150 years of `Zoological Record’ 1864-2014

by Ann Sylph on

Zoological Record® is the oldest continuous bibliographic database in life sciences and the leading and most comprehensive source for biodiversity, systematics and zoological information. Housed within the Web of ScienceTM, a web-based platform for scientific search and discovery and the authority in science, social science, and arts and humanities indices— Zoological Record serves as the world’s unofficial, but primary, animal-name repository covering the entire animal kingdom, including living and fossil species.  

Albert Günther was the original editor of the Zoological Record. It was first published in 1864 and founded by a group of scientists associated with the Zoological Society of London(ZSL)and the British Museum to disseminate and connect their research. This early database revolutionized life sciences by serving as a key driver in the advancement of systematic zoology and biodiversity research. Since its origination, the archive has recorded almost 1.2 million new species and influenced the work of environmental researchers including those studying global warming, energy and conservation.

Over the years, the Zoological Record has continued to expand and adapt to the needs of its researchers. Today, as part of  Web of Science, the digitised Zoological Record directly connects to a vast network of people, organisations, documents and countries, providing millions of connections documenting the evolution of science over the past century. Trusted by more than 6,900 of the of the world’s leading research institutions and hundreds of governments, the Web of Science is  the primary resource through which scientific literature is captured for scholarly record.

Comparison of Zoological Record volumes for 1864 and 2013
Comparison of Zoological Record volumes for 1864 and 2013

At ZSL it is a fantastic resource allowing detailed searching of the published zoological literature for a long period of time. Individual journal articles have been indexed and can be searched in a number of ways including by species names and geographical area.  Thomson Reuters have generously provided online access to Zoological Record in the Reading Room of ZSL Library for use by Fellows and ZSL staff. It can be used via any of the three PCs in the Reading Room. Do remember to bring your Fellowship card with you when you visit the Library.

Those of you who prefer to use the print version instead of the online version, please be reassured that we have a complete set of the print version and the latest print edition - Volume 149 for 2013 arrived in ZSL Library on 28 April 2014.

As I have stated in the Thomson Reuters 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report ` The Zoological Record has a unique and practical value, allowing researchers to go back to first descriptions but also receive information on details like the migration and distribution patterns of animals. This is vital information in assessing the broad and specific impacts of issues such as climate change and invasive species’ 

Ann Sylph, ZSL Librarian


For further information about Zoological Record please visit their website http://wokinfo.com/products_tools/specialized/zr/

Zoological Record 1864 and 2013 on shelves, showing how the literature has expanded over 149 years. 1864 is bound in one volume but the 2013 occupies almost the whole shelf.
Zoological Record 1864 and 2013 on shelves, showing how the literature has expanded over 149 years. 1864 is bound in one volume but the 2013 volume occupies almost the whole shelf.



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