4.6 National Plant Photographic Index


The Gardens photographic collection started with early field photographs recording the colour, habit and habitat of plant material collected for the Gardens. This was later supplemented with photographs of plants grown in the Gardens. As the value of the collection to the Gardens' role in promoting Australia's flora and raising public awareness of the need for its conservation was realised, an active policy of building a collection of photos of all Australian plants was adopted and material was sought from a range of photographers throughout Australia.

The collection is supplemented by photographs showing the development of the Gardens, horticultural practices, examples of landscape design, and other images used for educational purposes or historical records. Data from the photographs are linked with those of the Herbarium and living collections through the Gardens' computer database.

Original photographs are not released from the collection, but duplicates are supplied to publishers and loaned for lectures or similar purposes. Access to the collection is granted to individuals and organisations to promote interest in our native flora and, where the Commonwealth's copyright is administered by the Gardens, the Gardens licenses publishers to reproduce photographs from the collection for a fee.

Management prescriptions


The objective is to further develop the collection of photographs of Australian plants and their habitats to promote the Australian flora, its conservation and its cultural values.


The curation of the photographic collection will be maintained and enhanced and storage of the photographs under more appropriate archival conditions will be investigated.

The best photographs from the Gardens' collection will be designated the National Plant Photographic Index. The public will be encouraged to contribute reliably identified photographs of the Australian flora to the Index and a publicity campaign will be mounted to publicise the Index and promote its use.

The Gardens will continue to act as custodian of the Commonwealth's copyright for photographs taken by staff in the course of their duties or for copyright of photographs donated to or purchased by it on behalf of the Commonwealth. It will continue to license publishers to reproduce images and will provide duplicates of photographs for educational and promotional purposes, for a fee. A system will be implemented whereby copyright fees can be collected on behalf of photographers when the Commonwealth does not own the copyright.

The data associated with photographs will continue to be transferred to the Gardens' computer database and electronic image storage technology will be implemented. The Gardens will investigate the production of a video disk or other electronic retrieval system to make the collection of photographs of the Australian flora more accessible to the community.