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 .

  
Have general questions or notice a problem? Please let us know! Use our contact form http://biodiversitylibrary.org/contact.

Need help downloading something from BHL? See our Download Help page.

Basic Search

Search results are based on matches with citation metadata (e.g., title, author, subject) as well as full text. Note that full text matches rely on automatically generated Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which is of variable quality for each scanned book. To learn more about how full text search works in BHL, visit our FAQ.

  • Enter keywords in a string:
    • Example: Darwin origin species
  • For an exact search, enter a phrase in quotes:
    • Example: "origin of species"
  • Use quotes when searching for a DOI
    • Example: "10.5962/bhl.title.98662"
  • Truncate to search across multiple possible term variants or spellings
    • Example: Linn*
  • Capitalize Boolean operators
    • AND: Search terms combined; Results include any items that contain both terms in the metadata or full text
      Example: barred AND owl
    • OR: Results include any items that include either term in the metadata or full text
      Example: Linne OR Linnaeus
    • NOT: Results exclude any items that contain the term following the operator 'NOT'
      Example: owl NOT barred
  • For more complex searches that combine Boolean operators, enter keywords in parentheses:
    • Example: (origin OR descent) AND Darwin


Reviewing Search Results

Each search result displays item information including some basic metadata (e.g., Title, Volume, Publication, etc.). Expand Details to view your search terms in context.
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To help refine your search, BHL offers Did You Mean Terms presented above the search results. These can be used to help identify potential variant spellings of your search term or other terms of similar spelling.
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Filter Search Results

BHL now offers the ability to filter your results using facets on the left-hand side. Refine your search by Type, Material, Author, Publication Date, Subject, and Language. By default, each facet will display up to 10 values for filtering. When there are more than 10 available, selecting more... will expand the list to up to 30.

Results automatically update upon selection of a facet value. For best results, select one at a time, allowing the results set to update, before selecting an additional facet value if you wish to further limit your results.
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Each facet value displays the number of matches found in parentheses. Some facets are organized by the number of matches while others may be chronological or alphabetical, as outlined below.

Filter by Type
Options sort alphabetically

Filter by Material
Options sort alphabetically

Filter by Author
Options sort by relevance (i.e., names with the most matches listed first)

Filter by Publication Date
Options sort chronologically

Filter by Subject
Options sort by relevance (i.e., names with the most matches listed first)

Filter by Language
Options sort by relevance (i.e., names with the most matches listed first)



Advanced Search

BHL's Advanced Search offers a number of options for restricting your search:
  • Publications

Under Publications, you will find a number of fields that you can search at once:
    • Title
    • Author Last Name
    • Volume
    • Year
    • Subject
    • Language
    • Collection

  • Authors

Limit your search for an author's last name to BHL's table of author names.

  • Subjects

Search within the subject keyword database to pull up all subjects related to your search term.

  • Scientific Names

Biodiversity Heritage Library uses Global Names Architecture's Global Names Recognition and Discovery (GNRD), a taxonomic name recognition algorithm, to search through the full text and extract the scientific names. Searching for a name will return a list of all the individual pages where that name occurs.

IMPORTANT: the full text provided by IA/BHL is uncorrected text derived automatically through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. As it is automatically generated and uncorrected, it may contain errors. Full text search is a powerful research tool, but should not be considered exhaustive.



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Search Inside This Book


To search inside a book in BHL, navigate to the top right corner of the book viewer, select the Search Inside tab and enter your search terms.

In that same panel, results will display the pages where your search terms are found, along with snippets of the surrounding text. Navigate to any of those pages by clicking on the hyperlinked page number.
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2 alternative "search inside" methods for searching within each individual book from outside of the book viewer.

1) Search using the Internet Archive's interface
  1. From the book viewer, go to the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select the "Download Contents" drop-down menu, choose "View at Internet Archive"
  3. You are now viewing the item on the Internet Archive's website.
  4. Select the magnifying glass icon to the right of the book. Note: Do not use the top right search bar - this searches the entire Internet Archive Corpus.

2) Download and search the full PDF
  1. From the book viewer, go to the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select the "Download Contents" drop-down menu, choose "Download Book"
  3. Select PDF to download the entire book/volume as a PDF with the full text included as a layer.
  4. To search, use your PDF viewer's search tool (often a magnifying glass icon), or Ctrl+F (Command+F on a Mac)

IMPORTANT: the full text provided by IA/BHL is uncorrected text derived automatically through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. As it is automatically generated and uncorrected, it may contain errors. Full text search is a powerful research tool, but should not be considered exhaustive. To learn more about how full text works in BHL, visit our Full Text FAQ.


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Browsing

Browse the BHL's collection by Title, Author, Date, Collection, or Contributor.
Collections are lists of titles curated around a particular topic or theme.
Contributors are institutions that have contributed materials to BHL.

To browse more effectively, we recommend using your browser's Find features (Generally Ctrl+F for PCs and Command+F for Macs). This will allow you to search within the 'results' of these browse features.

Selecting browse by Title will provide an alphabetical list of all titles in the BHL collection.
  • Ignores leading English articles such as The, A, An, etc.
  • Does not ignore non-English leading articles such as La, Die, etc.

Author browse allows you review an alphabetized list of all creators in the BHL corpus - choose the starting letter of the Last Name, then scroll or search within the results using your browser's Find feature.

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Creating a Scientific Name Bibliography by URL

To easily link into a list of all pages containing a given scientific name, use the following URL:

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/name/Scientific_name

Where Scientific_name is any uninomial, binomial, or trinomial. Replace spaces with the underscore ( _ )character.
Examples:

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Using DOIs and Stable URLs

DOIs
To use DOIs (short for Digital Object Identifiers) you can look for the DOI as part of a book’s bibliographic information. Not all books have DOIs in the BHL collection. To date we have assigned DOIs to books, but only to a small selection of journals. We are working on assigning DOIs to articles for the future. When citing a work using its DOI you are referring to a permanent fixed reference that can survive beyond the life of its URL for example. To learn more about DOIs, please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_object_identifier.
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Stable URLs
Please see our information about using stable URLs here

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Tips for Finding Images

Hidden within the pages of BHL books and journals are millions of visual resources including drawings, paintings, diagrams, maps, charts, tables, and photographs. They range in size from small, black and white line drawings interspersed within text to full page plate color images.

Image searching within BHL is limited at this time. Searching can only be done at the item (i.e., book or volume) level. Once you've identified an item of interest, you can open it in the book viewer and use the thumbnail view to quickly browse for images.

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BHL also makes many of the images from available in Flickr. Visit BHL's Flickr Photostream at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary.

Use the "search photostream" magnifying glass icon to restrict your search within only BHL's image collection in flickr

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Known Item Searches using Google

If you know the title of the item you are looking for and none of the other approaches to searching the BHL corpus has worked for you, try doing a site-specific Google search of BHL. To do this:
  1. go to www.google.com
  2. in the search box, enter your search terms
  3. after your search terms, add site:biodiversitylibrary.org
  4. press enter!

This makes it possible to use Google's search algorithm on BHL's website (searches book metadata).

Example search:
Enter the following string into Google:
resultats campagnes scientifiques accomplies site:biodiversitylibrary.org

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Item Not in BHL?

Not finding what you're looking for? Consider submitting a Scanning Request, and help us to grow BHL's digital collections.
For more information, see our Guidelines for Submitting Scanning Requests

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