Seasonal celebrations with penguins
Discover the December 2013 - January 2014 artefact
London Zoo in World War Two
Discover the November 2013 artefact
William Burchell - 150 years. Burchell's zebra, the discovery of white rhinos as well as celebrating zoo photography
Discover the October 2013 artefact
Alfred Russel Wallace, birds of paradise and ZSL
Discover the September 2013 artefact
Celebrating some zoo babies with okapi and tapir illustrations
Discover the August 2013 artefact
Minutes of the first meeting of ZSL Council, 5th May, 1826, signed by Sir Stamford Raffles 1887
Discover the July 2013 artefact
Silver Medal presented to the Maharajah of Kuch-Behar, 1887
Discover the June 2013 artefact
160 years since the opening of the Fish House at ZSL London Zoo - the first public aquarium
Discover the May 2013 artefact
Falklands Islands Wolf, extinct 1876
It is almost two hundred years since this species was described by Charles Darwin
Discover the April 2013 artefact
World Book Day and National Science and Engineering Week
We are celebrating by featuring two seminal books by Alfred Russel Wallace as this month's artefact!
Discover the March 2013 artefact
National Libraries Day
National Libraries Day is on Saturday 9 February so to celebrate we are featuring ZSL's Library as this month's artefact!
Discover the February 2013 artefact
Paintings by Ernest Griset
This month we feature the paintings of Ernest Griset set at London Zoo.
Discover the January 2013 artefact
Esquimaux Dog by Keulemans (1890)
This month we feature a suitably wintry picture of an Esquimaux Dog illustrated by John Gerrard Keulemans.
Discover the December 2012 artefact
Centenary of Allan Octavian Hume, 1829-1912
Described as the 'Father or Pope of Indian ornithology', Hume was a prolific bird collector and publisher describing many species for the first time, some of these descriptions were published in Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London.
Discover the November 2012 artefact
Tercentenary of Catesby’s visit to America
The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands - by Mark Catesby, 1731-43
Discover the October 2012 artefact
Historic photographs selected by John Edwards, author of London Zoo from Old Photographs 1852-1914
Discover the September 2012 artefact
The Coulton portfolio
Drawings of vertebrate animals from the collection of Charles Hamilton Smith (1776-1859)
Discover the August 2012 artefact
Memoir of the life and public services of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, F.R.S. &c. particularly in the government of Java, 1811-1816, and of Bencoolen and its dependencies, 1817-1824, with details of the commerce and resources of the Eastern Archipelago, and selections from his correspondence / by his widow. Published in London, 1830.
Discover the July 2012 artefact
ZSL's Royal Charter
Discover the June 2012 artefact
Bicentenary of Edward Lear
We celebrate the bicentenary of Edward Lear's birth on 12 May with an online display of his watercolours.
Discover the May 2012 artefact
Lagotis cuveri - watercolour by Edward Lear
We begin to celebrate the bicentenary of Edward Lear's birth on 12 May.
Discover the April 2012 artefact
Historiae animalium / Conradi Gesneri [Konrad Gessner]. Tiguri : Froschover, 1551-85
As this month we celebrate World Book Day on 1 March 2012 and National Science Week 9 -18 March 2012 we are featuring some of the oldest books in ZSL Library
Discover the March 2012 artefact
Letter from Charles Dickens, 1880
Discover the February 2012 artefact
Letter from Scott of the Antarctic, 1901
Discover the January 2012 artefact
Letter from Joseph Hooker to Brian Hodgson, 1849
Discover the December 2011 artefact
The War Memorial at ZSL London Zoo
Discover the November 2011 artefact
Zoo literature in ZSL Library
Discover the October 2011 artefact
Manuscript collection of Samuel Richard Tickell
Discover the September 2011 artefact
Overview of ZSL Archives
Discover the August 2011 artefact
Plaque in memory of Sir Stamford Raffles
Discover the July 2011 artefact
A drawing by Joan Miró in ZSL's Visitors Book
Discover the June 2011 artefact
Whipsnade's 80th Anniversary
Discover the May 2011 artefact
Ernie Bowman, First Class Keeper
Discover the April 2011 artefact
Literature on exploration and discovery
Discover the March 2011 artefact
Macropus parryi by Edward Lear
Discover the February 2011 artefact
Marine Invertebrates in Testacea utriusque Silciliae [Shells of the Two Sicilies] eorumque historia et anatome by Josephus Xaverius Poli, Palma, 1791-1827.
Discover the January 2011 artefact
Staff Christmas Dinner Menu, Whipsnade 1946
Discover the December 2010 artefact
The hedgehog, from The British zoology by Thomas Pennant, 1766
Remember, remember the 5th of November... and don't forget to check your bonfire for hedgehogs
Discover the November 2010 artefact
Edward Lear's `Parrots', 1832
Discover the October 2010 artefact
Coronation Reception Menu Card, 1953
Discover the September 2010 artefact
Manuscripts of Brian Houghton Hodgson at ZSL
Discover the August 2010 artefact
Letter from Sir Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) to Sir Everard Home (1756-1832)
Discover the July 2010 artefact
Centenary of the ZSL Library and Offices at Regent's Park
Discover the June 2010 artefact
Model of Obaysch, by Joseph Gawen. Figure constructed of Nile mud, on carved wooden base, with gilded plaque on side, c1855
Discover the May 2010 artefact
Bicentenary of Philip Henry Gosse author of The Aquarium (1854) and Actinologia Britannica : A history of the British Sea-anemones and corals (1860)
Discover the April 2010 artefact
Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820) and the voyage of HMS Endeavour (July 1768 – July 1771)
Discover the March 2010 artefact
'The New Reptile House, in the Gardens of the Zoological Society, Regent's Park' from the London Illustrated News, 1849
Discover the February 2010 artefact
Jumbo's March, composed for the pianoforte by George Barnham. Illustrated by Alfred Concanen, 1882
Discover the January 2010 artefact
Felis caudata Plate 34 in A monograph of the Felidae, or family of cats, by Daniel Giraud Elliot. [London] : published by the author, 1883
Discover the December 2009 artefact
'On the origin of species' by Charles Darwin, 1859
Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the origin of species.
Discover the November 2009 artefact
'Screw mobile' by Kenneth Martin, 1967
This restored mobile now hangs in the ZSL Meeting Rooms.
Discover the October 2009 artefact
'Study of a young chimpanzee' by Joseph Wolf, ca. 1852
This painting was used as the basis of one of a series of lithographs in 'Zoological sketches' (1856-61)
Discover the September 2009 artefact
Row in the Jungle by Joseph Wolf
See this beautiful and evocative watercolour
Discover the August 2009 artefact
History of Java by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles
See a the title page of this historic book by the founder of ZSL.
Discover the July 2009 artefact
Letter from Mary Anning to William Buckland
See a letter from the famous fossil hunter, Mary Anning.
Discover the June 2009 artefact
Drawings of red panda, 1852
Drawings from `Mammals of India' by Brian Houghton Hodgson
Discover the May 2009 artefact
British bird eggs by Henry Jones
Watercolours of British bird eggs
Discover the April 2009 artefact
Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836.
Discover the March 2009 artefact
Darwin's Letters to PL Sclater, 1870-1871
Discover the February 2009 artefact
Laurence F. Savage drawings of animals at ZSL London Zoo
Discover the January 2009 artefact
Penguins on snow, ZSL London Zoo, 1924.
Discover the December 2008 artefact
Fellowship Certificate of Charles Darwin, 1831.
Discover the November 2008 artefact
Photo of Obaysch, by Frederick York, 1870
Discover the October 2008 artefact
Cheetah (Felis jubata), by Joseph Wolf c1852
Discover the September 2008 artefact
Discover the August 2008 artefact
Discover the July 2008 artefact
Portrait of Jenny, the first orangutan at London Zoo. Printed by W Clerk, High Holborn, in December 1837.
Discover the June 2008 artefact
Dissertation sur la génération et les transformations des insectes de Surinam... / par Marie Sibille Merian.
La Haye : Cosse, 1726
Discover the May 2008 artefact
Books on the history of ZSL London Zoo
Readers are fascinated with London Zoo, and many books have been written about it in the 180 years since it was opened.
Discover the April 2008 artefact
The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle
These volumes describe the animals encountered as the Beagle voyaged around the world from 1832 to 1836. Soon we will be celebrating 200 years since Darwin’s birth and 150 years since the publication of On the origin of species.
Discover the March 2008 artefact
Whipsnade Zoo Guide, 1965
ZSL Library has many interesting guidebooks for London Zoo and Whipsnade. This is the cover of one of them.
Discover the February 2008 artefact
Catalogue of the Specimens and Drawings of Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Fishes of Nepal and Tibet, presented by B.H. Hodgson, Esq. to the British Museum. Second Edition 1863. (Annotated by Hodgson).
This was Hodgson's personal copy of the Catalogue and is covered with his additions and corrections.
Discover the January 2008 artefact
Detail from Caspian snow partridge, by Joseph Wolf. c1865
The watercolour painting of 'Caspian snow partridge' with goldfinches has been selected as the December artefact for its seasonal, snowy, appeal.
Discover the December 2007 artefact
Guy Fawkes and domestic cat, from the book "All About Animals", 1897
Discover the November 2007 artefact
Common bat, Vespertilio murinus, plate 50 in The natural history of British quadrupeds ... / by E. Donovan
Discover the October 2007 artefact
Oil painting of Guy the gorilla, by William Timym. c1980
William Timym (1902-1990) had been a great admirer of Guy and as well as the sculpture in ZSL London Zoo, a large, stunning, colourful oil painting of Guy can be found hanging in ZSL Library.
Discover the September 2007 artefact
Calliphlox amethystina, the amethyst hummingbird in Volume III of A monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of humming-birds, by John Gould.
Discover the August 2007 artefact
Oil painting of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, founder and first President of ZSL, by James Lonsdale, 1817.
Discover the July 2007 artefact
The naturalist on the river Amazons
The naturalist on the river Amazons, a record of the adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and aspects of nature under the equator, during eleven years of travel / by Henry Walter Bates. In two volumes. London : John Murray, 1863
Discover the June 2007 artefact
Postcard of Pipaluk and Sally
Knut the polar bear has been in the news recently, but ZSL London Zoo has also had two famous polar bear cubs: Brumas and Pipaluk.
Discover the May 2007 artefact
Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish physician and naturalist, introduced the method of binomial nomenclature using genus and species names on a world scale for animals in 1758 with the publication of Systema Naturae.
The voyages of Captain Cook
In 1768 James Cook began the first of the three great Pacific voyages which would see him chart the whole ocean, from New Zealand to the Arctic, so accurately that his charts can still be used today.
Ernest Griset, who died 100 years ago, was a well-known caricaturist of the nineteenth century. His illustrations in books and satirical magazines including Punch contributed to their popularity and success.
Record Card for Winnie the Bear.
This London Zoo record card is for Winnie, the bear that inspired A. A. Milne to create Winnie the Pooh.
The painting of ‘Wapiti in the snow’ has been selected as the December artefact for its seasonal appeal.
Wapiti in the snow. A watercolour, signed by the artist Joseph Wolf, and dated January 1881. c27 x 37 cm. The painting is in a sealed window mount and guarded into an album of watercolours by Wolf. The provenance is not known but it was probably commissioned by the Society.
Comparison of a human and bird skeleton, woodcut, 1555.
It is printed in one of the earliest books in the ZSL Library, L’histoire de la nature des oyseaux, avec leurs descriptions, & naifs portraicts. (The history and nature of birds) par Pierre Belon du Mans published in 1555.
This four-page prospectus was written in March 1825 to encourage people to join the proposed Zoological Society.
It states that the Society would have “a collection of living animals such as never yet existed in ancient or modern times”, a Museum, and a Library.
The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands - by Mark Catesby, 1731-43
Dodo in a Landscape with birds and animals by Roelandt Savery, circa 1629.
Staff Record Card for John Tyrrell (1893-1920).
Brian Houghton Hodgson’s Painting of the Tibetan Antelope, or Chiru, c 1840.
Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die natürliche Historie der Frösche hiesigen Landes
by August Johann Roesel von Rosenhof, (1753-)1758
Watercolour of an Asian lion by Edward Lear -
Edward Lear may be better known for his nonsense verse and limericks but he began his career as a zoological illustrator.