By appointment 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only.
Type of place
Additional costs may apply, advance booking is recommended!
ZSL Library and Archives will be open on 1 November 2023 and will then close until February 2024.
The Charles Hayward Foundation are generously funding redevelopment of the Reading Room to transform it into a welcoming, engaging and more flexible space. We hope you can visit us after our exciting transformation. Further information on reopening dates will be available on this page in due course.
ZSL Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives
ZSL's Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives contains a unique collection of resources on zoology and animal conservation.
We are welcoming a limited number of visitors by appointment only.
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:
- More than 200,000 volumes
- 5,000 journal titles
- Free wireless internet access
- Document supply and copying services
- Archives of ZSL
- Books dating from 16th century to the present, ranging from popular to technical
- Holdings located on-site
- Modern books on open access in our Reading Room
- Special collection relating to information on zoos
- The ZSL drawings and prints collection
- Image collection
- Collection on the impacts of climate change
- Friendly service from specialist library staff
- Find out about our Subject Scope
Please email email@example.com 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.
COVID-19 Code of Conduct
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 hand gel 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.
Online Library & Archive Catalogues
Both our online library and our archive catalogues are available 24/7.
The 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.Make a list of the books you would like to borrow, and email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collection details will be provided when we email confirming the items are available for loan.
If you have borrowed books from us already, we will automatically renew the loan period.
If you wish to return any borrowed items and do not wish to make an appointment to visit ZSL Library & 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.
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.
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 email@example.com with the details.