The term ‘Macaronesia’ from the ancient Greek μακάρων νῆσοι, or Islands of the Blessed, was coined by the English botanist and naturalist, Philip Baker Webb (1793-1854) to describe several groups of volcanic islands (Azores, Madeira, Salvagens, Canaries and Cape Verde) that share various natural and climatological features.
www.macaronesian.org is an open access digital consultation tool, whose contents are available in English, Portuguese and Spanish, and which aims to showcase the natural heritage of these island groups.
The platform includes a multimedia encyclopaedia and a virtual library, containing over two thousand entries of text, audio, video and image files about numerous topics connected to the natural history of the region. The search tool operates on different levels and by geographical and subject areas, providing accurate and specific results.
In short, it is a comprehensive repository of information presented through a highly visual interface that intuitively shows material about Macaronesia gathered over many years and in various formats.
This portal has been devised to be of use to specialists, researchers, teachers, students and anyone who may stumble across it by chance or by design. Open access will ensure that it is available to all Internet users and shed light onto knowledge and perceptions about Macaronesia.
The creation of this web portal is one of the main lines of action within the framework of Pliny XXI: creation and circulation of the natural history of Macaronesia through information society technologies, a project that is co-financed by the Transnational co-operation programme Açores-Madeira-Canarias (MAC) 2007-2013.
Museos de Tenerife, in partnership with the University of Cape Verde, has headed up the venture to launch this ambitious project of interesting proposals for gathering and circulating information about Macaronesia. One of the major events in this line of action was the International Conference on the Natural History of Macaronesia, held at the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre museum (MNH) in Tenerife, on 21 and 22 November 2013, where international experts discussed the role of Macaronesian island groups in furthering knowledge about the natural world.
Another significant part of this initiative are the library policies implemented by both institutions, with a view to consolidating their position as leading specialist libraries in this field, by fostering the conservation and circulation of their shared bibliographical and documentary heritage.Go Back