Kew's Collections go digital
Taking Kew's unrivalled collections online.Digitising Kew's Collections
Kew houses one of the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world with over 8.5 million specimens which possess crucial information for scientific research.
Our ongoing goal is to open our doors and cabinets by giving virtual access to these extraordinary collections via our Digitisation Project.
The Digital Collections team actively images specimens as a result of external requests, routine curatorial activity and as a product of several projects which focus on those plants which are either at risk, or of potential economic importance.
The first digitisation project began in 2004 and since then technological innovations and studies into workflow efficiency have allowed digitisation rates to increase while still maintaining a high level of quality.
Alongside digitising Kew’s collections, we curate the Herbarium Catalogue, importing specimen records and answering enquiries from scientists all over the world to whom we then supply high-resolution images and specimen data.
Our team also manages the transfer of specimen data to other aggregator sites including: JSTOR Global Plants, Europeana, GBIF and the Reflora Virtual Herbarium. The sharing of our resources via these platforms helps support our mission of providing access to our collections to as many people as possible.
Finally, we provide expert knowledge, both within Kew and externally to other organisations, to train staff, volunteers and visitors in digitisation techniques including setting up imaging workstations and digitisation programmes.
We also use crowdsourcing activities to actively engage the public with our collections. We encourage volunteers to assist with the transcription of specimen labels online as well as running transcription events with the aim of increasing the size of our online volunteer community.
Dr Sarah Phillips
Lead Digitisation Operations Manager
Data and Imaging Manager
Lab-Based Collections Assistant
Fungarium Operations Manager
Project Support Officer
Digitisation Volunteer Coordinator
Digital Collections Support Officer
Digital Collections New Acquisitions Manager
Imaging Support Officer
Quality Assurance Officer & Team Leader
Dr Marco Pellegrini
Dr Rinku Desai