In her professional life at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Cathy Norton helped build international collaborative library networks which made digital information freely accessible to the global information network. As a pioneering proponent of open access, she loved travelling the globe to meet with other library collaborators as projects like the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) Project came into development. Cathy was Founding Vice-Chair, and later Chair of the BHL. The BHL is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize 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.” As President of the Boston Library Consortium in the mid-2000’s Cathy placed the challenge of embracing open access policies on the doorstep of every member institution, and she helped form a group of libraries that worked with the global digitization service organization the Internet Archive, to digitize books and journals, making them freely available to anyone with an internet connection.
Biodiversity Heritage Library
The MBLWHOI Library staff. 2017. "Cathy Norton." MBL History Project digital exhibit. http://history.archives.mbl.edu/exploring/exhibits/cathy-norton