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Overview of digitisation projects for historical literature

Several individual projects are advancing the digitisation of historical literature. The following overview summarises those projects that are most important from a biological viewpoint, being based on data from our internet resource guide and updated dynamically (... You will find these projects in the guide by selecting the resource type "Access on historical literature"). On the level of single digitised works there is no comprehensive catalogue available up to now; at least, titles from the projects BioLib and Animalbase, and from Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) are recorded in our Virtual Catalogue.

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Access on historical literature
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Aboca Bibliotheca Antiqua allows you to consult online rare and precious ancient volumes containing marvelous plates depicting a wide array of the most utilized herbal medicinals. Our indexes let you list the books by Title, Author or Subject. [Information of the supplier]
Access on historical literatureResource type
This collection features approximately 4500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy selected from the Jason A. Hannah and Academy of Medicine collections in the history of medicine at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. Each illustration has been fully indexed using medical subject headings (MeSH), and techniques of illustration, artists, and engravers have been identified whenever possible. There are ninety-five individual titles represented, ... [Information of the supplier]
Picture databases; Access on historical literatureResource type
In Cooperation with the Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology, the Library of the University of Heidelberg has digitalized selected anatomical literature and lithographs from the 19th century. This includes textbooks, scripts and drawings which described the teaching and research of this period, and has provided a unique insight into the work and history of the Institute. The oldest textbooks that have been digitalized were written by Jacob Fidelis Ackermann (*1765 †1815). The public was made aware ... [Information of the supplier, modified]
Access on historical literatureResource type
Our objective is to provide free access for all scientists to the old zoological literature, particularly to those important publications where name-bearing zoological taxa were originally described. The literature is digitized in image format by the SUB Göttingen (our university library). In a first 2-year period (2003-2005) financed by the DFG we have digitized nearly all taxonomically relevant zoological literature from the beginnings until 1770 (about 400 works). Only some 5 % of the literature ... [Information of the supplier, modified]
Literature databases; Access on historical literatureResource type
Whether in whole volume allegorical bestiaries, a bestiary chapter in Brunetto Latini's Le Livre du Trésor, satirical roles played in the Roman de Renard or Roman de Fauvel, their symbolism and terminology in the cynegetic literature of Le Livre de Chasse, or in vernacular translations of Esop's Fables, animals were prominent in medieval literature. Manuscripts for these are often rich in illustrations, a wealth of images which can be previewed through Google images of the Livre de chasse, the Bestiaire ... [Information of the supplier]
Access on historical literatureResource type
Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. In this bookshelf website you will find books concerning wild animals, sorted by Library of Congress Classification QL Zoology (1-991). [Editorial staff vifabio]
Access on historical literatureResource type
The University of Pittsburgh is fortunate to own one of the rare, complete sets of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. It is considered to be the single most valuable set of volumes in the collections of the University Library System (ULS). Indeed, only 120 complete sets are known to exist. While Audubon was creating Birds of America, he was also working on a companion publication, namely, his Ornithological Biography. Both of these sets were acquired by William M. Darlington in the mid-nineteenth ... [Information of the supplier]
Access on historical literature; Other reference worksResource type Alexander von Humboldt Informationen online. is an online information platform about worldwide activities regarding Humboldt. It is also the succeeding project of Alexander von Humboldt im Netz (, which has been collecting and commenting information and marterials about the life and achievements of Alexander von Humboldt since 1999. Humboldt Informationen online. wants to be an introduction to this great scientist and erudite, present worldwide ... [Information of the supplier]
Access on historical literature; Personal websites / biographiesResource type
The project of the Botany Digital Library, aims to construct and make available free on the web, the resources available in the Library of the Botany Department of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra. These include antique books, manuscript books and botany displays made up of handwritten correspondence, photographs, drawings etc. The aim is to start the interaction between the various resources in the various databases: the Digital Library and the On-line Herbarium. The ... [Information of the supplier]
Access on historical literatureResource type
"The library of the Botanical Garden of Naples, Italy, dates back to the beginnings of nineteenth century. (...) Digital edition and reissue of some volumes are in progress in order to make available the heritage of books of the library." (Sibilio, G. & Paino, L., 2016: Il restauro, la riedizione e la digitalizzazione di libri antichi della Biblioteca dell’Orto Botanico di Napoli. In: Delpinoa 52/53: 5-22.) [Miscellaneous as indicated]
Access on historical literatureResource type
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