First look: the BHL-Europe portal

The Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe aims to make early published biodiversity literature accessible to anyone who’s interested. One of the most important access points to this content will be the BHL-Europe portal, which will be available in no less than 12 languages! The portal’s development now nears its end – and it’s high time we take a look at the homepage’s design and functionality.

The BHL-Europe portal front page
The BHL-Europe portal front page

Simple search
The simple search function lets you search for the most frequent metadata: title, author, year (date of publication) and scientific name. Obviously, you need to enter at least one of those to perform a search. Several web services are integrated in the simple search: these include autocomplete search, fuzzy search and taxon finder for a scientific query.

In addition to this simple search, an advanced search option will also be available. More info on this function in the next development update!

Content highlights
One of the coolest features of the homepage is the rotating carousel. This carousel demonstrates some content highlights which are randomly generated from the content highlight archive whenever you visit the page.

Clicking on one of the books in the carousel will lead you to its bibliographic page (see next update). From there, you can simply read the book or download it in various formats. A pretty nifty way to uncover some hidden treasures in the BHL, don’t you think?

Help and tutorial
The rotating hint bar shows the user some useful information on the portal and gives him hints on how to effectively use its functionalities. A link to the BHL-Europe tutorial is also prominently displayed.

Social media bar
Finally, there’s the social media bar, which displays the last 3 posts on the BHL-E blog, Twitter and Facebook. This way, visitors directly see what we’ve been up to – and can easily click through to subscribe, like or follow. You can also subscribe to the BHL-Europe RSS-feed to keep up to date.
That’s it for our first look at the portal. Our next update will feature much more info (including on the advanced search option), there’s an interview with one of our developers coming up… stay tuned!

Authors: Jiří Frank and Nicolas Van Audenhove