Inspiring discovery through free access to biodiversity knowledge.

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

Home | Project History | Project Team | Workflow and Cataloging Resources
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We are determined to share our workflows and cataloging resources in hopes that other institutions may benefit from what we have learned over the course of the project. Here we offer links to documentation for others to review before working with their own field note collections. These documents are designed to offer the reader information about the methods and workflows Field Book Project has developed since it began at Smithsonian Institution in 2011, as well as how FBP contributes content to Biodiversity Heritage Library through Macaw (BHL’s Metadata Collection and Workflow System). Please keep in mind, many of the documents are still in draft. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Adriana Marroquin, project manager at marroquina(at)

Field Book Project -- BHL Workflow

This material is particularly geared to institutions who may want to contribute to BHL but are not planning to create MARC records.

Document summary
Field Book Project FAQ
Overview of Field Book Project and its method of contributing to BHL
Scanning FAQ
Overview of practices SIA developed for digitizing field books for BHL
Conservation FAQ
Discusses basic handling procedures for archival materials
Example of FBP MARC record designed for BHL
Demonstrates how description elements selected and used by FBP display.
FBP BHL metadata mapping
Shows sources and crosswalk of all the description elements that are uploaded to BHL.
Macaw CSV template
Includes a guide, template, template with data, and metadata outline.
Digitization selection criteria
Selection criteria developed by Smithsonian staff for Field Book Project materials

Cataloging Manuals

Below are the manuals used by Field Book Project catalogers and links to references developed during the cataloging process.


Helpful BHL Documentation

We also recommend the following documents which offer further direction when working with BHL.
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