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What is BLE?

The Biodiversity Library Exhibition (BLE) is a virtual exhibition focused on disseminating natural history content (literature, illustrations and images) and knowledge to the broader public via curated collections centred around a variety of themes. BLE also creates interconnections between portals/archives which provide content under public domain or variable CC licenses.

What is BHL-Europe?

The Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe (BHL-Europe) european projecet funded by the European Commission under the eContentplus programme, as part of thei2010 policy. The libraries of the European natural history museums and botanical gardens collectively hold the majority of the world’s published knowledge on the discovery and subsequent description of biological diversity. However, digital access to this knowledge is difficult. The objective of the BHL-Europe project is to make available Europe’s biodiversity information to everyone by improving the interoperability of European biodiversity digital libraries. Furthermore, the project will provide a multilingual access point for biodiversity content through the BHL-Europe web portal with specific biological functionalities for search and retrieval and through the EUROPEANA portal. The literature illustrations shown on this web site show some examples of the rich biodiversity material that we would like to make accessible to the world.

What is BHL-Central?

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access principles. Since its founding in 2005, and in partnership with the Internet Archive and through local digitization efforts, the BHL has digitized millions of pages of taxonomic literature, representing tens of thousands of titles and over 100,000 volumes. Learn more.

What is OpenUp!

Opening Up the Natural History Heritage for Europeana. Countless natural history treasures are deposited in museums across the world, many hidden away beyond easy access. The OpenUp! project ( creates a free access to these resources, offering over one million items belonging to the world’s biodiversity heritage. The objects made available through OpenUp! consist of high quality images, videos and sounds, as well as natural history artworks and specimens, and also include many items previously inaccessible to visitors. Information provided through OpenUp! is checked by scientists and made freely available through the Europeana portal at

What is Europeana?

The Europeana ( is the European project with an online portal that enables people to explore the digital resources of Europe's museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections. It is a single access point to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitized throughout Europe and receives its funding primarily from the European Commission. As of today, Europeana provides quick and easy access to over 23 million objects from more than 2200 institutions from 33 countries.

What is National Museum?

The National Museum is the largest museum in the Czech Republic. As the central state museum with collecting, scientific, educational and methodological functions it seeks to enhance the sense of national identity and awareness of being part of the whole framework of European and world community and culture. It is a polythematic institution, which comprises a large number of scientific disciplines and areas of collecting ranging from natural sciences to specialised fields of social sciences.

What is Encyclopedia of Life (EOL)?

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) began in 2007 with the bold idea to provide “a webpage for every species." EOL brings together trusted information from resources across the world such as museums, learned societies, expert scientists, and others into one massive database and a single, easy-to-use online portal at . While the idea to create an online species database had existed prior to 2007, Dr. Edward O. Wilson's 2007 TED Prize speech was the catalyst for the EOL you see today.  The site went live in February 2008 to international media attention. The initative was started with generous seed funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Alfred P. Sloan Foundations. The five original EOL cornerstone institutions include the Field Museum, Harvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory, Missouri Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Institution. Today, the Encyclopedia of Life is expanding to become a global community of collaborators and contributors serving the general public, enthusiastic amateurs, educators, students and professional scientists from around the world.