National Herbarium of NSW reaches practical completion
After almost three years of design and construction, it’s an exciting time for the National Herbarium’s scientific staff, who will start to relocate from their current facility at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, to the new National Herbarium of New South Wales, Australia Botanic Garden Mount Annan.
Joining the award-winning Australian PlantBank, the new state-of-the-art Herbarium will further position the Australian Institute of Botanic Science as one of the country’s premier botanical research organisations. A key feature of the new Herbarium is the six protective vaults made of rammed earth to shield the irreplaceable plant collection from bushfires and extreme temperature events.
A significant first step to move the Herbarium is the digitalisation of the Herbarium collection that began in April 2019 at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. This is the largest Herbarium imaging project in the Southern Hemisphere. More than 1.4 million plant specimens will be captured as high-resolution digital images. These images will be available online to the public in 2022.
In this challenging new era of climate change, now more than ever it is imperative that we understand the impacts on our natural environment to drive effective conservation solutions. The study of plant specimens within the Herbarium’s collection will contribute to this understanding.
The Herbarium collection is both irreplaceable and expanding. With over 8,000 new specimens being added to the collection every year, the Herbarium’s storage capacity in the existing Robert Brown Building would have been exhausted by 2022. It was critical that a new facility was created to support the growth of the collection and to be accessible by researchers and Herbaria around the world.
Learn more about the project here.