16 March 2008

Digitizing biodiversity literature

Major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined forced in the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The plan is to digitize their holdings of published literature, making it available through a global 'biodiversity commons.'

"For the first time in history, the core of our natural history and herbaria library collections will be available to a truly global audience. Web-based access to these collections will provide a substantial benefit to people living and working in the developing world -- whether scientists or policymakers."

Making the content open access is an important element of the project. In a presentation on the project, this is described as "all content can be reused, repurposed, reformatted, sliced, diced, scraped, harvested, integrated."

"This material will be available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global Biodiversity Commons. We will work with the global taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this legacy literature is available to all."

Track progress through the project blog and slide presentations.

Content from the library will be shared with the just-launched Encyclopedia of Life


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