BHL-Europe Meeting in Helsinki, Finland

From 8 to 10 February 2012, the BHL-Europe team came together in the winter wonderland of Helsinki, Finland to hold a so-called portal & ingest review meeting. We were kindly welcomed by Tiina Onttonen, Sini Kärki and Kimmo Koskinen of the Viikki Campus of the University of Helsinki. They arranged for us to meet and discuss BHL-Europe issues at the Botanic Garden in Kaisaniemi.

One of the meeting places was the UniCafe Viola
One of the meeting places was the UniCafe Viola

One of the most important topics was of course the portal review. A demo of the current portal status was shown, and the developed portal features were reviewed in group. With the end of the project in sight, it’s of course vital that we get all bugs out, and deliver a grade A product. Things fortunately are looking bright, and we seem to be finishing everything in style! Other topics that were discussed were the (pre-)ingest of all content, the lessons learned during the project and the dissemination activities for the official launch.

We also had a few interesting visitors. On 8 February, we met Harri Holopainen, Managing Director of Microtask, to talk about potential collaboration activities. Starting point for this meeting was Digitalkoot, a joint project run by the National Library of Finland and Microtask that makes libraries’ archives searchable on the internet. And on 9 February, Evgeniy Meyke presented the biodiversity information platform EarthCape. More info is found on Evgeniy’s blog.

The BHL-Europe team
The BHL-Europe team

But since all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, we also found ourselves having some off time during our Finland stay. Many of us chose to explore the city, hit one of the many bars or go shopping. At night, the entire BHL-Europe team went out for dinner and drinks. On the last day, the bravest among us went for a Finnish sauna and – why not? – ice swimming! More details on that adventure are found on the blog of our American colleague Chris Freeland of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

All in all, the meeting was a success. Thanks again to Tiina, Sini and Kimmo for hosting us!