ZSL Library Online Catalogue - Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers should help you to make effective use of our catalogue. You may find it helpful to print off these pages and keep them next to you while you use our catalogue.

If you have a question that is not answered here please email library@zsl.org . Feedback about use of the catalogue is helpful as it helps us to make these FAQs relevant and helps to improve our services.

The online catalogue can be accessed directly at Library OPAC or from a link at ZSL Library Collection.

It gives details of :
• all our serial holdings 
• most books published before 1860 
• all books acquired since 1993
• ZSL archives
• Artworks and artefacts 
• Links to relevant online resources

If you are looking for a particular book published before 1993 then you may need to also check our card catalogue in our Reading Room. We are currently adding details for books published between 1861 and 1992.

The Simple search is a `google’ type search, if you want to be more specific in your searching please follow the guidelines below

To search specifically for ZSL archives, use the `Search archives’ button on the sidebar. The archives are not fully catalogued, if you cannot find what you want please check with our Archivist, email library@zsl.org.

Artworks and artefacts are not all listed individually, some are listed as collections. To search specifically for artworks and artefacts, use the `Search artworks’ button on the sidebar.

Journals and serials

How do I check if you have a particular serial/journal?

Why can I access some online journals via your catalogue but not others?

Books

How do I search for books by author, title and subject?

I have found a book in the catalogue, how do I check whether it is in the Library?

Who can borrow books?

How do I activate the 'my account' facility?

Can I carry out more complex searches for books combining words and/or subject codes?

Journals and serials

How do I check if you have a particular serial/journal?

Click on the sidebar for `Search journal titles only’ or from the entry page click on `Browse search’. 
Make sure the pull down menu in `Look for’ is set at `TI (All Titles)
Type beginning of the journal/serial title into the box and click on the `Go’ button.
Matches appear but some of these will be books and some will be journals. 
Click on the most appropriate matching title. 
The title and our holdings information will appear with details of volumes and years. 
Make a note of the `Call number’ as this is the shelf location of the title in our Library.
NB recently received issues are listed as `Current issues’ in the `Copy information’

Why can I access some online journals via your catalogue but not others?

You can use the open access online journals from our catalogue by clicking on the URL in the journal entry. Any titles where we have a limited licence agreement will only be accessible in the Library's Reading Room.

Books

How do I search for books by author, title and subject?

It is usually best to click on 'browse search' in the entry page.

Author

Usually all authors, not just the first author can be searched as well as corporate authors such as Zoological Society of London or Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Make sure the pull down menu in `Look for’ is set at `AU (All Authors)’.
Type in the author’s name in the format `Surname, Initial’ and click on the `Go’ button. Matches appear, click on the most appropriate matches. 
Make a note of the `Call number’ as this is the shelf location of the book in our Library.

Title

Make sure the pull down menu in `Look for’ is set at `TI (All Titles)’ 
Type in the title (or keyword) and click on the `Go’ button. Matches appear, click on the most appropriate matches. 
Make a note of the `Call number’ as this is the shelf location of the title in our Library.

Subject

It is usually best to search by subject using the Library’s subject codes if you know them 
e.g. lions YPO, carnivores YM or Britain /e. NB geographical subject codes are prefixed by /

A-Z list of subject keywords (1.29 MB)

A-Z list of subject codes (609.63 KB)

Make sure the pull down menu in `Look for’ is set at `SU (Subject)’ 
Type in the subject code,word or term and click on the `Go’ button. Matches appear, click on the most appropriate matches. 
Make a note of the `Call number’ as this is the shelf location of the title in our Library.

I have found a book in the catalogue, how do I check whether it is in the Library?

If the book is on loan the `Status’ will be `On loan’ 
If the book is in the Library the `Status’ will be `On the Shelf’.
Books not available for loan have `Non-circulating’ as their `Status’

Please note that books of the Collection Type ‘Departmental Book’ are not available for viewing in the Library

Who can borrow books?

Fellows of ZSL and staff of ZSL may borrow up to six books at any one time for a two month loan period. If not required by someone else, the loan period can be extended. ZSL Volunteers may also borrow. Fellows of the Royal Entomological Society may also borrow books. We do not lend books published before 1930. Most books published after 1940 are available for loan however a few are restricted to reference use in the Library - their `Status’ is `Non-circulating’

How do I activate the 'my account' facility?

If you are entitled to borrow books then you may ask for your account to be activated. This allows you to request books, check which books you currently have on loan and when they are due back.
Please email library@zsl.org saying you wish to activate your account. You will then be issued with a User name and password

Can I carry out more complex searches for books combining words and/or subject codes?

Yes, select the 'Advanced search' option from the entry page.

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