Herbarium goes digital

What plant is that? Herbarium collection to be digitised

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An historic image from the National Herbarium of NSW.

An historic image from the National Herbarium of NSW.

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National Herbarium of NSW specimens dating back to 1770 will soon be available online.

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THE priceless collection of the National Herbarium of NSW, dating back to Captain Cook’s voyage of 1770, is set to go digital.

The project to create digital records of the herbarium’s 1.4 million plant samples has been described by Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton as the largest ever undertaken in the southern hemisphere.

“By going digital we will create many more opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge with scientists across Australia and around the world,” she said.

“As well as scientists, we will be able to open up our collection online to ecological consultants, community groups, students and members of the public.

An algae specimen.

An algae specimen.

“By preserving our priceless collection digitally, it means we can preserve these specimens indefinitely for future generations of scientists.”

The project will be undertaken with Netherlands-based company Picturae, whose recent collaborations include the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC as well as the Natural History Museum and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London.

Picturae will partner with Sydney company International Conservation Services in the project.

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