BHL-Europe prototype

In May this year the hardware infrastructure for BHL-Europe was built and configured and is hosted at NHM London. NHM is currently in the process of transferring the data of BHL from the USA to Europe. A first version of the German Prototype was deployed this summer on the new BHL-Europe infrastructure at NHM. The development work for the German Prototype is finished now. This prototype, however, will only be used within the consortium over the next months.

Content analysis, Pre-Ingest and Metadata

During the last months a lot of work has been done by our partners to increase the content of BHL-Europe. Work has been done on the analysis and the preparation of the monographs and serials that are relevant for the biodiversity community. We also discussed and established a methodology to further expand the content provider network.

BHL-Europe content providers are currently testing data transfer and data quality for the Pre-Ingest into the BHL-Europe system.

Deliverables and recruitment of employees

Six BHL-Europe deliverables were submitted in April/May to the EC. Among them is the first Annual Report that is publicly available on the BHL-Europe website

The new WP2 leader of BHL-Europe Melita Birthälmer joined the project team 15 May 2010. Among the important tasks to be coordinated by her are the preparation of the best practice guide for scanning operations and the extension of the BHL-Europe content provider network.

BHL-Europe Project and Technical Management Meeting

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

The main goal of the meeting was to review the work plan and plan the next months of the project towards the first technical review of BHL-Europe in May 2010. The meeting was designed as a work group meeting with a small number of participants to work efficiently on the various deliverables. We reviewed and approved the deliverables of month 9 of the project and detailed the steps towards the deliverables of month 12 of the project.

Launch of the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) – 2010

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

During the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened for signature. One main goal of this convention is the conservation of biological diversity. In 2002, the parties to the CBD developed the goal to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. To further underpin the importance of that goal, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided to proclaim 2010 the „International Year of Biodiversity“. Germany holds the presidency of the CBD until October 2010 and thus was launching the IYB 2010.

BHL-Europe General and Workgroup Meeting

The BHL-Europe Meeting took place in the National Museum, Prague, and meetings were held in both museum buildings. This was a contractual meeting followed by an important series of workshops marking the end of the consensusbuilding phase of the project.

On Sunday 15 November, BHL development priotities where discussed in the New building of the National Museum. The full series of meetings began on Monday, 16 November, attended by 42 delegates representing most project partners. The morning session consisted of reports on each project work package and the eliverables for month 6. In the afternoon Lizzy Komen reported about developments in Europeana, and Tom Garnett and Chris Freeland gave a presentation on current BHL developments in the United States of America.

BHL-Europe at Systematics 2009 in Leiden

BHL-Europe is invited to give a Keynote lecture during the Systematics 2009 conference ( The presentation will be on Wednesday, 12 August 2009, 8:50 in the morning and is given by the Project Coordinator Henning Scholz. The lecture aims in introducing the project to the scientific community. This hopefully helps to get in touch with potential and future content providers and also to get feedback for future improvements of the BHL-Europe system.

BHL-Europe summer meeting in Leiden

Phase 1 of the BHL-Europe project is ending 31 July 2009. Therefore, the BHL-Europe consortium meets in Leiden to review recent achievements and plan for future work. Besides a more general review, the future technological developments are key for the agenda. More than two days will be spent discussing the BHL-Europe system architecture and design, the metadata harmonization procedures and the portal functionalities. The meeting location is The Naturalis Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum in Leiden.

Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe – Towards a global library of life

Managed by the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, an ambitious and innovative EU project started on 1 May 2009. The ’Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe‘ (BHL-Europe) has a total budget of €3.4 million and will last for three years. More than 60 scientists, librarians and IT specialists attended the Kick-off meeting between 10-15 May 2009 at the Museum für Naturkunde. Altogether, 28 institutions from 14 countries are working towards a global library of life.

An important impediment for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of the United Nations is the lack of access to core information on animals and plants. This information is concentrated in the scientific books and journals of the past centuries. At the moment, the only way to access to this knowledge is to visit a number of different libraries. This complicates much of the fundamental research in biological science.