Expanding Access to Biodiversity Literature (EABL)

This post was written by Patrick Randall, Community Manager for the IMLS-funded Expanding Access to Biodiversity Literatre (EABL) grant.

The EABL project began in the fall of 2015 and ends in January, 2018. This post discusses the goals of the grant, the role of the Ernst Mayr Library in meeting those goals, and the zoological titles that have been added to the collection of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) over the last two years. 


The Museum of Comparative Zoology is a founding member of BHL, and since 2006, the Ernst Mayr Library has contributed nearly 10,000 volumes (over 3.25 million pages) to the BHL collection. Being part of a well-resourced university has allowed the library to continually scan new material, either on the library's own equipment, through Widener Library's Imaging Services, or through the Internet Archive. Library staff have also been able to devote considerable time to uploading and curating this content once it's online. 

Even as the BHL consortium has grown to include more U.S. and international members and affiliates, however, there are a multitide of small organizations that do not have the resources to participate in a large-scale digitization effort like BHL. Lack of funds, personnel, and expertise are potential barriers to these organizations digitizing their valuable collections. 

This is where EABL comes in. Recognizing that many organizations would be happy to contribute their unique material to the BHL collection but need scanning funds or assistance with metadata and digitization, the New York Botanical Garden (lead institution on the grant) submitted a proposal to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for funding to work with these organizations, partnering with the MCZ and the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT). 


The following are the primary goals of EABL:

  1. Expand BHL’s role as a subject-specific content provider for life sciences
  2. Serve as an aggregator to allow small natural history collections to present their content in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) via BHL and expand the community of content providers by working with new partners
  3. Preserve and provide access to small natural history and botanical collections and publications through outreach, assistance with scanning, and software tools to format and normalize data for ingest
  4. Increase the quality of partner metadata through use of DPLA metadata best practices

There are also metrics for measuring progress toward those goals: the addition of 50 in-copyright titles and 100 new contributors to BHL. To date, EABL has secured permission for 236 in-copyright titles and added 114 new contributors. 

Contributions of the Ernst Mayr Library

Patrick Randall, Community Manager for EABL, was responsible for outreach, content selection, and due diligence. He processed the license agreements for all in-copyright content added by the project. Connie Rinaldo, Community Coordinator for EABL, also did outreach and handled the administrative aspects of MCZ's involvement in the grant. Joe deVeer managed all of the digitization done by the Ernst Mayr Library and worked on updates to BHL's data model, which resulted in the addition of a new fields like "Rights Holder," "Scanning Institution," and "Holding Institution." Betsy Meyer assisted in digitization and will take over social media outreach for the last several months of the grant.  

Titles added to BHL

Many of the titles below have not yet been digitized or uploaded; where available, links are provided.

* Contributed by the Ernst Mayr Library


Ercuarum ortus

American Arachnological Society: The Journal of Arachnology, v.1 (1973) to present
ANeT-India: Halteres, v.1 (2009) to present
Cambridge Entomological Club: Psyche, v.1-95 (1874-1988); 2009 to present*
Hisham K. El-Hennawy: Serket, v.1 (1992) to present
Lloyd Library and Museum: Erucarum ortus, alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis (1718)
Mantis Study Group: Mantis Study Group Newsletter (1996-2007)
New York Entomological Society:

Ohio Coleopterist Society: Ohio Beetles Bulletin, no.1 (2009) to present
Pacific Coast Entomological Society:

  • Memoirs of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society, v.1-5 (1954-1975)
  • Proceedings of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society, v.1-2 (1901-1930)
  • Pan-Pacific Entomologist, v.1-78 (1924-2002)

Phasmid Study Group: Phasmid Studies, no.1-17 (1992-2009)
University of Alberta, Department of Entomology: Qaestiones Entomologicae, v.1-26 (1965-1990)
Virginia Museum of Natural History:

Wisconsin Entomological Society:


Herpetofauna mexicana

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, v.1 (1996) to present
Maryland Natural History Society: Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society, v.1 (1965) to present
San Diego Zoo Global: Misc. publications of the Zoological Society of San Diego
University of California Press: A synopsis of the Amphibia of California (1925)


Bullhead, from Roosevelt Wild Life Annals, v.1, no.3 (1926)

North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences: Atlas of North American freshwater fishes (1980)
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina Biological Survey: Atlas of North American freshwater fishes: supplement (1983)


Living Volutes

Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Department of Malacology: Tryonia, no.1-28 (1979-1995)
American Malacological Society:

Amphipacifica Research Publications: Amphipacifica, v.1-3 (1994-2004)

Amphipod Newsletter Editors: Amphipod Newsletter, no.1 (1972) to present

Delaware Museum of Natural History:

Western Society of Malacologists: Occasional Papers, no.1 (1975) to present


Tasmanian Wolf

North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences: Fourth colloquium on conservation of mammals in the southeastern U.S. (2000)
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina Biological Survey: A distributional survey of North Carolina mammals (1982)
San Diego Zoo Global: Conspicuous mammals of the South Pacific (1944)


South Pacific Birds

American Birding Association: North American Birds, v.53 (1998) to present*
American Ornithological Society: Proceedings of the XIIIth International Ornithological Congress, 1963
Andrew Pollock: Binomial and trinomial index to The auk, 1884-1940, also including the Nuttall bulletin, 1876-1883, and the A.O.U. check-list of North American birds (all seven editions) (2015)
The Avicultural Society: The Avicultural Magazine, v.1 (1894) to present
Carolina Bird Club: 

Delaware Museum of Natural History: 

Florida Ornithological Society: Florida Field Naturalist, v.1 (1973) to present
Illinois Ornithological Society: Meadowlark, v.1 (1992) to present
International Ornithologists' Union: Proceedings of the International Ornithological Congress (no. 9, 1938)
Iowa Ornithologists' Union: Iowa Bird Life, v.1 (1931) to present
Kentucky Ornithological Society: The Kentucky Warbler, v.1 (1925) to present
Maryland Ornithological Society:

National Audubon Society: Portraits and Habits of Our Birds, v.1-2 (1925)
Nebraska Ornithologists' Union: Nebraska Bird Review, v.1 (1933) to present
New York State Ornithological Association: The Kingbird, v.1 (1950) to present
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences: Bird Life of North Carolina's Shining Rock Wilderness (1994)
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Biological Survey:

  • The seaside sparrow, its biology and management (1983)
  • Autumn land-bird migration on the Barrier Islands of northeastern North Carolina (1986)
  • Potential effects of oil spills on seabirds and selected other oceanic vertebrates off the North Carolina coast (1989)

Ornithological Society of New Zealand: Acta XX Congressus Internationalis Ornithologici, Christchurch, 2-9 December 1990 (1991)
Pacific Seabird Group: 

Raptor Research Foundation:

Tennessee Ornithological Society:

  • The Tennessee Warbler, 2000 to present
  • The Migrant, v.1 (1930) to present

Texas Ornithological Society:

  • Bulletin of the Texas Ornithological Society, v.1 (1967) to present
  • Occasional Publications, no.4 (2002) to present

University of Texas Libraries: Factors influencing the size, shape and physical constitution of the egg of the domestic fowl (1914)
Western Field Ornithologists: 

Wilson Ornithological Society: 

Other Natural History Titles

Black Saw-toothed Eel

Alabama Academy of Science: Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science, v.1 (1924) to present
American Association of Zoo Keepers: 

  • Animal Keepers' Forum, v.1 (1974) to present
  • AAZK Newsletter (1967)
  • AAZK Bulletin (1968, 1970-1974)
  • Ruptured Rhino (1968-1969)

Association of Southeastern Biologists: 

Biodiversity Journal: Biodiversity Journal, v.1 (2010) to present

Carnegie Institute for Science: Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication (misc.)

Carnegie Museum of Natural History:

Cleveland Museum of Natural History: Kirtlandia, no.1-58 (1967-2013)
Delaware Center for the Inland Bays:

  • Annual Reports (2006 to present)
  • Inland Bays Journal, v.1 (2014) to present
  • State of the Bays (2011 to present)
  • Three Year Strategic Plan (April 2015-April 2018) (2015)
  • Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) (1995)
  • CCMP Addendum (2012)
  • Scientific Publications & Reports (1993 to present)

Delaware Museum of Natural History: Nemouria; occasional papers of the Delaware Museum of Natural History, v.1 (1970) to present
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and the University of Mississippi: 

Illinois State Academy of Science: Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science, v.1 (1908) to present
Indiana University: Indiana University Studies, no.1-124, 1910-1942

Kentucky Society of Natural History: 

  • Kentucky Naturalist News, v.1 to present
  • Annals of Kentucky Natural History, v.1-8 (1941-1952)

KU Biodiversity Institute: A Checklist of Linneana, 1735-1835: in the University of Kansas Libraries (1964)
Museo de Historia Natural de Valparaíso: Anales del Museo de Historia Natural de Valparaíso, v.1 (1968) to present
Museum of Texas Tech University: 

  • Occasional Papers, no.1 (1972) to present
  • Special Publications, no.1 (1972) to present

Natural History Society of Maryland: 

New York State Museum: New York State Museum Bulletin, no.243-513 (1923-2010)

North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences: Endangered, threatened, and rare fauna of North Carolina. Part IV (1997)
North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina Biological Survey: Endangered, threatened, and rare fauna of North Carolina. Parts I-III (1987-1990)
Ohio Biological Survey: Ohio Biological Survey Notes, v.1 (1998) to present
San Diego Zoo Global: Bulletins of the Zoological Society of San Diego, v.1-27 (1924-1952)
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry: 

Smithsonian Institution: Echinoderm Newsletter, v.1-26 (1968-2001)
Southern California Academy of Sciences:

Southern California Association of Marine Invertebrate Taxonomists: SCAMIT Newsletter, 1982 to present
Texas Academy of Science: 

  • Transactions of the Texas Academy of Science, v.1-34 (1896-1940)
  • Proceedings and Transactions of the Texas Academy of Science, v.25-30 (1941-1946)
  • Texas Journal of Science, v.1 (1949) to present

Tulane University:

  • Occasional Papers, Tulane University Museum of Natural History, no.1 (1977) to present
  • Tulane Studies in Zoology, v.1-14 (1953-1968)
  • Tulane Studies in Zoology and Botany, v.15 (1968) to present
  • Tulane Studies in Geology, v.1-6 (1962-1968)
  • Tulane Studies in Geology and Paleontology, v.7-30 (1969-1997)

University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries: Misc. titles
University of Texas Libraries: Misc. titles
Virginia Academy of Science: Virginia Journal of Science, v.1 (1939) to present
Virginia Museum of Natural History:

  • Guidebooks
  • Jeffersoniana (misc., 1992-2011)
  • Memoirs, nos.2, 7, 8

Wildlife Conservation Society: Zoologica, v.1-58 (1907-1973)*

If you would like to suggest a title for inclusion in the BHL collection, please submit a Scanning Request using the following webform.