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This policy addresses BHL's ability to achieve

Goal 1: (Relevant Content) Build and maintain the BHL as the largest reliable, reputable, and responsive repository of biodiversity literature and archival materials.

It builds upon the public policy to include more detailed information about the selection, removal and management of the BHL collection for internal purposes, especially with regard to sharing BHL collection management practices with new partners.

Intended Audience

BHL consortium Members and Affiliates as well as partner institutions. For a complete list of consortium participants, see


This is a working document representing BHL collection management best practices and guidelines as written by the BHL Collections Committee.

 Collection Definition

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) collection is the world's most comprehensive digital collection of legacy biodiversity literature. All materials in the BHL are free to access, download, reuse, and repurpose under the principles of open access and open data. In cases where the BHL provides access to in-copyright content, these materials are made available with permission under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. By promoting an open digital collection of biodiversity literature, the BHL is:

 Google Content

The BHL will not ingest content scanned as part of Google Books. In many cases Google Books scan quality does not meet our minimum scanning requirements (for more information about the BHL’s minimum scanning requirements, please see the BHL Digitization Specifications document). In addition, there are legal concerns regarding the incorporation of Google Books content in the BHL. BHL member institutions that have scanned with Google Books may be able to provide additional information.

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