Conserving the future of ZSL Library
Thanks to a generous legacy gift, important improvements have taken place to help conserve ZSL Library’s important and historical collection for future generations.
Founded in 1826, ZSL Library is one of the major zoological libraries in the world and is open to all.
ZSL Library provides a valuable service. It is used for research in all aspects of zoology, from researchers studying animals in the field to academics working in theoretical areas.
It contains a unique collection of books dating back to the 16th century, journals; original drawings and paintings; photographs; ZSL archives; Zoo ephemera; and original handwritten manuscripts.
A lasting gift to ZSL
One kind donor was passionate about ZSL, having been a member of ZSL staff for 17 years. She left the residue of her estate to The Zoological Society of London 'for the upkeep of the library'.
Librarian Ann Sylph, says, 'This gift came at the perfect time. We had just received funding for an art cataloguer to survey and catalogue the extensive art collection but the lack of space and inadequate storage facilities meant it was difficult to organise and find paintings, many of which were scattered around the Library.
'The gift was used to refurbish the Library’s art store. It now has specialist storage where art works can be hung; shelving to accommodate water colours; and Solander boxes that provide an acid-free environment for prints and manuscripts.
'The art cataloguer has been able to sort and store paintings more easily, increasing their accessibility and it was even possible to create a working area for her within the room.'
The gift is also being used to improve environmental conditions in ZSL Library. It was found that the environment in the Library was either too hot and dry, or too humid. A consultant advised monitoring the environmental conditions for a year to see how the conditions fluctuate. The data collected will inform us of how best to improve conditions in ZSL Library, and this legacy gift will fund this ongoing work.
Keep your love of animals alive: remember ZSL in your Will