Get Free Science Illustrations From The Biodiversity Heritage Library

If you’re looking for a new wallpaper, a tattoo idea, or just an amazing time scrolling through illustrations from the past, the Biodiversity Heritage Library holds a treat for you. Its thousands of public domain images and digitised books are also educational, collecting observations of the natural world from seven centuries and across the globe.

The whole idea is to collect information about the world’s biodiversity in one place; many libraries and museums have collections, but the BHL brings an enormous amount of information together, and they make collections available either as public domain releases or under licenses like Creative Commons for material that’s otherwise still covered by copyright.

The BHL has an Instagram account where they post highlights from their collection, and a collection of Flickr albums if you’d prefer to browse those. Images and book pages are also searchable through the BHL’s website, or you can browse collections. Perhaps you’d like to read about cats and society, or see the work of natural history illustrators who were women, or print out black-and-white drawings to colour. Hyperallergic, when they wrote about the collection recently, pointed out these Hawaiian flowers and this taxidermist’s manual. There’s plenty to keep you entertained, whether you’re a fan of nature, of art, or of history, or all three.


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