Illustration: The blue-throated barbet, illustrated here in 1871. Credit: of the Biodiversity Heritage Library

Society USA19. February 2020

Browse 150,000 Wildlife Illustrations and Download Your Favorite – It’s Now Free!

Detailed illustrations can offer more information and clarity than a photograph. And now, over 150,000 botanical illustrations are available to download for free – opening doors for researchers, or anyone else, to track how our world is changing today.

The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), an open-access digital archive of work related to botany, wildlife and biodiversity, is “revolutionizing global research” by making the artwork freely accessible.

“To document Earth’s species and understand the complexities of swiftly-changing ecosystems in the midst of a major extinction crisis and widespread climate change,” writes the BHL in a statement, “researchers need something that no single library can provide – access to the world’s collective knowledge about biodiversity.”

According to Hyperallergic, the artwork ranges from animal or zoological sketches to historical diagrams and botanical studies such as herbaria, which, for example, can help researchers study how plants adjust to climate change.


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