations including BHL Europe. Over 500,000 pages of primarily natural science literature have been digitized to date.

“The Muséum is committed to facilitating its global service to research by developing international partnerships and enhancing its digital strategies. It has invested significant effort and resources into developing a comprehensive digitization program,” asserts Dr. Bruno David, President of the MNHN. “BHL has become a standard resource for natural scientists around the world and it provides services that are extremely popular within our own research communities in France. Participation in BHL will allow us to increase the visibility of our collections, contribute to the international dissemination of taxonomic research, and participate in a global effort to promote open access, open science, and open data.”

As a BHL Member, MNHN will enhance BHL’s collection by contributing rare and unique material from the Muséum’s library, including the entire collection of MNHN scientific publications from 1802 to 2000. (Materials published after 2000 are available through other portals.) The library will also contribute to the expansion of global collection development strategies and facilitate partnerships with other institutions in France and throughout Europe.

“We have had a relationship with Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle for many years through BHL Europe, and this year we are excited to see that relationship expand through membership,” affirms BHL Program Director Martin R. Kalfatovic. “For the past decade, we have been working diligently to build global partnerships that allow us to enhance the comprehensiveness of our collections and support research across the globe. We look forward to working with our MNHN colleagues to increase our impact on the European and international research communities.”

Explore the full BHL consortium here.

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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.