Sometime over the past weekend, the Biodiversity Heritage Library portal loaded it’s 10 millionth page!
Due to the way volumes are ingested from the various scanning centers, it’s a bit tricky to pick which was the EXCACT 10 millionth page, but for the sake of this blog post, I’m going to say that it was one of the pages of Coleopterorum catalogus by Junk and Schenkling. I’m picking this item because, as you taxonomic cognoscenti out there know, beetles (coleoptera) represent, perhaps, the most common type of animal. Indeed, the noted biologist J.B.S. Haldane is reputed to have quipped that, if nothing else, nature reveals that God has “an inordinate fondness for beetles.”
Today, February 12, 2008, we celebrate the 199th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Last year we honored the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linné and next year will be the double celebrations for Darwin’s bicentenary and the sesquicentennial (mark your calenders now for November 24th!) of the publication of On the Origin of Species. 2008 is thus a good year for those of us involved with the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) to pause for a moment between these landmark anniversary years of 2007 and 2009.
The Feb. 2, 2008 issue of Science News includes an article by Susan Milius (“Biological Moon Shot”) on the Encyclopedia of Life and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. BHL member staff Tom Garnett and Martin Kalfatovic are quote in the article.
Smithsonian Institution Libraries staff members Martin Kalfatovic and Suzanne Pilsk gave a presentation on BHL to staff from the National Agriculture Library, the USDA Agriculture Research Service, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and others.
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The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. Headquartered at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives in Washington, D.C., BHL operates as a worldwide consortium of natural history, botanical, research, and national libraries working together to digitize the natural history literature held in their collections and make it freely available for open access as part of a global “biodiversity community.”
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