Sir Hans Sloane herbarium

Pressed Theobroma cacao leaves and a drawing of the plant

The scientific name Theobroma cacao was given to the cocoa plant by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. He used drawings from Sloane's collection as the basis of his description.

Sloane's specimens, the oldest in the Museum's botanical collection, were the first to be brought back to England from Jamaica.

The Sloane herbarium contains dried plant specimens collected by Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) during his voyage to Jamaica from 1687 to 1689.

His specimens were mounted in seven bound volumes, which are preserved intact in the Historical Collections Room.

Looking for a specific specimen?

The collection has been digitised

Senior curator

Dr Fred Rumsey

Any questions?

If you would like to use any specimens for research, please get in touch

Accessing the data

Sir Hans Sloane's volumes have been digitised and can be accessed via the Museum's Data Portal.

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.