A new scanner for digitizing Australia’s biodiversity heritage

(30 May 2017) In 2011, Australia joined the Biodiversity Heritage Library and, led by Museums Victoria, began to digitize the rare books, historic journals and archival material related to Australia’s biodiversity, and to make them openly available online.

There are now 15 Australian organizations contributing to BHL and over 300 worldwide. These include museums, herbaria, royal societies, field naturalists clubs and government organizations.

Just this week the number of volumes digitized for BHL by Australian organizations surpassed 1,000, amounting to over 200,000 pages. The great majority of this digitization work was done by the BHL Australia team at Melbourne Museum.

There have been dramatic advances in digitization technology, both in hardware and in software, in the six years since work started.  It is exciting therefore that BHL Australia has just purchased a new scanner.

To celebrate the arrival of the new scanner, the Museums Victoria (MV) library hosted an Open House on 24 May, inviting MV staff to learn more about BHL, see a display of rare books from the MV collection, and see the new scanner.

The scanner, a Zeutschel OS 16000, will increase both the quality and quantity of scanning work, and will automate much of the post processing.

Peruse the BHL Australia collection.

BHL Australia is funded by the Atlas of Living Australia.

The full, illustrated story is here.