In 2007, the Field Museum of Natural History, Harvard University, Marine Biological Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution and Biodiversity Heritage Library joined together to initiate the Encyclopedia of Life, an ongoing collaboration among its cornerstone institutions and international partners, with the common goal to gather and share knowledge about all forms of life. The Encyclopedia of Life is a global effort to document all 1.9 million named species of animals, plants and other forms of life on Earth and make that information freely accessible.

EOL welcomes image and video contributions from the public. The easiest way to get images up on EOL is through our Encyclopedia of Life Images group at the photo-sharing site Flickr. You can also share short video clips (up to 90 seconds) through EOL's Flickr group. For longer videos, EOL has an Encyclopedia of Life Videos group on Vimeo. You can also share organism images through Wikimedia Commons.