Plant Diversity ›› 2011, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (01): 39-45.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10239

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Botanical Literature Goes Global: The Biodiversity Heritage Library


  1. Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, MA, USA
  • Received:2010-12-13 Online:2011-01-21 Published:2010-12-30


 Scholars in the natural sciences rely on historic literature more than any other branch of science. Yet much of this material has limited global distribution and much of it is available in only a few select libraries. This wealth of knowledge is available only to those few who can gain direct access to significant library collections, a situation that is considered one of the chief impediments to the efficiency of research in the field. Community support and new technologies led to the formation of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The BHL is an international collaboration of natural history libraries working together to make biodiversity literature available for use by the widest possible audience through open access and sustainable management.

Key words: Biodiversity Heritage Library, Encyclopedia of Life, Botanical libraries, Digital libraries, Taxonomic intelligence, Taxonomic literature

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