The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.
A New Species Named After BHL!
Meet Kishenehnoasilus bhl, a new species of fossil robber fly named after the Biodiversity Heritage Library! The species was described by Torsten Dikow of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History from specimens collected from the 46M-year-old Kishenehn Formation of northwestern Montana .

K. bhl is one of 15 new fossil fly species identified in a new study by Smithsonian scientists and colleagues published in the open access journal Palaeontologia Electronica. A new species of fossil wood gnat, Sylvicola silibrarius, was also named after the Smithsonian Libraries by Smithsonian resident research associate Dale Greenwalt.

Michelle Pinsdorf
" When research is needed in a museum, a research library is essential! "

BHL Articles Discoverable via Unpaywall
BHL journal articles are now discoverable via Unpaywall, which finds (legally) open access versions of paywalled literature. Unpaywall’s free browser extension displays a discrete padlock symbol on the side of your browser whenever you are on a paywalled paper. If Unpaywall is able to locate a freely-accessible copy of the article elsewhere, the padlock symbol appears green and clicking on it will take you directly to the open access version.

Over 40,000 articles on BHL are now discoverable via the Unpaywall extension .

The Polychaetes of Southern Africa
Polychaetes are among the most numerous and the most species-rich marine invertebrates. John Day's A Monograph on the Polychaeta of Southern Africa (1967) has long been a vital reference for those studying these annelid worms. Thanks to Museums Victoria, the author's annotated copy of this important work is freely available in BHL.

BHL at Biodiversity_Next
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. Hosted by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, a BHL Affiliate, in collaboration with the Netherlands Biodiversity Information Facility, the main conference ran from 22-25 October 2019. Eighteen BHL-affiliated representatives from our partner community, representing 13 institutions from nine countries, attended the conference.

BHL organized a Symposium as part of Biodiversity_Next: Improving Access to Hidden Scientific Data in the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The session featured presentations offering examples of and ideas about how BHL data can be used to empower research and how enhanced data delivery methods can facilitate real-time computing.

Researching the American Horseshoe Crab
Appearing in the fossil record from roughly 450 MYA, horseshoe crabs are often called "living fossils". Milne-Edwards' 1873 monograph explored the species—and included intricate illustrations of its circulatory system. In a recent blog post, MBLWHOI Library explored this book...and its connection to modern research.

Celebrating Australian Bird Week
In celebration of Australian Bird Week from 21-25 October, three science students from the University of Melbourne interning with BHL Australia at Museums Victoria contributed a blog post and took over the BHL Instagram account for a week to explore Australia’s bird biodiversity through rare books in BHL.

From the first illustrated book published in Australia—Lewin's The Birds of New South Wales with their Natural History (1813)—to Australia's first fully-illustrated national field guide for birds—Cayley's What Bird Is That? (1931)—the blog post and takeover explored many beautiful and rare reference books that helped shape ornithological research in Australia. Over 1,400 people viewed the Instagram takeover Story, and takeover posts received an average of 1,105 likes per post (+22% higher than the 2019 average).

Skeletons in the Stacks
With his Osteographia (1733), William Cheselden intended to "provide the most accurate study of the human skeleton to date and to create the most attractive atlas of osteology available". Only 400 copies were produced. The Natural History Museum in London gave us a spine-tingling look at this rare book for Halloween.

The John Torrey Papers Project
Help transcribe the correspondence of John Torrey, one of America's most important taxonomic botanists of the 19th century!

The New York Botanical Garden is working to digitize and crowdsource the transcription of Torrey's papers. These transcriptions in turn allow these historically significant materials to be full text search-able in BHL. To date, more than 7,000 pages have been transcribed and more than 6,000 transcribed pages are available in BHL. But there's still more to do!

Dr. B. Ricardo Brown
Inspiring Discovery through Free Access to Biodiversity Knowledge.
BHL makes it easier than ever for you to access the information you need to study and explore life on Earth…for free, anytime, anywhere.
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