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.

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 email us via library@zsl.org.

Details of other books can be found in our card catalogue in the Reading Room.

Follow us on Twitter @ZSLLibrary

 

NEW!!  Short library & archive talks before Science and Conservation Events.

From the Autumn 2019, ZSL Library will be hosting short introductory talks to its special collections prior to most Science and Conservation Events (see schedule below).  Talks start at 4.45pm and last 20 minutes; no need to book.  Please contact library@zsl.org for more information.

Dates of upcoming Library introductions:

8 October 2019, 4.45pm

12 November 2019, 4.45pm

10 December 2019, 4.45pm

14 January 2020, 4.45pm

11 February 2020, 4.45pm

10 March 2020, 4.45pm

14 April 2020, 4.45pm

12 May 2020, 4.45pm

14 July 2020, 4.45pm

If you would like a tour of ZSL Library separately to these dates please get in touch either by email library@zsl.org, or call 020 7449 6293.
For details of all Science and Conservation Events see www.zsl.org/science/whats-on

ZSL Library is open Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm. It 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).

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

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


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

Lithograph of a kingfisher perched on a branch
Kingfisher in Volume II of The birds of Europe / by John Gould, London : published by the author, 1837

 

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.

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

Access to ZSL Library & Archives

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

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

 

ZSL Online Library Catalogue

Search the Library catalogue

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).

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 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 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. We do have to access the Reading Room, the lift is 65cm wide and 120cm deep but if you need to use this, please do contact us in advance.

 

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 with a group 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 ticket holders (207.41 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.

PDF icon Libary regulations for Fellows & Student Fellows June 2019 (195.07 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.

PDF icon ZSL library regulations for members and ticket holders (207.41 KB) (207.41 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.

PDF icon ZSL Library Regulations for use of 'Special Collections' (168.31 KB) (168.31 KB)

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. 

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 .

View our Library catalogue Frequently Asked Questions

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

Retrospective Book Cataloguing Project

ZSL Library is pleased to announce that 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.

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 

28 Sep - 29 Sep 2019

Over two nights in September, Emerge Festival will see a creative kaleidoscope of events take over 11 London Boroughs.

With one ticket, you’ll have access to all the night’s venues and some of the best breakthrough artists in town. 

As part of the festival, ZSL's Prince Philip Zoological Library and Archives will be offering guided tours throughout the evening on Saturday 28th September.

Join our experts as they take you behind the scenes of one of the oldest zoological libraries in the world. Home to a unique collection of books, artwork and archive material, step back in time to discover the history of our collections.  

Four people in the library looking at an antique book

We’ll be revealing the lives of Joan Procter and Edward Lear, each from a different background and with diverse passions, but both of whom achieved so much before their 30th birthdays!  With material on display that is normally hidden from view and the chance to ask your own questions, be one of the first to experience this brand new event.  

Book your tickets now