Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Loans & exchanges

Botanists are able to examine a much wider range of plant specimens than is available in their own herbarium through a national and international network of specimen loans and exchanges. All specimens being sent out on loan from our Herbarium are mounted, information on the label entered into the Herbarium Collection database, and given a unique barcode.

Our computerised Loans Management System allows documentation and monitoring of outgoing loans. Where appropriate the receiving institution is provided with a copy of the electronic label information for use in research and so that an updated list of identifications can be returned with the loan.

Duplicate material is sent as exchange specimens to other institutions, both in Australia and overseas. In return NSW receives exchange specimens from these institutions. A new development means that label information can now be sent electronically to the receiving institution for incorporation into their database.

View our conditions of loan & exchange.

NSW Exchange Program

Replicate material of plant collections is donated to other institutions throughout the world. In return, NSW receives exchange specimens from these organisations. The exchange of material enables herbaria to have a broad diversity of species as reference material for comparison and future study.

All herbarium label information for exchange specimens are sent electronically to the receiving organisation in HISPID (Herbarium Information Standards and Protocols for Interchange of Data) format. We encourage the full transfer of electronic data with herbarium collections being donated to NSW.

View HISPID Data Interchange Standard

Requests for New Loans

All requests for loan material must be from the head of the borrowing institution.

All loan requests must be addressed to:

Director, Science & Public Programs
National Herbarium of NSW
Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust
Mrs Macquaries Road
Sydney NSW 2000

Requests for loan material can also be accepted by email to

Loan of all scientific specimens can only occur between registered scientific organisations (refer ‘Scientific Transactions under the Wildlife Protection Act - Notice No 5’), under the Wildlife Protection (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1982.