Mission: We aim to create a constantly evolving online encyclopedia. It will consolidate humanity’s knowledge about life on Earth and make it freely accessible everyone.
Overview: EOL uses the powerful collaborative technology of the Internet to inspire learning and understanding of biodiversity. It’s a constantly growing, perpetually evolving encyclopedia, a single free portal to information about the 1.9 million named species on Earth and more that are being described every day.
Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth – of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria – is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere. Imagine what it would mean if this information could be gathered together and made available to everyone – anywhere – at a moment’s notice.
Our Vision: Global access to knowledge about life on Earth. This dream is becoming a reality through the Encyclopedia of Life.EOL is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the following institutions:
- Atlas of Living Australia
- Biodiversity Heritage Library
- Chinese Academy of Sciences
- La Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad (CONABIO)
- Field Museum of Natural History
- Harvard University
- El Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)
- Marine Biological Laboratory
- Missouri Botanical Garden
- NCB Naturalis – the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity
- New Library of Alexandria
- Smithsonian Institution
- South African National Biodiversity Institution (SANBI)