Sir Hans Sloane’s Jamaican collections

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 Jamaican collections comprise 1,589 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.

Sir Hans Sloane's volumes have been digitised and can be accessed via the Museum's Data Portal. Read our guide to the Sloane database.


John Hunnex

Fred Rumsey

Any questions?

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

Looking for a specific specimen?

This collection has been digitised.

Any Questions?

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


Collections on the move

Access to some collections will be affected as we prepare for the move to our new collections, science and digitisation centre.

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.