Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum in London has more than 80 million specimens, spanning billions of years. Each year more than 5 million people visit the museum. The museum also has several important collections of natural history art from the 18th and 19th centuries. These collections belonged to natural history artists and explorers, who recorded nature both from the British Isles and from all over the world, as Western explorers first saw it.

Parts of these collections have been digitized. In July 2015 the following collections were available online:

  • India collection. Artwork depicting the diversity of India’s plants and animals from the mid-1700s onwards.
  • First Fleet collection. Drawings of Australia’s people, wildlife, and landscape as seen by artists of the First Fleet that arrived in 1788 to establish the first British colony.
  • John Reeves collection. Botanical and zoological paintings commissioned by Reeves while in China (1812-1831).
  • MacGillivray art collection. Over 200 watercolour paintings depicting British birds, fish, and mammals (1796-1851).
  • Endeavour botanical illustrations. Botanical drawings from Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour (1768-1771), the first voyage devoted to scientific discovery.
  • Art themes. Many themes that represent the different aspects of the art collections.

The different collections have different ways of searching and/or browsing the images. Images can be saved in JPEG format.

Last update

Friday, 25 September 2015 - 12:47pm
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