ZSL Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives

ZSL library collection

ZSL's Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives contains a unique collection of resources on zoology and animal conservation.

 

ZSL Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives is open by appointment 10.30am to 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. 

 

We are welcoming a limited number of visitors by appointment only.

Please email library@zsl.org 24 hours in advance to make an appointment to visit so we can reserve a desk for you. If you plan to consult any of our 'special collections' i.e. Archives, historic books or art works, then please email a week before.We can then arrange to retrieve material ready for your visit.

Although some restrictions have been lifted our priority is to keep you and our staff safe so would appreciation you complying with some safety measures.

  • Please use a face mask when entering the building and while moving around the building, unless you are exempt.
  • Please also wash your hands on arrival. We are asking our visitors to wash hands regularly rather than use handgel which may cause damage to our collections.
  • You may remove you face mask when sitting at a Library desk but please wear it again when moving around the Library.
  • Please also keep a distance from other Library visitors and Library staff.
  • If you are feeling unwell, please cancel your visit.

 

ZSL Library and Archives Christmas Holidays. 

We will be open on Wednesday 14 December 2022, closing then reopening on Tuesday 3 January 2023.

Season's Greetings

 

Keep in touch by following us on Twitter @ZSLLibrary

 

Online Library & Archive Catalogues

Both available 24/7

 ZSL Library Catalogue contains links to relevant online resources as well as listing our holdings - journals, books and art works.

Use our new ZSL Archives catalogue and website to search our institutional archives and to find out more about ZSL's history.

 

Services to ZSL students and ZSL Fellows.

‘Click and collect’ book loans

If you wish to borrow books but do not want to make an appointment to visit ZSL Library & Archives. Please check our online catalogue for books you wish to borrow  ZSL Library Catalogue and email details to library@zsl.org. Collection details will be provided when we email confirming the items are available for loan.

 

Renewals

If you have borrowed books from us already, we will automatically renew the loan period.

 

Returns

If you wish to return any borrowed items and do not wish to make an appointment to visit ZSL Libary & Archives, please put them in an envelope or bag and hand in at the East Service Gate which is located opposite the ZSL Main Offices, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY.

Please mark the envelope/bag for the attention of ZSL Library and write the date you have returned the item on the package so that we can quarantine returns for 72 hours.

Returned items can be left at the East Service Gate 10am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday only.

 

Scan and Send

Scans for non-commercial use can be made from printed items held in ZSL Library, including book chapters and journal articles, in compliance with copyright regulations. Details on our page Document supply and copying services.

 

Postal Loans

If you are unable to use our ‘click and collect’ service or visit, books can be posted to you via ‘Special Delivery’, costs vary depending on the size of book, from £8 to £25. Please check our online catalogue for the book you wish to borrow then email library@zsl.org with the details.

 

Founded in 1826, ZSL's Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives 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?'

 

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

 

 

Free Wi-Fi is available in ZSL Library

Free wireless internet access is 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 monthly basis).

PDF icon Wireless Internet Access Policy and Procedure (46.37 KB)

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


An introduction to Brian Houghton Hodgson

Brian Houghton Hodgson

Discover more about the pioneering zoologist who described many Himalayan species for the first time.

FIND OUT MORE >


Artefact of the Month

Watercolour of two Przewalski horses standing, a side view
Prejvalsky's (sic) horse. Sketched in the park at Woburn / J. Smit. 1901

 

Founded in 1826, the ZSL Library & Archives has amassed one of the most extensive zoological collections in the world. 

Every month one of the pieces held in ZSL Library & Archives, 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

Welcome to ZSL Library and Archives

Revised Opening Hours

Tuesday and Wednesday 10.30am-5pm only by appointment.

ZSL Library & Archives are closed on all public holidays, Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and at weekends.

Please email library@zsl.org 24 hours in advance to make an appointment to visit so we can reserve a desk for you.

If you plan to consult any of our 'special collections' i.e. Archives, historic books or art works, then please email a week before.We can then arrange to retrieve material ready for your visit.

 

Access to ZSL Library & Archives

ZSL Library & Archives is open to all, however members of the public must register (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 & Archives. 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 ZSL Library & Archives

ZSL 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 visitors do not have to enter ZSL London Zoo to use ZSL Library & Archives.

External view of ZSL Offices and Library
External view of ZSL Library & Archives and Offices

 

ZSL Library and Archives Online Catalogues

Search the ZSL Library catalogue ZSL Library Catalogue can be viewed online with details of all serial holdings, most books, art works. It also contains links to relevant online resources.

Use our new ZSL Archives catalogue and website to search our institutional archives and to find out more about ZSL's history.

Visitors may find it useful to view our online catalogues before they visit ZSL Library & Archives in person.

Find out more about the ZSL online Library catalogue.

 

Wireless Internet Access

Free wireless internet access is 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).

PDF icon Visitor wireless internet access policy (46.37 KB)

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

 

Library information for ZSL Fellows and Members

Are you a Fellow or a member of ZSL? Find out more about visiting the library and upcoming tours here

 

Important points to note

  • applications to consult 'special collections i.e. historic books, archives and art works should be made a week in advance
  • school students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult while visiting ZSL Library
  • please bring your Fellowship or Membership card with you when you visit or proof of address and photo identification if you are member of the public visiting ZSL Library & Archives for the first time.
  • ZSL Library & Archives are accessed via two flights of stairs. If you would like to attend but this would cause you a particular issue, please let us know so we can consider if there are any reasonable adjustments we can make for you.

 

Contact details

ZSL Library & Archives

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

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

Please email library@zsl.org to make an appointment to visit. We are open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

  • Lockers are available for use in the Library Lobby, bags should not be taken into the Library itself.
  • Photography and filming are not usually allowed.
  • Mobile telephones must be switched off or put on silent mode before entering the Reading Room and must remain off while in the Reading Room. Mobile telephones must not be used for making or receiving calls whilst in the Reading Room.
  • Please do not over-reach when trying to obtain books from high shelves. Please ask for assistance when needed. Do not attempt to carry too many books at one time or over-reach.
  • Items not in the Reading Room can be fetched by Library staff but this is dependent on access and staff availability, we will of course attempt to retrieve items as soon as we can.
  • Visitors must not use their own discs, USBs or software in any of the Library’s computers. Laptop computers may be used in the Library. ZSL reserves the right to undertake safety checks of readers’ machines at any time. Wifi is available in the Reading Room, please ask the Duty Librarian for the password.
  • ZSL accepts no liability for the loss of, or damage to, Visitors’ personal property or equipment, howsoever caused.
  • Please remember that eating is not permitted in the Library. Drinking from lidded containers is permitted in the Library lobby and there is a mains water dispenser in Reception.
  • Self-service scanning -ZSL Library provides a book scanner that creates pdf files. To use the scanner, you can purchase a memory stick from Library staff or you are welcome to bring their own. Library visitors may also use personal cameras or phones to take photographs of pages of books and journals, providing they adhere to copyright regulations and do not use a flash. Please check with Library staff first as we do not want photography to cause damage to items in out collections.
  • ZSL Library is up two flights of stairs. A lift is available, please mention if you will need to use the lift when making an appointment to visit.
  • There is an accessible toilet in Reception.
  • If you plan to visit ZSL Library with a group of four or more people, a please contact us in advance at library@zsl.org so we can discuss your request.
  • Library visitors below the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times when visiting ZSL Library
  • Please be considerate towards other Library visitors.

 

General Public and ZSL Members

Members of the public who are not members of ZSL may use ZSL Library for reference only. Similarly ZSL Members are welcome to use ZSL Library for reference. No books may be removed.

Please bring proof of your address and photo identification with you on the day that you wish to make use of ZSL Library. If you do not bring the identification detailed above you will be refused access to the Library


 

Fellows of ZSL

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

Student Fellows may borrow up to two books at a time.

Please bring your Fellowship card with you when your visit. Fellows are welcome to bring in accompanied guests.

Most books in ZSL Library are available for loan except for the reference works and books published before 1950. We also lend some print journals. Manuscripts, drawings and prints are not available for loan. Borrowers are personally responsible for the loss of, or damage to, any volume or other item while it is on loan from ZSL Library. No book may be taken or sent to any place outside the UK. Please do not pass loaned items to another individual. Books may be taken out for two months at a time and loans are automatically renewed unless requested by another borrower.

Further information for ZSL Fellows and Patrons

 


 

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

These include ZSL Archives, art works, historic books or images. Ideally please contact us via email library@zsl.org a week in advance of your visit so we can be sure items are accessible on the day of your visit.

These may be consulted only at the large table near the desk of the Library staff on duty. If you wish to make notes when consulting a rare book, pencils must be used. Biros or ink pens must not be used. 

Handle items with care, especially when turning pages of oversize items.

  • Hands must be clean and dry, please do not apply hand creams before handling items. Cotton gloves will be provided by ZSL and must be worn when handling photographs.
  • Do not write, lean or rest on items.
  • Avoid touching text or images.
  • Do not mark pages with post-its or fold corners.
  • Do not write on any material.
  • Use book supports for bound volumes, do not force books open or bend back covers.
  • Bound books can be held open with book ‘snakes’.Open and re-fold plates and maps carefully.
  • Uncut books and pages should be reported to Library staff.
  • When consulting loose collections e.g. letters or manuscripts, retain the same sequence in which they were presented.
  • Keep all mounted artwork face-upwards
  • Do not stack books on desks more than three high.
  • Do not place items on the floor.
  • Sharp instruments such as scissors, staples, pencil sharpeners should be kept away from Special collections
  • Please consult any member of the Library staff if you have any difficulties. When finished please inform a member of the Library staff.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ZSL ARCHIVES

FIND OUT HOW TO BECOME A FELLOW OF ZSL

Artefact of the Month

Bronze of a running elephant
Elephant bull, Nicola Toms

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 ZSL Library catalogue

Use the ZSL Library catalogue to search:

  • All our serial (journal) holdings
  • Most books in our collection
  • ZSL Artwork collection
  • Links to relevant online resources

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.

View our Library catalogue Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for information about our Archives Catalogue and website.

 

Retrospective Book Cataloguing

All the books within its Reading Room have been added to the online catalogue.  A Retrospective Book Cataloguing Project commenced in Summer 2010 after a generous bequest by former staff member, Connie Nutkins.

Old catalogs at ZSL library

For many years ZSL Library has had a large gap in its online catalogue, where books published between 1860 and 1993 could only be located via the physical card catalogue located in the Library’s Reading Room.  The limited access to the Library catalogue meant that many researchers were not aware of the items held in this unique collection.  It had been hoped to for some time that a cataloguing project would help widen access to the Library, and it was only after Connie’s kind bequest that the project became a reality.

By the end of Autumn 2014 all the books in the Reading Room had systematically been added to the Library’s online catalogue, with the benefit of not only increasing access to the collection, but also giving Library staff an opportunity to perform a thorough stock check and perform conservation reports.

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

Thanks must go to staff and volunteers who have worked so hard on this project, and a special thank you to the late Connie Nutkins who made the project possible.

 

Search our new ZSL Archives catalogue 

Use this new catalogue and website to find out about our institutional archives and more about ZSL's history.

This new catalogue is a great achievement for ZSL Library and Archives ahead of ZSL’s 200th anniversary, and will open up the collections to anyone interested in the history of ZSL. As we approach the anniversary, the catalogue will continue to be enhanced and developed.

The archive website includes a ‘News’ page where we will post updates about the Archives, blog posts and information about upcoming events. ‘About the Archives’ provides a general overview of ZSL’s Archives collections. ‘Explore Archive Topics’ provides information about famous ZSL animals, people and architecture. ‘How to search’ includes handy tips for searching the catalogue. Finally there is a link to ‘Search the Archive’ and delve into the history of ZSL and the zoos it owns: ZSL London and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Legacy archive data has been transferred from the ZSL Library catalogue to the new AtoM (Access to Memory) open-source software and the records are being enhanced to make them as accessible as possible for colleagues across ZSL and external researchers.

Thank you to Max Communications for designing and developing the new catalogue and website, and to Sarah Broadhurst, ZSL’s former Archivist who started work on the new catalogue.

 

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

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Books at the ZSL library

The following questions and answers should help you to make effective use of ZSL Library online catalogue.

Find out more