Latest News and Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

"From Billions to None" Film Showing & Lecture

Monday, September 22, 2014


From Billions to None Film Showing & Lecture with producers Joel Greenberg and David Mrazek.

Lecture and Book Signing by Christopher Cokinos

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Martha's Flight into the Future: Heresy as Hope

Christopher Cokinos, the author of Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds (Tarcher/Penguin), the classic natural history of six extinct North American birds, will share some remarkable stories about the passenger pigeon, the Carolina parakeet, the great auk, the Labrador duck, the ivory-billed woodpecker and the heath hen.  There's the tale of the biology professor (and part-time milk man) who tries to save the heath hens on Martha's Vineyard...the graduate student who returns south in the 1940s to write the first book on the ivory-bill as its forest was being logged in order to make tea-crates for the British Army...the story of the boy who shot in 1900 what is still officially considered the last wild passenger pigeon.  These stories tie us to the past and the future, the land and the sky--and raise profound questions about the role of environmental memory.

"The Lost Bird Project"

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Gone and nearly forgotten, the Labrador Duck, Great Auk, Heath Hen, Carolina Parakeet and Passenger Pigeon have left a hole in the American landscape and in our collective memory.  Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to bring their vanished forms back into the world by permanently placing his elegant, evocative bronze memorials at the location of each bird’s demise. 


Biodiversity Heritage Library joins the Global Biodiversity Information Facility

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Biodiversity Heritage Library, headquartered at the Smithsonian Libraries, has joined the Global Biodiversity Information Facility as an associate participant. GBIF operates through a network of global nodes to develop and maintain an open data infrastructure for sharing digital biodiversity data. As an associate participant, BHL will encourage open access and use of biodiversity data among its stakeholders and actively participate in the implementation of the GBIF Work Programme.

Smithsonian Libraries Unveils “Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America”

Friday, June 20, 2014

Once an amazing diversity of birds—some in breathtaking abundance—inhabited the vast forests and plains of North America. But starting around 1600, some species began to disappear as humans altered habitats, over-hunted and introduced predators.

Biodiversity Heritage Library Adds the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a New Member

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Biodiversity Heritage Library, headquartered at the Smithsonian Libraries, welcomes the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaig