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Academy Library accepted to prestigious Biodiversity Heritage Library

PHILADELPHIAThe Academy of Natural Sciences announced today that its Ewell Sale Stewart Library has been accepted as a member of the prestigious Biodiversity Heritage Library.

The BHL is a group of 12 natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries and research institutions worldwide dedicated to digitizing the published literature on biodiversity in order to preserve it and to make it more widely available. Scanning and cataloguing the materials preserves them in an alternate, more durable form so they can be readily available to researchers, educators and the general public, as well as future generations. So far, more than 35,500 volumes and 14 million pages of scientific information on biodiversity have been scanned. The project features works published worldwide since 1480 in more than 30 languages.

"The Academy library is thrilled to become a contributing member to the project," said Danianne Mizzy, director of the Ewell Sale Stewart Library. "By adding to the BHL collection, the digital versions of our treasured books and journals will become freely available to a global audience of scholars, researchers and naturalists, greatly extending their impact."

The library was established in 1812 at the founding meeting of the Academy, with five books and two maps. The Academy is the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the Americas. Today the library collection is world renowned and unique in the Western Hemisphere for its holdings of rare and historic printed books in every discipline of natural science. The collection contains more than 200,000 volumes and more than 250,000 manuscripts, including journals, maps, photographs, correspondences and field notes from noted explorers and scientists around the world, dating from the 1500s. The Academy began scanning and digitizing its collection in 1993.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library was launched in 2007 as a component of the Encyclopedia of Life, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Arthur P. Sloan Foundation. EOL is an online encyclopedia devoted to documenting all of the species known to science.


Contact: Carolyn Belardo
The Academy of Natural Sciences

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