VALA2022 Onsite Session 16 Kearney

#RetroPIDs: the future of our digitised past


Wednesday 15 June 2022, 15:10 – 15:40

Nicole Kearney
  • Manager, Biodiversity Heritage Library Australia
  • Museums Victoria

Please tag your comments, tweets, and blog posts about this session: #vala2022 #s16

Read the paper and view the presentation recording and slides here:


In October 2020, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) launched a new initiative to retrospectively assign persistent identifiers (#RetroPIDs) to the 60 million pages of literature on the BHL website, and thus bring this foundation of the world’s biodiversity knowledge into the modern linked network of scholarly research. This paper presents both the achievements and the challenges of this critical work, and details how it engaged and empowered the global BHL community at a time when many of our libraries were closed and our usual work of digitising library materials was either impossible or severely restricted.


Nicole Kearney manages the Australian branch of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) and leads the BHL’s global Persistent Identifier Working Group (Team #RetroPIDs). She is a zoologist and science communicator striving to link all biodiversity knowledge online and to make the world’s biodiversity literature openly accessible and discoverable for everyone.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License