S2.4 Current and Future Tasks of Collecting and Information Infrastructures in Global Challenges


Elisa Herrmann1, Jane Smith2, Gildas Illien3

1Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Germany, 2Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom, 3Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France


Libraries and archives are part of a highly specialised research infrastructure and witnesses of the research history of their institution and access to subject expertise.

As diverse as their origins, size and professional care are, they share the same challenges: Collecting and information infrastructures (especially of Natural History Institution) are important actors in the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, e.g. through free access to information, they represent a pillar to reduce inequality. But often, there is a lack of forums for them and their special features and issues to be discussed in detail in the relevant communities.

As a result, collecting and information infrastructures are left alone with these questions, cannot combine resources to overcome hurdles and in the end their collections with inestimable information content are difficult to access. Consortia, such as the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), are a step towards providing various library collections worldwide with a platform for their digitised content and, in turn, making them accessible to users in one place.

So how do libraries, archives and similar infrastructure counter these maxims of the future? Where is there a need for development in order to meet the (new) tasks and to remain a relevant research infrastructure in the future?

The symposium is intended to provide suggestions on specific challenges such as enriching and linking library data to meet future information behaviour. It will highlight best practice examples and based on this initiates discussions on how to solve common problems among collecting and information infrastructure as an international community. Above all, it aimes to bring together a network of professionals and resources to make collecting and information infrastructures of Natural History Institutions vital players in global challenges.

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