Who can use the Library

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
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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 Members

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


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 false

Find out how to become a Member of ZSL

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.