BHL-Europe 2009-2012

Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe
Reference Number: ECP-2008-DILI-518001

The libraries of the European natural history museums and botanical gardens collectively hold the majority of the world's published knowledge on biological diversity. The BHL-Europe (Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe) project developed a multilingual portal (, which provides unprecedented access to more than 25 million pages of biodiversity literature. The unique collections include information on animals, plants, artworks and rare works by important scientists such as Charles Darwin and Alexander von Humboldt.

BHL-Europe addressed a number of key issues for access to digital content, namely, technical interoperability, metadata standards, adaptation of Europeana and BHL data models, workflow and harvesting procedures as well as best practices for rights' clearance and IPR management of biodiversity literature.

The Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, co-ordinated the project co-funded by the Community programme eContentplus. The BHL-Europe project mobilised 28 partners from 13 EU countries.BHL-Europe adds substantial added value to Europeana and its users by making available a great amount of biodiversity literature and thus delivering the first major corpus of science material to Europeana.


• A global union catalogue of the partner libraries for content and digitisation management

• Agreement on common standards for the digitisation of biodiversity material in Europe

• Intellectual Property Rights Framework for BHL-Europe and agreements with Rights Holders

• Access to Europe's biodiversity heritage through Europeana.