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The name services are XML-based web services that can be invoked via SOAP or HTTP GET/POST requests. Responses can be received in one of three formats: XML wrapped in a SOAP envelope, XML, or JSON.
A characteristic of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) that distinguishes it from other mass digitization projects is the incorporation of service-based algorithms to identify scientific name strings throughout digitized content. These ‘taxonomically intelligent’ services, powered by uBio.org’s TaxonFinder and NameBank, have been incorporated into the BHL Portal to provide names-based interfaces into taxonomic literature.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History hosted a day long symposium to celebrate 300 years of Linnaean taxonomy. In addition to the symposium, the museum featured an exhibition of a 1st Edition of Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae. The exhibition, “A Tribute to Carl Linnaeus, 1707-1778” (November 13-14) features the author’s own copy of Systema Naturae (courtesy of the Swedish Embassy), with illustrations by Georg Dionysius Ehret. At the evening reception, the Biodiversity Heritage Library displayed the online version of the 1758 edition of Systema (from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library) and there was also an appearance by Linnaeus [as envisioned by Hans Odöö].
The latest issue of Fine Books & Collections (November/December 2007) includes an excellent article on the Biodiversity Heritage Library. “Flora and Fauna: Creating a Global Library of Life, One Digital Page at a Time” by Rebecca Rego Barry and Scott Brown is an excellent overview of the BHL project.
“This site displays an elegantly designed simplicity that the web developer in me finds irresistible. It’s a marketing nightmare, but a researcher’s dream – a system to quickly and easily find the information you want with minimal distractions.”
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is currently scanning material five locations around the world. As materials are scanned, they are deposited directly into the Internet Archive repository.
BHL’s existence depends on the financial support of its patrons. Help us keep this free resource alive!
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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