Library information for Fellows, Patrons and Members

Welcome to ZSL Prince Philip Zoological Library and Archives


ZSL Library and Archives is open by appointment only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

ZSL Library and Archives are pleased to be welcoming visitors.We are gradually reopening and welcoming a limited number of visitors by appointment only, we are open 10.30am to 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

Please email 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.

Once you arrive please press the buzzer or telephone 0207 449 6293 so one of the Library Team can let you into the building.

Although some restrictions have been lifted our priority is to keep you and our staff safe so we would appreciate 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 is accessed via two flights of stairs. If you would like to visit 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.

Christmas Holidays

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

Season's Greetings


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

The new ZSL Archives catalogue and 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.

This 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.

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.

Landing page for the new ZSL Archives catalogue displaying optional pages available to view
ZSL Archives catalogue


Follow us on Twitter @ZSLLibrary


General Library information

We have thousands of books available for borrowing, and a host of online resources- search our Library online catalogue  to check our holdings and explore these collections.

Remember : Fellows can borrow 6 books at any one time; Student Fellows may borrow 2 books at any one time. 

Find out more information about the Library.

Lead image of the library


ZSL Library and Archives are in the Zoological Society of London's main office building, 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.

Search our Library catalogue online to find out about our books, journal holdings, and art works.

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


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

More films featuring our Special Collections

On YouTube Objectivity Videos - The reptile expertDarwin at the Zoo and Random Zoo photos

ZSL Facebook video for World Book Day with Emma talking about three of her favourite books - by Konrad Gessner, Evelyn Cheeseman and Charles Darwin.



Library Tours for Fellows and Patrons

Tours for Fellows and Patrons 

We will be offering tours again later in the year, meanwhile do enjoy our film Welcome to ZSL's Library & Archives