The Biodiversity Heritage Library : advancing metadata practices in a collaborative digital library
Pilsk, Suzanne C.
Person, Matthew A.
deVeer, Joseph M.
Furfey, John F.
Kalfatovic, Martin R.
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KeywordBiodiversity Heritage Library; Taxonomic literature; Digital libraries; Digitization projects; Digitization workflow; Mass-scanning projects; Collaboration; Natural history libraries
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is an open access digital library of taxonomic literature, forming a single point of access to this collection for use by a worldwide audience of professional taxonomists, as well as “citizen scientists.” A successful mass-scanning digitization program, one that creates functional and findable digital objects, requires thoughtful metadata work flow that parallels the work flow of the physical items from shelf to scanner. This article examines the needs of users of taxonomic literature, specifically in relation to the transformation of traditional library material to digital form. It details the issues that arise in determining scanning priorities, avoiding duplication of scanning across the founding 12 natural history and botanical garden library collections, and the problems related to the complexity of serials, monographs, and series. Highlighted are the tools, procedures, and methodology for addressing the details of a mass-scanning operation. Specifically, keeping a steady flow of material, creation of page level metadata, and building services on top of data and metadata that meet the needs of the targeted communities. The replication of the BHL model across a number of related projects in China, Brazil, and Australia are documented as evidence of the success of the BHL mass-scanning project plan.
Author Posting. © Taylor & Francis, 2010. This article is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Library Metadata 10 (2010): 136-155, doi:10.1080/19386389.2010.506400.
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