Biodiversity Heritage Library

Notes from William Brewster: The Evolving Field of Zoology

This post is also published on the Biodiversity Heritage Library blog.

As a part of the Field Notes Project, the Ernst Mayr Library is digitizing the journals, correspondences and photographs of William Brewster (1851-1919), a self-trained ornithologist and specimen curator at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the first president of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and a co-founder and president of the American Ornithologists’ Union. 

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My project at the Missouri Botanical Garden focuses on access to illustrations in BHL’s corpus of biodiversity literature. I’ve dipped my toes into the related areas of interface design for digital special collections exhibitions, digital humanities, metadata, social media outreach, and rare books in the course of my studies and work. The possibility for engagement and exploration of cultural heritage in the digital environment is infinitely exhilarating. I am fortunate to be able to dive into these topics while making concrete progress on a project that will serve… Read more about HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE ILLUSTRATIONS?



In considering how to consolidate my thoughts from Code4Lib 2017, I spent some time reviewing the pre-conference workshops and the interesting and directly relevant talks from last week. Ultimately, as I am sure many other attendees discovered, I found that the framework of the conference and a lot of our work as library technologists was best examined by Christina Harlow in her keynote “Resistance is Fertile.”1 There were many (many) other presentations and… Read more about REFLECTING ON OPEN ACCESS AND CODE4LIB 2017




BHL NDSR Mentors, Residents, and Secretariat staff breaking the ice at the start of the “Bootcamp.”

About the “BHL Bootcamp”

Ariadne Rehbein

From February 1-3, the BHL NDSR Mentors and Residents converged on the Smithsonian Libraries for “BHL Bootcamp.” In addition to the technology, administration, and mission of BHL, Residents were introduced to the culture of BHL, NDSR, and leading research institutions first-hand. Immersion workshops are a time-… Read more about "BHL BOOTCAMP"

Transcription Tools: a survey by Katie Mika, NDSR Resident

Field notebooks and diaries have historically been retained by natural history institutions as reference files for museum specimen and associated collecting events. More recently, however, researchers have begun to uncover vast historical data sets as part of their scholarship in scientific taxonomy, species distribution and occurrences, climate change studies, and history of science. Field notebooks contain significant information related to scientific discovery and are rich sources for data that describes biodiversity across space and time. They enhance our understanding of field… Read more about Transcription Tools: a survey by Katie Mika, NDSR Resident

Hello from the NDSR Residents!

Over the next 11 months we will be collaborating as National Digital Stewardship Residents on several projects to develop recommendations and best practices for enhancing tools, curation, and content stewardship for the Biodiversity Heritage Library. As recent graduates of Master’s programs in Library and Information Science, we are excited to contribute to the field of digital stewardship through our work on the Biodiversity Heritage Library and develop leadership skills through the Residency model.
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Notes from William Brewster: "The Development of an Ornithologist"

This post is part of a series on the collection of ornithologist William Brewster (1851-1919) at the Ernst Mayr Library, written by Elizabeth Meyer, library project assistant.

In 1890, Wiliam Brewster (age 39) wrote a letter of encouragement to a younger ornithologist, Frank Michler Chapman. Both ornithologists suffered from chronic pain, and Brewster suspected that Chapman was afraid of losing enthusiasm for his work. Brewster’s gesture opened up a closer personal friendship with Chapman, who was then 26 and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New… Read more about Notes from William Brewster: "The Development of an Ornithologist"