I found something harmful in BHL. How does BHL address harmful content?

If you are interested in bringing this to our attention, please use our feedback form.

BHL can review examples of harmful content to improve our understanding of BHL’s collection and support research on the origins, extent, and impact of harmful biases in the natural sciences. BHL is committed to rethinking the development and curation of its collection of natural science materials. Where we have the opportunity to add or connect our collection materials to diverse, inclusive perspectives and voices, we will.

BHL will continue to support use of the collection, including research into biases and errors represented in the corpus, as well as lack of representation and knowledge loss resulting from historical biases and actions. As a cooperative global consortium library program, we hold a variety of personal and professional perspectives on our mission to, “improve research methodology by collaboratively making biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.” BHL has decided not to identify or flag harmful language or images available in its collection. Removing or obscuring harmful content fragments the historical record and hides evidence of injustice critical to addressing harmful biases that are still held today.


  1. UNESCO. (n.d.). Five Laws of MIL | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved December 13, 2021, from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/media-development/media-literacy/five-laws-of-mil/
  2. United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2021, from https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/hate-speech-strategy.shtml
  3. Institutions (IFLA), I. F. of L. A. and. (2021). Objectionable Third-Party Content: Library Responses. https://repository.ifla.org/handle/123456789/1754

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