ZSL Library Collection

The Zoological Society of London's Library contains a unique collection of journals and books on zoology and animal conservation.

The Library is open Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm. The Library is closed on all public holidays and at weekends.

Christmas closure - ZSL Library will be open as usual on 23 December. The Library will then close for the Christmas period, reopening on Friday 2 January 2015.

Season's greetings.

Lead image of the library

Search the Library catalogue

Founded in 1826, ZSL Library is one of the major zoological libraries in the world and is open to all. For access details please see 'Who can use the Library?'

The Library contains a wide range of books and journals on all types of animals and their conservation. It has:

  • more than 200,000 volumes
  • 5,000 journal titles, 1,300 of which are current
  • free wireless internet access
  • photocopying facilities
  • archives of ZSL
  • books dating from 16th century to the present, ranging from popular to technical
  • holdings located on-site
  • modern books on open access in our Reading Room
  • special collection relating to information on zoos
  • friendly service from specialist library staff.


Old catalogs at ZSL library
Search our catalogue: ZSL Library Catalogue

The ZSL Library Catalogue can be viewed online with details of all serial holdings - most-pre-1860 books and books published from 1993 onwards can be found.

If you experience any problems with the catalogue please contact us.

Details of other books can be found in our card catalogue in the Reading Room.

Find out more about the ZSL Library Catalogue.

Free Wi-Fi is available in ZSL Library

Free wireless internet access is now available in ZSL Library. To connect your laptop to the wireless network you simply need to request a password from the Library desk (the password will be changed on a weekly basis).

Wireless Internet Access Policy and Procedure (46.37 KB)

Please ask Library staff for further details when you next visit ZSL Library.

Artefact of the Month

Two penguins in a drawing John Gould, 1848
Founded in 1826, the ZSL library has amassed one of the most extensive zoological collections in the world. 

Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as ‘Artefact of the Month’, helping you to discover the historical wonders that ZSL has to offer. 

Read now