BioDiversityLibrary.org is one of the coolest websites I’ve stumbled across for art reference. From their site:
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize and make accessible the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.” The BHL consortium works with the international taxonomic community, rights holders, and other interested parties to ensure that this biodiversity heritage is made available to a global audience through open access principles. In partnership with theInternet Archive and through local digitization efforts, the BHL has digitized millions of pages of taxonomic literature, representing tens of thousands of titles and over 100,000 volumes.
Which right off the bat sounds pretty cool, but that’s not why it’s exciting. It’s exciting because of illustrations like these ones:
Over 100,000 books containing intricately detailed studies of animals, anatomy, plants, people, minerals, fungi, machinery, fossils, extinct species, tools, architecture, insects, science, and a ton of other subjects.
Oh, and they scan the entire book. Cover to cover. So if you want some awesome paper textures or book covers, or reference for title pages or calligraphy, they’ve got you covered (ha).
Everything on the site is completely free, open, and available to look through or use in accordance with public domain laws. Plus, any page containing a scientific name or term will be tagged with that word, so if you’re looking for something specific you can find it!
They have books published from the 1450’s all the way to current day.
I’m a pretty big fan!