Biodiversity Heritage Library



Inspiring discovery through free access to biodiversity knowledge.

Mission (from Bylaws, Appendix I)

The Biodiversity Heritage Library improves research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.  

Value Statements


BHL must be trustworthy, reliable and accountable to its users, sponsors, members and partners. We operate with transparency and adhere to the highest ethical standards to ensure this trust and to ensure access to BHL digital content now and into the future.


The BHL serves the world of biodiversity researchers and those interested in biodiversity through aggregation and stewardship of the digital files and through improving discoverability and user interfaces and increasing opportunities for research and interpretation.


By engaging with user communities across the globe the BHL will support discovery

and innovative uses of open access biodiversity information to facilitate dialogue about scientific issues within social and cultural contexts.


International Workings

Working across institutional and political boundaries, the BHL engages with partners across the globe in building content, repatriating literature, supporting partners, innovative approaches to long- term capacity building and sustainability of this global resource, harmonising content and rights issues.



The BHL stimulates curiosity about nature and culture, inspiring people to learn, explore, and better understand their role and impact in this world.


The BHL aspires to leadership in the realms of digital libraries, collaboration, and open access for biodiversity literature.

Goal 1: Relevant Content

Build and maintain the BHL as the largest reliable, reputable and responsive repository of biodiversity literature and other original materials


Develop a collection of relevant publications by ...

Add original material and archival sources by ...

Explore and understand the scope of biodiversity literature by …

Goal 2: Tools and Services
Develop services and tools which facilitate discovery and improve research efficiency of BHL content

Plan for BHL’s responsive design (i.e., compatibility for mobile devices) for improved global awareness and accessibility

Ensure continued clear priorities and leadership for technical infrastructure and direction by...

Identify resources needed to achieve the technical plan.

Goal 3: User Engagement

Increase global awareness about the BHL and biodiversity issues through outreach, learning and education, branding, and collaboration with existing and new user communities

Increase Awareness of the BHL Program, Services, Partners and Impact by...

Grow the global BHL audience by...

Increase engagements with and usage of BHL content by...

Goal 4: Membership and Partnerships

Grow BHL consortia membership and partnerships while fostering cross-institutional collaboration that continues to serve as a model for digital library development

Increase consortia institutional membership of BHL by ...

Grow relations with other biodiversity projects by ...

Goal 5: Mission Enabling

Ensure our success through increased financial strength, effective administrative support, and organizational excellence

Establish the financial sustainability and security of the BHL by …

Maintain effective administrative support and organizational excellence by ...

Maintain role of center for excellence in digital libraries by…

                                Updated April 2018