Library and Archives

Search our collections

Curious about the natural world? Then you're in the right place. The Library and Archives has been developing its unparalleled collection of natural history literature, artwork and information resources since 1881.

Museum scientists and visitors can use the search engine to find specific articles and journals, or simply explore our collection pages to discover the treasures of the Library and Archives.

Service updates

Revised opening times for South Kensington from May 2016
Tuesday to Thursday 10.00-16.00.

New schedule for retrieving off-site Library and Archives collections
It may take up to eight working days for off-site items to be made available for you in South Kensington, and potentially longer for special collections. Please contact us well in advance of your planned visit to discuss your requirements.

Reduced access to botanical Library collections: November 2015 - spring 2016
Access to our botany stores is reduced due to major building works. During this period, please give staff at least 48 working hours’ notice for any requests involving the Library’s botanical collection. The amount of material retrieved per appointment will be limited and it may not be possible for us to fulfil larger requests.

Using our services

Find out how to search the collections, access our resources or visit one of our reading rooms.


Our collection

Browse the highlights of our incredible collection or use the search tools below to find exactly what you are looking for.

About us

Find out how the Library and Archives has evolved to support a broad range of research.