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 .

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This page describes the process of downloading the highest resolution JPEG2000 images for an entire book or volume. If you would like to download a single high resolution JPEG or JP2 file, please see our Download Help page.

JPEG2000 (JP2) Defined

The Biodiversity Heritage Library uses JPEG2000 (JP2) image files for most of its page images. Simply put, JP2 files are the next generation file format of the standard JPEG (e.g. filename.jpg). Because they can be compressed to a smaller size with less image degradation, they offer higher resolution with greater longevity.

Unfortunately, many standard image viewing software programs do not yet support the JP2 file format. You need to download and install free software that allows you to view and manipulate JP2 files.

Recommended JP2 Viewers

You must download and install software that allows you to view the JP2 file format on your computer. Select and download one of the following FREE software options:
  • IrfanView - A freeware image viewer with limited image editing capabilities.
  • XnView - Free software to view and convert graphic files, supports over 400 graphic file formats, simple to install and use.

If you have access to Adobe Photoshop it also offers support for JP2 files.

How To Download high-resolution images

Downloads ALL page images from a book or volume

1) From the BHL "bookviewer" click on the "Download Contents" drop down menu. Select "Download Book."

2) Select "Download JPEG 2000"
  • Allow time for the request to process. Depending on the length of the book, the download may take several minutes. Please be patient.
  • The downloaded file will be a ZIP file (e.g., which acts like a folder containing each image of every page in chronological order.
    • Note: If your computer does not automatically unzip the files, you will need un-zipping software such as StuffIt to access the image files
    • Use your preferred un-zipping software to expand the contents of the ZIP file into its individual image files, for example:

To Be Continued...

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