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Weekly News Digest

November 29, 2010 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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The Biodiversity Heritage Library Adds Records to WorldCat

The Biodiversity Heritage Library, the world’s largest repository of full-text digitized legacy biodiversity literature, has added more than 14,000 records of digitized materials brought together from 12 prestigious institutions to WorldCat.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions organized to digitize, serve, and preserve the legacy literature of biodiversity. BHL is the scanning and digitization component of the Encyclopedia of Life (, a global effort to assemble information on all living species known to science into one ever-expanding, trusted, web-based resource.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library will continue to send records to OCLC representing new titles scanned and added to their collection. The records link directly to the BHL website to access the full text.

OCLC continues to add records to WorldCat describing digitized and ebook collections of interest to the membership through partnerships with libraries, aggregators, publishers, and mass digitization projects globally. There are currently more than 8 million records describing ebooks and digitized books in WorldCat.

Institutions participating in the Biodiversity Heritage Library include:

  • Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • American Museum of Natural History (New York, N.Y.)
  • California Academy of Sciences (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • The Field Museum (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Harvard University Botany Libraries (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Harvard University, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge, Mass.)
  • Marine Biological Laboratory/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, Mass.)
  • Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • Natural History Museum (London, U.K.)
  • The New York Botanical Garden (New York, N.Y.)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Richmond, U.K.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (Washington, D.C.)

Prior to digitization, the resources housed within each BHL institution existed in isolation, available only to those with physical access to the collections. These collections are of exceptional value because the domain of systematic biology depends—more than any other science—upon historic literature. Consequently, the relative isolation of these collections presented an antiquated obstacle to further biodiversity investigation. This problem is particularly acute for the developing countries that are home to the majority of the world’s biodiversity.

Source: OCLC

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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