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Live Digitisation for BHL at the Long Night of Museums in Berlin At the Long Night of the Museums on 31 August 2019, the library of the Museum für Naturkunde presented its digitisation activities around a current project to index its Drory Library. In addition to particularly impressive books from the collection, which are already accessible in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, two books were digitised which were not yet available in BHL. Fig. 1. Display during the Long Night of the Museum 2019. Photo by: Elisa Herrmann | MfN. Long Night of the Museums Provenance and Library Stamps at Museums Victoria and on BHL On the BHL blog, we often focus on the extensive biodiversity information made available through BHL and the innovative ways scientists are using the vast quantities of historical biodiversity data in BHL to conduct contemporary research. BHL is also useful for a range of non-scientific research, however, and is used by researchers in the arts and humanities as well as the sciences. Artists draw on the illustrations for inspiration, while humanities scholars use the digitised collections for historical research. For librarians and book historians, BHL contains a wealth of provenance information, as well as the material to conduct comparative research.

BHL Journal Articles Are Now Discoverable via Unpaywall Earlier this week, Rod Page and I received an email from Richard Orr, the Lead Developer at Unpaywall, telling us that he had created a work-around that would finally enable the Unpaywall extension to discover content in BHL. And I (Nicole) literally spent the rest of the day jumping for joy. Let us explain: Firstly, what’s a DOI? DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) are used throughout the scholarly research community to uniquely identify academic articles. They help readers locate the definitive version of a published article, and they make linking together the academic literature much easier – look at any recent paper and you’ll see that most of the references cited have DOIs.

Unearthed! Smithsonian Libraries' Paleo Collection In celebration of the opening of the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils opening at the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Libraries has curated an online collection of important and beautiful selections from the Libraries’ Paleobiology literature titled Unearthed!. The digitized books are hosted on the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL at the 2019 Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and Digital Data in Biodiversity Meetings Martin Kalfatovic (BHL Program Director) and Connie Rinaldo (Chair of the BHL Members’ Council) attended the recent Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) meeting held 25-31 May 2019 and hosted by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois. The theme of the meeting was “Making the Case for Natural History Collections”. There were opportunities for tours of the Field Museum of Natural History and workshops in addition to the strong array of presentations. One session focused on metrics for measuring impact, time working in the collection and increasing visibility of the behind-the-scenes work with museum specimens. If you are interested, there is a survey to gather data about metrics in collections.

BHL Adds Functionality Allowing Partners to Upload Crowdsourced Transcriptions of Digitized Archival Materials The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) has added functionality to allow BHL Partners to upload transcriptions in place of the automatically-generated OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for archival materials digitized in BHL. This functionality supports transcriptions generated as part of Partner crowdsourcing projects on Smithsonian Transcription Center, DigiVol, and From the Page. Optical Character Recognition (OCR), also called text recognition, translates text characters in scanned documents into code that can be used for data processing and enables searching of document text. Handwritten archival materials like correspondence and field notes are notoriously problematic for OCR software. Full-text searching of these materials is significantly hampered by poor OCR output. Crowdsourcing the transcription of archival materials has become a popular way to generate machine-readable text that enables searching and discoverability.

BHL Participates in the Global Names Workshop Participants at the The Global Names Project workshop discuss progress in a morning “stand up” briefing. Photo by Deborah Paul (iDigBio). The Global Names Project held a workshop on 17-19 June 2019 on the Campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. BHL at Biodiversity Next Biodiversity_Next main conference venue, Stadsgehoorzaal, in Leiden, Netherlands. Photo Credit: Grace Costantino. In October 2019, more than 700 people from over 75 countries gathered in Leiden, the Netherlands for Biodiversity_Next, a joint conference by GBIF, DISSCo, iDigBio, CETAF, TDWG, and LifeWatch Eric. The first conference of its kind to bring together so many major international biodiversity organizations, the conference aimed to promote innovation in biodiversity and geodiversity information management and applications; encourage collaboration across these communities to enhance data standards and management practices; and foster the development of the skill sets necessary to embark on data-intensive scientific research and solutions.

BHL Adds New, Easier Article Download Feature We’ve added functionality to the BHL book viewer that makes it easier to generate a PDF for an article. When you are viewing an article that has been defined in BHL, you can now quickly and easily generate a PDF of that article using our new “Download Article” option in the “Download Contents” dropdown menu. “Download Article” option in the “Download Contents” dropdown menu. Selecting the “Download Article” option will launch BHL’s custom PDF generation functionality, with all pages in the article pre-selected. Be sure to review the selected pages to ensure all relevant pages are highlighted.

Passionate pioneers – increasing access to botanical artwork by women artists Two BHL contributors – the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London, UK and the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Virginia, USA, have recently embarked on a collaborative project to digitise works of art by women botanical artists. Kew’s Metadata and Digitisation Officer Joanna Durant sheds some light on two of these often under-represented botanical pioneers. Why Digitise?