Digitising Kew's Collections

Taking Kew's eight million Herbarium and Fungarium specimens online for everyone across the globe to access, helping accelerate research into global issues.

Woman digitises a plant specimen from Kew's Herbarium

You can now immortalise a piece of botanic history. Donate to digitise a plant today and help us unlock nature's secrets.

Graphic showing the Digitisation Project numbers to date

We're embarking on our most ambitious project to date, a groundbreaking endeavour to digitise over eight million plants and fungi specimens, making our entire collection freely available to all around the world. 

Shaping the future of our planet

Our specimens underpin research into our greatest global challenges, helping protect the future of our planet. Making these specimens available online will allow many more scientists to access them, ultimately accelerating research to help:

  1. Combat climate change
  2. Save species from extinction 
  3. Feed our future, sustainably 
  4. Future-proof agriculture
  5. Discover better medicines 
  6. Protect critical ecosystems

What is most exciting is that researchers are already actively using our digitised collections to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our planet today. With this in mind, the impact of unlocking our entire collection will be immense.

   - Dr Paul Kersey, Deputy Director of Science and Project SRO

Person holds barcode scanner while imagining a herbarium specimen.
The digitisation project in progress - a digitiser images a herbarium specimen © RBG Kew

How can you help?

Unlocking this treasure trove of data that dates back hundreds of years holds untold application and promise, but there's still a long way to go. Completing this project relies on funding and people. See the options we have below for you to get involved.

Help us digitise our prestigious collections

Get involved with these new opportunities

  • Person looks at plant specimens that on a table in Kew's Herbarium

    Volunteer

    Become part of Kew's ambitious project and help make one of the largest collections in the world freely accessible to everyone around the world.

  • Person holds barcode scanner while imagining a herbarium specimen.

    Donate

    Donate today and immortalise a piece of botanic history that can aid research into urgent global challenges - helping protect our planet for future generations.

  • Person looks at a plant specimen on a computer screen

    Join

    See what job opportunities are available to digitise our collection and play a part in helping scientists across the world access our invaluable specimens.

What's next? 

This year, we will be launching our new Data Portal that will allow anyone anywhere in the world access to our full collection of digitised specimens. Keep up to date with its launch by following us on Twitter @KewScience.

What's new?

Catch up with the latest updates from the Project