The Language of Flowers and Frances Sargent Osgood.
Explore the 19th Century Literary Genre of Floriography
250,000+ Free Nature Images Now Available in Flickr!
Images Date from the 16th-20th Centuries on a Range of Biodiversity Subjects
Bringing Natural History Art to Life
Installation Artist Uses BHL to Create Fantastic Worlds
Two new fossil fly species have been named in honor of the Smithsonian Libraries and the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Sylvicola silibrarius Greenwalt, 2019 and Kishenehnoasilus bhl Dikow, 2019 have been described from specimens collected from the 46-million-year-old Kishenehn Formation of northwestern Montana. The species were published last week in the open access journal Palaeontologia Electronica.
The venerable science journal the Biological Bulletin has been published in association with the Marine Biological Laboratory of Woods Hole, Massachusetts for over 130 years. Presently, the publisher is the University of Chicago Press, with the editorial office in Woods Hole managed by longtime Editor, Carol Schachinger.
The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) was founded in 1888 through the diligent efforts of working scientists and Boston community leaders deeply invested in the marine and associated biological sciences as a tools to conduct research and develop diverse educational opportunities for the study of marine model organisms, through experimental work ultimately leading to an improved understanding of the human condition.
The June 2019 issue of the Biological Bulletin (Volume 236, Number 3) has an informative and beautiful cover illustration of the venous return half of the circulatory system of the horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), chosen to illustrate an article in the issue: Effects of the Biomedical Bleeding Process on the Behavior of the American Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus, in Its Natural Habitat. The cover of this issue of the Biological Bulletin was designed from a freely downloaded Biodiversity Heritage Library file, coincidentally from a monograph about the horseshoe crab: Recherches sur l’anatomie des Limules — an 1873 work by Alphonse Milne-Edwards, the French medical doctor, mammologist, ornithologist, and carcinologist (one who studies crustaceans) who was director of the French Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle from 1891-1900.
Enjoying your summer? We are, because we’ve been busy these past few months and have a lot to share! From crowdsourced transcriptions in BHL to new article download functionality and a new paleobiology collection curated by Smithsonian Libraries, check out all of the latest program news in the 2019 Summer Newsletter.
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Unpaywall finds (legally) open access versions of paywalled literature. Thanks to the work of Richard Orr, Unpaywall’s Lead Developer, BHL is now one of the sources indexed in Unpaywall’s database. As of this week, 43,000 journal articles on the BHL website are now discoverable via Unpaywall.
Charles Darwin’s Library is a digital edition and virtual reconstruction of the surviving books owned by Charles Darwin. Produced as a collaboration between BHL, Cambridge University Library, the Library & Archives of the Natural History Museum in London, and the Darwin Manuscripts Project, the collection draws on original copies and surrogates from other libraries and includes over 500 of the 1,480 books in Darwin’s library. Notably, these books are complemented with fully-indexed transcriptions of Darwin’s annotations.
Charles Darwin’s Library is particularly meaningful to Dr. B. Ricardo Brown, Professor of Social Science and Cultural Studies at the Pratt Institute. Brown has devoted years of research to Darwin and the impact of his evolutionary theories on debates around monogenetic vs. polygenetic human origins. Brown’s 2010 book, Until Darwin: Science, Human Variety and the Origin of Race, explores the complex web of factors that influenced these debates from the 17th-19th centuries and the impact of the publication of On the Origin of Species on this scientific discourse.
Brown spent nearly 10 years researching this book. Today, BHL’s open access collections offer researchers considerable time-savings.
“I am sure that if I had the kind of access to texts that BHL now provides researchers, I could have reduced the research time for Until Darwin in half,” muses Brown.
Fake fossils are a difficult issue for modern paleontologists: there is a booming black market in forgeries, and well-intentioned researchers of the past have even managed to accidentally fool the curators of today with detailed reconstructions! The black market manufacturers have money on their minds and past researchers were simply doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, but one historical case of forged fossils stands out as particularly sinister. The victim was a certain Dr. Johann Bartholomew Adam Beringer (1667-1738), a professor at the University of Wurzburg. The perpetrators: Beringer’s very own colleagues, J. Ignatz Roderick and Georg von Eckhart. This sordid tale resulted in unfortunate endings for all three of the parties involved, but also produced a curious monograph entitled Lithographia Wirceburgensis which can be found digitized in our Unearthed! digital collection.
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The Biodiversity Heritage Library is an open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL’s global consortium of natural history, botanical, and research libraries cooperate to digitize and make their collections accessible as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”
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