ZSL Library Collection

banner of the zsl library

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

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?'

Library at ZSL

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

 

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.

 

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


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

Lithograph of alpacas drawn from life July 23 1844 by B. Waterhouse Hawkins at Knowsley Hall, Plate LII

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, ZSL London  and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoos will feature here as ‘Artefact of the Month’, helping you to discover the historical wonders that ZSL has to offer. 

Read now

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm

The Library is closed on all public holidays and at weekends.

 

Access to the Library

The Library is open to all, however members of the public must register for a reference ticket (this can be done on the first day that you plan to use the Library). Please refer to 'who can use the Library' for details

Fellows of ZSL and ZSL Members are welcome to use ZSL Library. Please see 'who can use the Library' for details

If you plan to visit ZSL Library with a group of four or more people, please contact us in advance at library@zsl.org , on 0207 449 6293 or via our online enquiry/feedback form

Library users below the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times when visiting ZSL Library.

Finding the Library

The Library is in the Zoological Society of London's main office building, situated on the Outer Circle of Regent's Park, approximately 200 yards East of ZSL London Zoo's main gate and adjacent to the ZSL Meeting Rooms.

View map Meeting room map

Library users do not have to enter London Zoo to use the Library.

External view of ZSL Offices and Library
External view of ZSL Offices containing ZSL Library. At the junction of St Mark's Bridge and the Outer Circle

ZSL Online Library Catalogue

Search the 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.

Visitors may want to view this online catalogue before they visit the library in person.

Find out more about the ZSL online Library catalogue.

Wireless Internet Access

In response to feedback from Fellows and other Library users, 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).

Visitor wireless internet access policy (46.37 KB)

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

Important points to note

  • applications to consult rare books should be made in advance
  • we cannot fetch books and journals from the stacks between 12pm and 2pm
  • school students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult while visiting the library
  • please bring your membership card with you when you visit or proof of address and photo identification if you are member of the public visiting the library for the first time.
  • ZSL Library is access via two flights of stairs. If you are not able to use the stairs please let us know in advance of your visit so we can provide assistance,

 

 

Contact details

The Library

The Zoological Society of London
Regent's Park
London NW1 4RY
020 7449 6293
library@zsl.org
ZSL Library enquiry/feedback form

The ZSL Library is open to all - please see below for access details and limitations on usage.

General Public

Members of the public who are not members of ZSL or the RES may request a Library reference ticket. Please note that you will be able to use the Library for reference only. No books may be removed.

Please bring proof of your address and photo identification with you on the day that you wish to join the Library: this is necessary even for day tickets. You will be asked to complete an application form on your first visit and a ticket will then be posted to your home address.

  • If you do not bring the identification detailed above you will be refused access to the Library
  • If you plan to visit ZSL Library withgroup of four or more people, a please contact us in advance at library@zsl.org , on 0207 449 6293 or via our online enquiry/feedback form
  • Library users below the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times when visiting ZSL Library
  • ZSL Library regulations for Members and Reference Ticket Holders (86.94 KB)

 


Fellows of ZSL

Fellows of the Zoological Society of London are welcome to use the Library and borrow up to six books at a time.

Since September 2011 Student Fellows have been able to borrow up to two books at a time.

Please bring your Fellowship card with you when your visit.

ZSL Library regulations for Fellows (321.86 KB)

 


Fellows of ZSL

Fellows of the Zoological Society of London are welcome to use the Library and borrow up to six books at a time.

Since September 2011 Student Fellows have been able to borrow up to two books at a time.

Please bring your Fellowship card with you when your visit.

ZSL Library regulations for Fellows (321.86 KB)

 


Fellows of ZSL

Fellows of the Zoological Society of London are welcome to use the Library and borrow up to six books at a time.

Since September 2011 Student Fellows have been able to borrow up to two books at a time.

Please bring your Fellowship card with you when your visit.

ZSL Library regulations for Fellows (321.86 KB)

 


Fellows of ZSL

Fellows of the Zoological Society of London are welcome to use the Library and borrow up to six books at a time.

Since September 2011 Student Fellows have been able to borrow up to two books at a time.

Please bring your Fellowship card with you when your visit.

ZSL Library regulations for Fellows (321.86 KB)

 


Fellows of ZSL

Fellows of the Zoological Society of London are welcome to use the Library and borrow up to six books at a time.

Since September 2011 Student Fellows have been able to borrow up to two books at a time.

Please bring your Fellowship card with you when your visit.

ZSL Library regulations for Fellows (321.86 KB)

ZSL Library regulations for Student Fellows (321.42 KB)

 

ZSL Library regulations for RES Members (111.03 KB)


ZSL Members

ZSL Members are welcome to use the Library for reference only, no books may be removed. Please bring your membership card with you.

ZSL Library regulations for Members and Reference Ticket Holders (86.94 KB)


ZSL Members

ZSL Members are welcome to use the Library for reference only, no books may be removed. Please bring your membership card with you.

ZSL Library regulations for Members and Reference Ticket Holders (86.94 KB)


ZSL Members

ZSL Members are welcome to use the Library for reference only, no books may be removed. Please bring your membership card with you.

ZSL Library regulations for Members and Reference Ticket Holders (86.94 KB)


ZSL Members

ZSL Members are welcome to use the Library for reference only, no books may be removed. Please bring your membership card with you.

ZSL Library regulations for Members and Reference Ticket Holders (86.94 KB)


ZSL Members

ZSL Members are welcome to use the Library for reference only, no books may be removed. Please bring your membership card with you.

ZSL Library regulations for Members and Reference Ticket Holders (86.94 KB)

Find out how to become a Member of ZSL


ZSL Visiting Library Scholars

Scholars from around the world are welcome to apply and receive privileged access to ZSL Library for a period of time, giving an opportunity to study rare or unique items in the collections.

Find out how to apply for an honorary position as a visiting library scholar. 

 

Special Collections

Please refer to our regulations for Special Collections if you wish to consult ZSL Archives, art works or images ZSL Library Regulations for use of `Special Collections' (166.65 KB)

Find out how to become a Member of ZSL


ZSL Visiting Library Scholars

Scholars from around the world are welcome to apply and receive privileged access to ZSL Library for a period of time, giving an opportunity to study rare or unique items in the collections.

Find out how to apply for an honorary position as a visiting library scholar. 

 

Special Collections

Please refer to our regulations for Special Collections if you wish to consult ZSL Archives, art works or images  ZSL Library Regulations for use of `Special Collections' (166.65 KB){C}

Find out how to become a Member of ZSL


ZSL Visiting Library Scholars

Scholars from around the world are welcome to apply and receive privileged access to ZSL Library for a period of time, giving an opportunity to study rare or unique items in the collections.

Find out how to apply for an honorary position as a visiting library scholar. 

 

Special Collections

Please refer to our regulations for Special Collections if you wish to consult ZSL Archives, art works or images {C} ZSL Library Regulations for use of `Special Collections' (166.65 KB){C}{C}

Find out how to become a Member of ZSL


ZSL Visiting Library Scholars

Scholars from around the world are welcome to apply and receive privileged access to ZSL Library for a period of time, giving an opportunity to study rare or unique items in the collections.

Find out how to apply for an honorary position as a visiting library scholar. 

 

Special Collections

Please refer to our regulations for Special Collections if you wish to consult ZSL Archives, art works or images {C}{C} ZSL Library Regulations for use of `Special Collections' (166.65 KB){C}{C}{C}

Find out how to become a Member of ZSL


ZSL Visiting Library Scholars

Scholars from around the world are welcome to apply and receive privileged access to ZSL Library for a period of time, giving an opportunity to study rare or unique items in the collections.

Find out how to apply for an honorary position as a visiting library scholar. 

 

Special Collections

Please refer to our regulations for Special Collections if you wish to consult ZSL Archives, art works or images {C}{C}{C} ZSL Library Regulations for use of `Special Collections' (166.65 KB)

 

Artefact of the Month

Picture of a pair of bowerbirds, published in 1861, with illustrations by Joseph Wolf.

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, ZSL London  and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoos will feature here as ‘Artefact of the Month’, helping you to discover the historical wonders that ZSL has to offer. 

READ NOW

Search the Library catalogue

Use our catalogue to search:

  • All our serial (journal) holdings
  • All books in our collection acquired since 1993
  • Most books in our collection published before 1860
  • ZSL Archives
  • ZSL Artwork collection
  • Links to relevant online resources

For books published before 1993 it is advisable to check both this catalogue and the card catalogue in the Library Reading Room. We are currently adding details of all books in the Library, please see details of this project below.

Our art works have been catalogued with funding from the Michael Marks Trust. Artworks and artefacts are not all listed individually, some are listed as collections.

The catalogue contains a limited number of records for the ZSL Archives, if you cannot find what you want please check with our Archivist by emailing library@zsl.org .

Library catalogue Frequently Asked Questions

If you experience any problems with the catalogue please contact us at library@zsl.org

Retrospective Book Cataloguing Project

At present, the online library catalogue contains records for all of its material published before 1860, and also for material acquired after 1993, but this still leaves a large gap where people searching for books between these two dates need to physically come in to the Library and use the card catalogue which is situated in the Reading Room - meaning that a significant part of the Library’s collection only has limited access.

Old catalogs at ZSL library

t has been the Library’s hope for sometime to close this gap, and make these records available online by commencing a retrospective book cataloguing project. By doing this, the Library would increase access to its collection and greatly assist researchers who might not be able to physically visit ZSL in order to use the card catalogue. In the summer 2010 a Retrospective Book Cataloguer was employed to systematically work through the card catalogue, check the books and then create online records.

The records for the books are being placed online on an average rate of 50-70 items per week. Furthermore, the project also has the extra benefit of enabling the Library to perform a stock check of the books, and to assess the condition for the stock and then arrange for any necessary conservation work to be carried out.

This is a key project in helping ZSL to deliver the strategic aim of facilitating access to zoological and conservation knowledge

The project is being funded with thanks to a generous bequest from Connie Nutkins, a former member of staff who left a generous gift in her will to ZSL Library.

Frequently Asked Questions

Books at the ZSL library

The following questions and answers should help you to make effective use of our catalogue.

Find out more