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Globally, GB-TAF is one of the most important single sources of systematics information. The total of more than 80 million specimens including 1.5 million holotypes and paratypes housed in the three institutions are the cumulative efforts of nearly 300 years of collecting and research.

GB-TAF Member Institutions

The Natural History Museum (NHM)

Access is available to NHM's 70 million natural history specimens, including 800,000 type. The specimens are stored in secure storage units and well-organised in accordance with taxonomic groupings. This includes the Darwin Centre (Phase 1 & 2) a state-of-the-art facility housing 23 million zoological specimens in alcohol, plus all the majority of the entomological and botanical specimens.

Our collections are on the move!

  • As curators prepare for the move of over 38 million objects around the Natural History Museum sites and to our new centre at Harwell Campus, access to staff and collections will be affected
  • Intermittent disruption to collections access for visits and loans is expected until at least 2027
  • To be among the first to find out about changes to collections access sign up to the mailing list (

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBGK)

RBGK has the largest living reference collections in Europe and an extensive preserved collection of vascular plant material and fungi.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE)

RBGE is one of the major research institutes in the UK focusing on the Systematics and Conservation of plants. Its collections are of world importance, holding the second largest collection of living plant species in Europe, a herbarium of 3 million specimens, and one of the best botanical libraries in the UK.


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