rbhl is an R interface to the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Installation

Stable version from CRAN

Or, development version from GitHub

remotes::install_github("ropensci/rbhl")

Then load library

Output formats

You can output various formats using the as parameter, setting to ‘json’, ‘xml’, ‘list’, or ‘table’. Note that not all options are available in all functions due to varying returned data objects.

Raw output, in xml format

bhl_authorsearch(name='dimmock', as='xml')

json format

bhl_authorsearch(name='dimmock', as='json')
#> [1] "{\"Status\":\"ok\",\"ErrorMessage\":\"\",\"Result\":[{\"AuthorID\":\"189035\",\"Name\":\"Dimmock, Anna Katherina\",\"CreatorUrl\":\"https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/189035\"},{\"AuthorID\":\"59023\",\"Name\":\"Dimmock, G\",\"CreatorUrl\":\"https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/59023\"},{\"AuthorID\":\"189042\",\"Name\":\"Dimmock, Geo \",\"CreatorUrl\":\"https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/189042\"},{\"AuthorID\":\"189021\",\"Name\":\"Dimmock, George\",\"CreatorUrl\":\"https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/189021\"},{\"AuthorID\":\"1970\",\"Name\":\"Dimmock, George,\",\"Dates\":\"1852-\",\"CreatorUrl\":\"https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/1970\"},{\"AuthorID\":\"8126\",\"Name\":\"Dimmock, George,\",\"Dates\":\"1852-1930\",\"CreatorUrl\":\"https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/8126\"}]}"

Or get a list

bhl_authorsearch(name='dimmock', as='list')
#> $Status
#> [1] "ok"
#> 
#> $ErrorMessage
#> [1] ""
#> 
#> $Result
#> $Result[[1]]
#> $Result[[1]]$AuthorID
#> [1] "189035"
...

The default option in most functions is to parse to a data.frame

bhl_authorsearch(name='dimmock')
#> # A tibble: 6 x 4
#>   AuthorID Name                      CreatorUrl                                         Dates    
#>   <chr>    <chr>                     <chr>                                              <chr>    
#> 1 189035   "Dimmock, Anna Katherina" https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/189035 <NA>     
#> 2 59023    "Dimmock, G"              https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/59023  <NA>     
#> 3 189042   "Dimmock, Geo "           https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/189042 <NA>     
#> 4 189021   "Dimmock, George"         https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/189021 <NA>     
#> 5 1970     "Dimmock, George,"        https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/1970   1852-    
#> 6 8126     "Dimmock, George,"        https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/creator/8126   1852-1930

Some examples of function calls

Get title metadata

bhl_gettitlemetadata(1726, items = TRUE)
#> $Status
#> [1] "ok"
#> 
#> $ErrorMessage
#> [1] ""
#> 
#> $Result
#> $Result[[1]]
#> $Result[[1]]$TitleID
#> [1] 1726
...

Get languages

This function gets a list of languages in which materials in BHL have been written.

#> # A tibble: 75 x 2
#>    LanguageCode LanguageName        
#>    <chr>        <chr>               
#>  1 AFR          Afrikaans           
#>  2 ARA          Arabic              
#>  3 ARC          Aramaic             
#>  4 MAP          Austronesian (Other)
#>  5 BUL          Bulgarian           
#>  6 BUR          Burmese             
#>  7 CAR          Carib               
#>  8 CAT          Catalan             
#>  9 CEL          Celtic (Other)      
#> 10 CHI          Chinese             
#> # … with 65 more rows

Use case for BHL data

Here, we search for keywords, then plot the data using ggplot2

x <- bhl_publicationsearch('Selborne', year=1825, collection=4, language='eng')
pages <- bhl_pages(itemid = x$ItemID[1])

Examine some of the pages

lapply(pages[7:10], "[[", "OcrText")
#> $`25934962`
#> [1] "^\\ \n\n\n\nC^nX \n\n\n\nN^ \n\n\n\nACCOUNT \n\n\n\nOF THE \n\n\n\nREV. GILBERT WHITE. \n\n\n\n\" Gilbert White was the eldest son of John \n\n White, of Selborne, Esq., and of Anne, the \n\n daughter of Thomas Holt, rector of Streatham \n\n in Surrey. He was born at Selborne on July 18, \n\n 1720, and received his school education at Bas- \n\n ingstoke, under the Rev. Thomas Warton, vicar \n\n of that place, and father of those two distin- \n\n guished literary characters, Dr. Joseph Warton, \n\n master of Winchester school, and Mr. Thomas \n\n Warton, poetry professor at Oxford. He was \n\n admitted at Oriel College, Oxford, in December, \n\n 1739, and took his degree of Bachelor of Arts \n\n in June, 1743. In March, 1744, he was elected \n\n Fellow of his college. He became Master of \n\n Arts in October, 1746, and was admitted one of \n\n the senior proctors of the University in April, \n\n 1752. Being of an unambitious temper, and \n\n strongly attached to the charms of rural scenery, \n\n he early fixed his residence in his native village, \n\n\n\nflnromr raiL»£4 fi» 6 \n\n\n\nN. C. State College \n\n\n\n"
#> 
#> $`25934961`
#> [1] "Vlll \n\n\n\nwhere he spent the greater part of his life in lit- \n\n erary occupations, and especially in the study of \n\n Nature. This he followed with patient assiduity, \n\n and a mind ever open to the lessons of piety and \n\n benevolence, which such a study is so well cal- \n\n culated to afford. Though several occasions of- \n\n fered of settling upon a college living, he could \n\n never persuade himself to quit the beloved spot, \n\n which was, indeed, a peculiarly happy situation \n\n for an observer. Thus his days passed tranquil \n\n and serene, with scarcely any other vicissitudes \n\n than those of the seasons, till they closed at a \n\n mature age on June 26, 1793.\" \n\n\n\na «a .k i* \n\n\n\n"
#> 
#> $`25934960`
#> [1] "INDEX. \n\n\n\nPage \n\n\n\nAffections of Birds . . 181 \n\n AylesHolt 39 \n\n\n\nBarometers 315 \n\n\n\nBat 49, 86, 116 \n\n\n\nBat, Large 98 \n\n\n\nBirds, Language of . . 266 \n\n\n\nBirds of Passage 68, 145, 197 \n\n\n\nBlack Act 32 \n\n\n\nBlackcap 129 \n\n\n\nBotany 257 \n\n\n\nBotany of Selborne . . 259 \n\n\n\nBullfinch 63 \n\n\n\nBunting 57 \n\n\n\nBurning of Heath ... 34 \n\n\n\nButcher-bird .... 77 \n\n\n\nBuzzards, Honey . . . 137 \n\n\n\n... 53 \n\n\n\n... 240 \n\n\n\n55, 63, 166 \n\n\n\n... 308 \n\n\n\n... 273 \n\n\n\n... 294 \n\n\n\n236 \n\n\n\n176 \n\n\n\n21 \n\n\n\n277 \n\n\n\n280 \n\n\n\n284 \n\n\n\nCanary Birds \n\n\n\nCat and Leveret \n\n\n\nChaffinches . \n\n\n\nChinese Dog \n\n\n\nCliff, Fall of a . . . \n\n\n\nCoccus \n\n\n\nCondensation by Trees \n\n Congregation of Birds \n\n Cornua Ammonis . . \n\n Crickets, Field . . . \n\n Crickets, House . . \n\n Crickets, Mole . . . \n\n\n\nCrossbeaks 164 \n\n\n\nCrossbills 48 \n\n\n\nCuckoo .... 155, 157 \n\n Curious Fossil Shell . . 21 \n\n Curlew, Stone 65, 79, 112, 311 \n\n\n\nDeer . . . \n\n\n\nDeer, Moose \n\n Deer-stealers \n\n Dogs . . . \n\n Dove, Ring . \n\n Dove, Stock \n\n\n\nEagle-owl \n\n Echoes . . \n\n Elm, Broad-leaved \n\n\n\n30,60 \n\n 101, 106 \n\n . 33 \n\n . 309 \n\n . 142 \n\n . 139 \n\n\n\n. 97 \n\n\n\n251,314 \n\n\n\n. 17 \n\n\n\n96 \n\n\n\nEmployments . \n\n\n\nFalco .... \n\n Falcon, Peregrine \n\n Fieldfares . . \n\n Fish .... \n\n Fishes, Gold and Silver \n\n Flight of Birds . \n\n Fly-catcher . . \n\n Forest of Wolmer \n\n Forest-fly . . . \n\n Fossil Shell . . \n\n Fossil Wood \n\n Fowls, Language of \n\n Freestone . . \n\n\n\nGame .... \n\n Garden . . . \n\n German Silktail \n\n Gipsies . . . \n\n Goat-sucker . . \n\n Gossamer . . \n\n Grosbeaks . . \n\n\n\nHarvest Mouse . \n\n Harvest Bug \n\n Hawk and Hens \n\n Hawk, Sparrow \n\n Haws .... \n\n Hedgehogs . . \n\n Heliotropes . . \n\n Herons . . . \n\n Himantopus . . \n\n Hoopoes . . . \n\n House Cat . . \n\n\n\nIdiot Boy, Propens: \n\n Instinct \n\n\n\nJackdaws \n\n\n\nLakes .... \n\n Lamperns . . \n\n Land-springs \n\n Lark, Willow . \n\n Lark, Grasshopper \n\n Leprosy . . . \n\n\n\nPage \n\n\n\n27 \n\n\n\n47 \n\n\n\n307 \n\n\n\n100, 167 \n\n\n\n48 \n\n\n\n297 \n\n\n\n263 \n\n\n\n44,63 \n\n\n\n27 \n\n 188 \n\n\n\n21 \n\n 311 \n\n 266 \n\n\n\n22 \n\n\n\n29 \n\n 249 \n\n\n\n52 \n\n 229 \n\n\n\n85 \n\n 224 \n\n\n\n48 \n\n\n\nity \n\n\n\n59 \n\n 113 \n\n 269 \n\n 138 \n\n\n\n52 \n\n\n\n99 \n\n 271 \n\n\n\n84 \n\n 285 \n\n\n\n47 \n\n 105, 240 \n\n\n\nof an 234 \n\n 302 \n\n\n\n81 \n\n\n\n37 \n\n 74 \n\n\n\n207 \n\n 76 \n\n 67 \n\n\n\n246 \n\n\n\n"
#> 
#> $`25934959`
#> [1] "X \n\n\n\nINDEX. \n\n\n\nLinnets 56 \n\n\n\nLizard 79, 87 \n\n\n\nLizard, Green .... 83 \n\n Loaches ...... 74 \n\n\n\nManor of Selborne . . 25 \n\n Maps of Scotland . . . 136 \n\n\n\nMartins 119 \n\n\n\nMartins, House 119,194,291,300 \n\n Martins, Sand .... 208 \n\n Martins, Black .... 213 \n\n\n\nMice 51 \n\n\n\nMigrating Birds . . 88, 169 \n\n Migrations of Grallae . . 175 \n\n Missel-thrush .... 222 \n\n\n\nNotes of Owls and Cuckoos 174 \n\n Nuthatch 69 \n\n\n\nOaks 16, 18 \n\n\n\nOrnithology of Selborne . 121 \n\n\n\nOtter 105 \n\n\n\nOwl, Fern . . . 117,163 \n\n\n\nOwls 49 \n\n\n\nOwls, White .... 184 \n\n\n\nPairing of Birds . . . 104 \n\n\n\nPeacocks 115 \n\n\n\nPettichaps 305 \n\n\n\nPonds on Chalk-hills . . 237 \n\n\n\nPoor 26 \n\n\n\nPopulation 26 \n\n\n\nPulveratrices .... 163 \n\n\n\nRain 26, 313 \n\n\n\nRaven, Tree .... 19 \n\n\n\nRedwings 167 \n\n\n\nReed-sparrow . . . . 161 \n\n Ringousels, 78, 82, 89, 90, 107* \n\n 120, 164, 198 \n\n Rooks 184,312 \n\n\n\nRooks, White \n\n Rush Candles \n\n\n\nSalads . . . \n\n Salicaria . . \n\n Sandpiper \n\n Sandstone \n\n\n\n62 \n\n 231 \n\n\n\n250 \n\n 94 \n\n 77 \n\n 24 \n\n\n\nScopoh's Annus Primus 109,162 \n\n Sheep 196 \n\n\n\nPago \n\n\n\nSinging Birds . . 149, 157 \n\n Singing Birds, Silence of 159 \n\n\n\nSmother-fly 296 \n\n\n\nSnipes 69 \n\n\n\nSociality of Brutes . . 227 \n\n Soft-billed Birds ... 132 \n\n\n\nSoils 16 \n\n\n\nSpiracula of Animals . . 60 \n\n Sticklebacks .... 74 \n\n\n\nStreams 15 \n\n\n\nSummer Birds of Passage 68 \n\n 145, 197 \n\n Summer Birds, Return of 222 \n\n Summer Evening Walk . 91 \n\n Sussex Downs .... 195 \n\n Swallows 42, 53, 88, 119, 178 \n\n 187, 200, 305 \n\n Swallows, Torpidity of . 244 \n\n Swifts . . 98, 213, 256, 292 \n\n\n\nTeals 184 \n\n\n\nThe Holt 40 \n\n\n\nThe Plestor 17 \n\n\n\nTitlark 153 \n\n\n\nTitmouse 134 \n\n\n\nToads 70, 83 \n\n\n\nTortoise .... 179,288 \n\n Tortoise, Land .... 165 \n\n Turnip-fly 114 \n\n\n\nVernal and Autumnal Cro- \n\n cus 262 \n\n\n\nVillage of Selborne . . 13 \n\n Vipers 72,239 \n\n\n\nWater-rats .... 45, 97 \n\n\n\nWater-newt 72 \n\n\n\nWater-eft 75 \n\n\n\nWeather 331 \n\n\n\nWheatear 57 \n\n\n\nWinter Birds of Passage 148 \n\n Wolmer Pond .... 37 \n\n Woodcocks . . . 167, 171 \n\n Wood-pigeons .... 139 \n\n\n\nWorms 242 \n\n\n\nWren, Golden-crowned . 69 \n\n Wren, Willow .... 66 \n\n\n\nYellow-hammer . . . 153 \n\n\n\n"

With this text data, you can do text mining of the content to answer cool questions you have.