BLE as virtual bridge between projects, content and knowledge

We are glad to inform you that the BiodiversityLibrary Exhibition (BLE) is now connected to the Europeana portal via all images on informative cards. BLE is a virtual exhibition focused on disseminating  natural history content (literature, illustrations and images) to the broader public via curated collections centered around a variety of themes. BLE is also creating interconnections between portals/archives which are providing content under public domain or variable CC licenses.

BLE was officially launched in February as a virtual exhibition for Biodiversity Heritage Library Europe and BHL US/UK. Since then, BLE has disseminated natural history literature via two thematic topics, Spices and Expeditions, using impressive illustrations, interesting information and high quality images. These exhibitions also link to the BHL-Europe and BHL-US/UK portals.. The BLE platform was developed by a team from the National Museum Prague and developers from the IT4Care company under the BHL-Europe project. Since the BHL-Europe project’s closure in April, 2012, BLE has been released as an as open source application. The Prague team is also involved in the OpenUp! project, which is providing Natural History content for the Europeana portal.  A new BLE topic, "Poisonous Nature," is under development by the OpenUp! project and will use content from BHL (illustrations) and OpenUp! (images) which are displayed on the Europeana portal. ”Poisonous Nature” offers a great opportunity for OpenUp! And Europeana to use this platform and reach expanded audiences, including those of BHL-Europe and BHL US/UK.

Development work on BLE is still continuing and additional platform improvements are being implemented. At the global BHL meeting in Berlin, June 2012, project participants decided to share BLE with all possible global BHL nodes, including Australia, China, Egypt, Brazil, US and Europe (with possible participation in sub-Saharan Africa in the future), allowing these nodes to create new, interesting thematic topics, link them to variable portals including Europeana, BHL-EuropeBHL US/UK, EOL etc., and use it as a dissemination tool. Once the platform is populated with a wider variety of thematic exhibitions, the potential to reach broader audiences will rapidly grow, particularly if disseminated via global partners. BLE will serve as a central repository, allowing content providers to reach new audiences, while simultaneously being promoted by a variety of BHL nodes.

The addition of new topics and information will also expand the potential for use in the education sector, introducing the content and knowledge in attractive ways for future generations.

In order to share BLE via other partners, such as Global BHL nodes, project organizers will coordinate an international workshop as part of the TDWG conference in Beijingin October 2012. The event is open to everyone. If you would like to know more about this workshop, please contact us via the BLE contact form.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith