A cocoa plant specimen, Theobroma cacao, from the Sloane herbarium. It was collected during Hans Sloane's voyage to Jamaica in 1687.


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Slavery and the natural world

Explore research into how the Museum's history and collections are connected to the transatlantic slave trade.

The Museum can contribute a unique angle to the dialogue on the transatlantic slave trade. The Museum itself was founded within the context of empire, colonisation and exploration, and as such, there are many connections between the transatlantic slave trade and its history.

Natural history publications, journals and diaries, held in the library collection at the Museum, reveal narratives of the time relating to social history and the history of science.

A project was completed in 2007 to commemorate the British bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, and to provide a lasting legacy for the future.

Read more about the project and its outcomes in the PDFs below.