Why are the specimens going digital?
The digitisation project is part of moving the collection to a new Herbarium which will be integrated into a new Centre of Innovation and Plant Sciences at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.
Going digital will help address a range of environmental management and conservation issues and will create many more opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge with scientists around the world.
Dr Shelley James is the Collections Manager at the Herbarium and is leading the high-tech makeover for the herbarium specimens. If you want to learn more, Dr James recently co-edited a special issue of Applications in Plant Sciences about the global movement to prepare plant data for the digital age.
How are the specimens going digital?
Converting over 1.4 million specimens with handwritten labels into a standardized format that you can access online is challenging. This is why one of the world’s most renowned digitisation companies, Picturae, is partnering with us and a local NSW business to undertake the massive project.
Picturae's recent digitisation collaborations include Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, as well as the Natural History Museum and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London.
The process will take up to two years to complete and is the largest herbarium imaging project in the southern hemisphere, to date.
Check out the awesome behind-the-scenes digitisation process