Opening times

By appointment 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. 

Type of place
London Zoo
Additional costs

Additional costs may apply, advance booking is recommended!

ZSL Library and Archives is now closed for refurbishment and will aim to reopen on 5th March 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:

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.


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.

Search our Library Catalogue

Search our Archives Catalogue



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

Collection details will be provided when we email confirming the items are available for loan.

Search our online catalogue



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.

See details on our 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 with the details.

Discover more

  • ZSL_library_readers_looking_at_large_book
    Welcome to ZSL Library and Archives

    ZSL Library opening hours and visitor information

    ZSL Library & Archives is open to all, read more for all the visitor information you'll need for your next visit.

  • elephant_artefact_library
    Visit us by appointment only

    Who can use the ZSL Library

    Please email to make an appointment to visit. We are open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (by appointment only).

  • zoo_literature_london_zoo
    One of the most extensive zoological collections

    Zoo Literature in ZSL Library

    Discover the wide range of literature you can find at ZSL library. From guidebooks to journals we're likely to have what you're looking for if it's zoological-related.

  • girl in ZSL reading room
    Gain special access to the ZSL Library & Archives

    ZSL Visiting Library Scholars

    Find out more about our honorary position, where scholars are welcome to apply & receive privileged access to the ZSL Library & Archives for a period of time.

  • library staff
    Search or library catalogue for artworks, journals and more

    ZSL Library and Archives online catalogues

    Use our catalogue to search for various artworks, journals, books and more.

  • Tiger painting
    Access our catalogue with ease

    ZSL Library Online Catalogue - Frequently Asked Questions

    The following FAQs should help you to make effective use of our catalogue.