Biodiversity Heritage Library

For patrons interested in various biology topics, the Biodiversity Heritage Library is a great open source site with this stated goal:

The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.

BHL also serves as the foundational literature component of the Encyclopedia of Life.

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Biodiversity is defined by Merriam Webster as “biological diversity in an environment as indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals“. So this topic is broad and vast, covering animal & plant biology, classification, extinct and surviving species, evolutionary history and many others.

Slate.com did an article on the site’s flickr.com image page: “2 Million Beautiful Images of Biodiversity Are Now Available for Free“.

So here’s how it works: I searched “platypus”:

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and it took me here:

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I chose to look at an article, as opposed to a book, book review or other resource, and after choosing the “article” tab and “view article” this is what came up:

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As you can see, this is an actual article from an actual academic journal that someone may find useful for their research. This search is good for searching across books and journals, scientific names, authors and subjects. You may also browse by title, author, date, collection and contributor.

They have many of the other features standard to most pages these days, such as their social media links, a blog, a link to other media and links to their visual resources.

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Biodiversity Heritage Library

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/

From the site: “The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” BHL content may be freely viewed through the online reader or downloaded in part or as a complete work in PDF, OCR text, or JPG2000 file formats. ” Browsing is available by Title, Author, Subject, and Year. Searching can be done by Author, Subject, Scientific Name, and Book/Journal Title. The record or the full book can be viewed. More than 53,000 titles and 102,000 volumes can be browsed or searched, including over 1 million species. Rare scientific texts are also shown.

Audubon’s Birds of America

http://digital.library.pitt.edu/a/audubon/

The Digital Research Library within the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh has digitized Audubon’s Birds of America. The complete double elephant folio, along with his Ornithological Biography, has been included. Browsing by plate name or by thumbnails is shown, and a search box is provided.

Freesound

http://www.freesound.org/

Freesound is a database of 120,000 sounds, not songs. The sounds can include anything from a pipe banging against the wall to water dripping. Many of the sounds have been used in movies and in ccMixter remixes. Keywords and “sounds-like” type of browsing  are available for searching. From the site, “Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds.”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

http://www.almanac.com/

Ever wondered what the weather was like the day you were born or when you should plant those heirloom tomatoes?  The answers to these and many more interesting facts can be found at www.almanac.com.  From this website you can find information about weather, gardening, astrology, and cookery. 

ARKive: Images of Life on Earth

www.arkive.org

This is a wonderful collection of thousands of images and video clips of threatened and endangered animals from around the world.  Besides colorful photos, for most animals video clips are also available.  Users can also learn more about each animal: Facts & Status, Description, Range & Habitat, Biology, Threats & Conservation, and more.