Natural History Museum Library

Contact details

Website: E-mail: Contact form Tel: 020 7942 5460

Photo of the Library of the Natural History Museum

Image copyright: the Natural History Museum

About the library

The Library holds one of the world's leading collections of natural history literature and art from the 1400s to the present. The collection includes:

  • International coverage of most aspects of natural history
  • Comprehensive holdings in taxonomy and systematics
  • More than one million books and 25,000 periodicals
  • The latest electronic resources including e-journals and databases
  • Extensive art and manuscript collections

The local library catalogue is available online.

Accessing materials

Can I see live document availability on Copac? No.

Can I obtain items via Inter Library Loan? No, items are reference only.

Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - All visitors are welcome to use the collections. Please contact us to make an appointment on 020 7942 5460 or If you wish to visit it is advisable to contact the Library in advance to ensure the material you need will be available. For further access details visit our website.

How do I find primary source material held at this institution? Search the Library catalogue or for the official records and historical collection of the Natural History Museum, visit the Archives catalogue. For descriptions of some of the collections, see the Natural History Museum's Archives Hub page.


Natural History Museum data on Copac

Example record from the Natural History Museum:

Opuscula Entomologica quæ iam instituta habet auspiciis ... regia Friderici V : proxime edenda indicit eorumque specimina quædam exhibet Jacobus Christianus Schaeffer : nachricht und Proben von der ... nächstens zu liefernden Herausgabe gewisser unternommener Insectenwerke. / [By Schäffer, Jacob Christian 1718-1790.]
  Published: Regensburg, 1764

You can browse all the titles on Copac starting with the above title.