We report on a volume holographic imaging spectrometer (VHIS) system which allows retrieval of a scene's two-dimensional spatial information as well as its spectral information. This is performed using a transmission volume hologram and a simple rotary scanning mechanism. The system has the advantages of high spectral and spatial resolutions and the potential of single-shot, four-dimensional (3D spatial plus 1D spectral) imaging by recording multiple volume holograms in the same material. Also, due to the transmission diffraction geometry, the system automatically eliminates the stray excitation light from the captured signal. We give theoretical analysis of the performance and experimental demonstration using fluorescent CdSe/ZeS quantum dots. The measured quantum dots spectra agree well with the spectra obtained using a conventional spectrometer.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.