Herbarium Digitisation at Kew
Max Communications is at the forefront of a significant herbarium digitisation project at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Currently ahead of schedule, the project involves digitising, transcribing, and recording metadata from a collection of over six and a half million plant specimen sheets. Leveraging the capabilities of Max Communications' bespoke project management software, Themis, the team is maintaining high levels of accuracy and productivity. The project, using thirty-eight staff members, captures over 17,000 images daily, with cloud-based software ensuring seamless remote transcribing. It has unveiled historical treasures, including specimen sheets signed by Charles Darwin, dating back to 1794. This initiative underscores the crucial role of digitisation in preserving essential archives and botanical history and the effectiveness of cutting-edge software in successful project management.
Kew Digitised Samples
This gallery displays digitised samples taken from the Kew digitisation project. Clicking on the image thumbnail will take you to a full sized zoomable version. Doing so will allow viewers to get an appreciation of the image quality of the digitised material. The systems are installed with Fujifilm GFX 100S cameras which allow us to capture each specimen at over 600dpi. High CRI LED lighting is used to ensure accurate reproduction of colour and tone, producing a digital facsimile. We follow FADGI 3-star standard as a minimum for the Kew Gardens project however we aim for FADGI 4-star where possible to create the best images possible.
Technical Set Up Gallery
The setups for Kew required a bespoke solution due to the environment in which the material was to be captured. Some of the old herbariums have narrow walkways, making it challenging to move equipment around. Our solution involved building collapsible capture stations, providing us flexibility in the spaces we could capture.