Volunteering and/or citizen science projects allow members of the public to participate in work that is not necessarily within their field of expertise, giving them the opportunity to
support scientists, curators, and collections-based work.
Here we present a case study from the Natural History Museum that involved curators and researchers working with botanical collections alongside volunteers and the public. The programme had both scientific and educational goals. The particular case discussed here is a project which has been run during 2013/2014 under the volunteer initiative entitled V Factor, which involved curatorial tasks such as databasing and digitising material from the Museum’s diatom collection and transcribing handwritten notes. The end products have included the construction of an open access website focusing on diatoms, with information about the collections, an online media gallery, and digital documents, blogs and information for the layperson or expert. This paper also presents further successes and lessons learnt from the programme and the collaboration.