17/08/2015
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Proposed digitisation of Scottish Bird News

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From 1986 to 2009, the Scottish Ornithologists' Club (SOC) published a quarterly magazine, Scottish Bird News, which ran for 91 issues and included all manner of articles and Club news from headquarters and SOC branches. It is an important record of SOC activities over that period and the Club would now like to make that record more widely available through the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The BHL www.biodiversitylibrary.org, whose main partners in the UK are the Natural History Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, has become the world's main free archive of digitised natural history literature, and has established itself as a leading online research library. If you don't already know it, you should have a look – it offers free access to a vast amount of historical books and journals, including the Scottish Naturalist and the Annals of Scottish Natural History through to 1922, the Proceedings of the Glasgow Natural History Society, rare books by Pennant, Harvie-Brown, MacGillivray and much more. By adding Scottish Bird News to the BHL, the SOC hopes this will allow more people around the world to find and read its past newsletters.

SOC Council has endorsed this proposal but authors, photographers and artists originally submitted their articles and other material to Scottish Bird News for print publication, mostly before the idea of digital access came along. It is now impracticable or impossible to trace all the individual contributors or their legal representatives, but we believe that most or all would be happy to see their work now reaching new and wider audiences to the overall benefit of Scottish natural history. If any copyright holder does not wish to have their material included in free digital access, they are asked to contact mail@the-soc.org.uk to discuss this with us as soon as possible, preferably before 1 December 2015. Arrangements are in place to have material excluded from web access where necessary.

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Written by: The Scottish Ornithologists' Club