Can I contribute content to the BHL collection?

Thank you for considering the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Incorporating content from outside our consortium partnership is tricky, but we would be glad to review your content for inclusion. Please keep in mind that the BHL is a voluntarily staffed consortium program that coordinates among its partners to incorporate content as time and resources allow.

For Publishers, we need the following:

  • Metadata:
    • BHL aggregates bibliographic information from the existing library catalogs of our consortium partnership, or WorldCat ( Please verify that your content is cataloged.
  • Resources:
    • We will then work within our consortium to find at least one BHL partner who can digitize or upload the materials on your behalf.

For Individuals

BHL is a digitization program rather than publishing organization. We cannot accept contributions to our digital library directly from individuals. If you are the sole copyright holder of a publication that is held by one of our consortium library partners we can work with you to obtain permission to include the work in our collection. We will then 1) digitize the content from a physical copy or 2) upload an existing electronic copy.

For Institutions or Organizations

The Biodiversity Heritage Library accepts content into our collection from our consortium partners. In addition, we are able to harvest selected biodiversity relevant content held within the Internet Archive’s “texts” collection.  At this time, BHL is not accepting applications for new consortium partners. We will continue to evaluate our capacity to expand our partnerships into the future and provide updates as appropriate. Please stay tuned.


Please Note

Depending on the extent and condition of materials to be incorporated, as well as existing priorities, we will process the content for inclusion at our earliest convenience.

Content is incorporated in one of two methods: 1) through digitization of the physical copies held within our BHL partner library collections or 2) uploaded from electronic-born materials, typically in PDF format. It is not common that we request materials directly from publishers but should we find we are missing any issues we will be in contact to request donations, if at all possible.

Please note that it may take considerable time to process the complete set of image files and metadata into our digital library. For more information on how we build and maintain our collection, please refer to our collection development policy.

Tags: digitize, digitization, upload, collection development, get involved, licensing, copyright, permissions, contribute