10th Annual Meeting of EBHL
May 15-16, 2003
The 10th Annual Meeting of the European Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Group (EBHL) was held May 15 and 16, 2003, in Zagreb, Croatia, hosted by the Central Biological Library of the University of Zagreb. The first part of the meeting was held on May 15th at the new National and University Library (Nacionalna i Sveucilisna Knjiznica). Following the welcome by Grozdana Sirotic, head of the Central Biological Library, and opening of the meeting by Jane Hutcheon, President of EBHL, there were three presentations and a news item before lunch.
Prof. Toni Nikolic of the Department of Botany of the University of Zagreb, provided an excellent overview of the flora of Croatia. Prof. Nikolic also spoke about the Flora Croatica database; he is the editor of the Index Florae Croaticae, which is being published as supplements to Natura Croatica.
Dragica Purger of the Department of Botany, University of Pecs (Hungary) spoke about CoenoDAT Archive, which is an on-line bibliographic database relating to plant science in the Carpathian basin (URL: http://www.botanika.hu/ris/risweb.isa). CoenoDAT contains more than 3280 records from 700 journals, and includes abstracts as well as bibliographical citations.
Dr. Liesbeth Missel, head of Special Collections at Wageningen University and Research Center described and demonstrated the database she has designed for her library’s collection of nursery catalogues. (The URL for Special Collections is http://www.library.wur.nl/speccol) The library has nursery catalogs from the 16th century onward, as well as a database on the literature of Dutch gardens.
Dr. Brent Elliott, Royal Horticultural Society, presented an oral update on the international nursery catalog database. Very little progress was made during the past year on this effort to create a union list of nursery catalogs.
After lunch, the attendees toured the National and University Library and rare books collection.
The business meeting was held after the tour. The representatives from the five institutions attending EBHL for the first time gave presentations on their libraries. These were Boza Janzekovic of the University Library, Maribor, Slovenia; Andrea Dautovic, of the National Museum of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Sarajevo; Edita Spahic, of the Biology Library, University of Sarajevo; Olga Dezman Jokic, of the Jovan Hadzi Biological Library, Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ljubljana; and Mary Flynn, of the Agriculture and Biology Library, University College, Dublin, Ireland. These presentations were followed by my report from CBHL, which included brief statistics on the affiliate membership program between CBHL and EBHL; encouragement from CBHL with regard to a joint presentation of some sort at the International Botanical Congress in Vienna in 2005; and an announcement of the retirement of John Reed as Director of the Library at the New York Botanical Garden. In addition to the reports from the Secretary and Treasurer of EBHL, Jane Hutcheon noted that the 2004 meeting of EBHL will be held in Dublin, sponsored by the National Botanical Garden of Ireland and organized by Sarah Ball. EBHL hopes to hold its 2005 meeting in Vienna in conjunction with IBC, but has not yet been able to find local sponsors. The 2006 meeting is tentatively set for Tallinn, Estonia. Two retirements were announced: Lennart Hultin, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp; and Raymond Clarysse, of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium. Since Raymond has also been the Secretary of EBHL, that position has been taken over by John Flanagan, Librarian of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The first day concluded with the conference dinner at the hotel.
The morning of the second day of the meeting included visits to the Zagreb Cathedral Metropolitana Library and the Zagreb Botanical Garden. The library is a very old one, tracing its inception to the 11th century. For most of its existence, the library was located in Zagreb Cathedral, but since World War I it has been kept in the National and University Library. Zagreb’s botanical garden is located in the downtown area, one of a series of parks and squares that extend from the main train station to Ban Jelacic Square (formerly Republic Square). A delightful young English-speaking botanist, Vanja Stamenkovic, provided a guided tour. After the tour we gathered at the Biology Department of the University of Zagreb. We briefly viewed the departmental library and heard the final two papers.
Roberta Cowan, who currently alternates years between Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, and Kew, presented an overview of developments leading to Taxonomic Literature, 2nd edition. She and her collaborator, Alex George, have proposed compiling Taxonomic Literature Cryptogamia. They are attempting to obtain funding and are soliciting names of those who publish in the taxonomy of lower plants, lichen and algae.
Finally, Roger Mills, Oxford University, talked about recent developments in forestry information services, specifically about the Global Forest Information Service (GFIS), the International Directory of Forestry Information Services, and Forestry Libraries and Information Services in Europe (FORELISE). The GFIS service itself is at http://www.gfis.net with background material at http://www.iufro-gfis.net. The International Directory is http://db.lib.washington.edu/iufrodir/ and FORELISE is http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/forelise.html
A buffet lunch was provided at the Biology Department of the University, after which most of the attendees participated in a guided sightseeing tour by bus of Zagreb. The weather was perfect, and the tour hit the city’s high spots, including some of the parks of the newer, Lower Town, part of Zagreb and the city cemetery which is in a park-like setting. The tour finished in the older, Upper Town, which we walked through, ending in a local traditional restaurant for dinner.
For those who stayed through Saturday, May 17th, Grozdana had arranged for an excursion to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, which lies about two hours by bus from Zagreb. The park consists primarily of a series of lakes and waterfalls that descend through karst into the Korana River. It is a stunning natural site and has an extensive network of trails and boardwalks among the lakes and waterfalls. We spent about three hours walking, ending with a marvelous late lunch at a restaurant in the park.
A number of European members of CBHL were in attendance, including Raymond Clarysse, Gina Douglas, John Flanagan, Peter Hirsch, Jane Hutcheon, Sven Koeltz, and Cees Lut. In a continuing dialogue between CBHL and EBHL, I spoke with Jane Hutcheon and John Flanagan about a joint presentation at the International Botanical Congress in Vienna in 2005. The discussion reached a milestone at the recent CBHL meeting, where we agreed to pursue submission of a proposal. John Flanagan will be the coordinator for EBHL and I will do the same for CBHL. I would like to echo Chuck Tancin’s comments from the prior EBHL meeting that attendance by CBHL members at EBHL is a wonderful way to foster communication and evolve cooperative projects, and that CBHL members should be encouraged to attend whenever possible. Next year’s meeting site, Dublin, should make the decision to attend a lot easier.
New York Botanical Garden