SANBI and BHL-Africa: preserving biodiversity literature

Fourie, Anne-Lise
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Abstract The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that digitise and make accessible the biodiversity literature held in collections and also literature available open access. Published literature on biological diversity has limited global distribution; much of it is available in only a few select libraries, yet literature about the biota existing in developing countries is often not available within their own borders. Access to published literature is one of the chief obstacles to research. The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community to ensure that biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access. BHL members digitise public domain books and journals and obtain permission from publishers for materials still under copyright. In partnership with Internet Archive, taxonomic communities and local digitisation efforts, BHL has digitised almost 40 million pages of scientific literature. BHL provides a range of services and APIs which allow users to harvest data files, species information and reuse content for research purposes. Since 2009, BHL has expanded and gBHL (global biodiversity heritage library) is a network of autonomous members operating programs and projects to make biodiversity literature. They are: BHL-Europe Chinese Academy of Sciences Atlas of Living Australia Brazil (through SciELO) Bibliotheca Alexandrina Coming soon is BHL Africa BHL Africa is an inclusive network of African libraries and institutions in Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. BHL Africa’s guiding principles and values are: Open Access, Collaboration and Transparency. SANBI is legally mandated to manage biodiversity information. The Biodiversity Information Management Directorate (BIM) is responsible for the effective management of information and such information can be accessed through the Biodiversity Advisor As the leading biodiversity institute in Africa, SANBI Libraries has been given the task to officially launch BHL Africa in April 2013.
Biodiversity Heritage Library.
SANBI and BHL-Africa