This is an honorary position, scholars from around the world are welcome to apply and receive privileged access to the ZSL Library & Archives for a period of time, providing an opportunity to study rare or unique items in the collections.

ZSL Library holds many rare and fine books relating to all types of animals, their biology, conservation and discovery. ZSL Library also contains photographs of animals dating back to the 1860s, many watercolours and prints as well as the Archives of ZSL.

Visiting scholars have studied the handwritten travel journals of William Baird; the provenance and history of ZSL’s volume of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, 1731-43; Brian Houghton Hodgson’s drawings of Indian birds.

Our Visiting Scholars past & present

Miles Kempton is our current Visiting Scholar, he is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge. He is using ZSL Library & Archives to research ZSL London Zoo and natural history TV in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Dan Phillips is another of our Visiting Scholars, he is carrying out research for a PhD at Exeter University using our collections to look at ZSL's imperial networking 1847-1903.

David A. Lowther, is a former Visiting Scholar when he was a PhD student at the University of Newcastle, he subsequently moved to the University of Durham. He used ZSL Library & Archives to assist in his research into the development of zoology in Britain c.1820-1850. 

group of students reading in ZSL library

Application information

If you would like to be considered for the honorary position of ZSL Visiting Library Scholar, please submit a Curriculum vitae, with appropriate references, outlining your planned research topic and length of proposed stay.

Please note our Library & Archives well-used and hence applying some time in advance of your visit is recommended.

This is an honorary post only and no remuneration is payable.

For further background information about ZSL and to make an application for the position of visiting scholar in the library please contact or write to:

Ann Sylph
The Zoological Society of London
Regents Park

Contact us for more information or to submit your application