Using the Library and Archives

William Smith’s geological map of Great Britain

Part of William Smith's geological map of Great Britain, published in 1815

The Library and Archives team provides staff, visiting researchers and members of the public with easy access to the Museum's unique natural history information resources.

Below you will find information for staff and public visitors on:

  • requesting and accessing Library and Archives material
  • joining the Library
  • booking a Reading Room visit
  • ordering items for digitisation/delivery
  • citing Museum works
  • adhering to our terms of use  

Forthcoming Reading Room closure dates

Christmas and New Year closure

The Library and Archives will be closed to external enquiries and appointments from Monday 24 December 2018 to Friday 4 January 2019. The public reading room will reopen for appointments from Tuesday 8 January.

Closure dates in 2019

The Library and Archives will be closed to external visitors on the following dates in 2019, as they will be conducting collections management work:

  • 21 - 25 January 2019
  • 25 February - 1 March 2019
  • 5 March 2019 
  • 18 - 22 March 2019
  • 22 - 26 April 2019
  • 20 - 24 May 2019

Opening hours

  • South Kensington: Tuesday to Thursday 10.0016.00
  • Tring: Monday to Thursday 9.3015.30

Public visitors

How to arrange a visit

Museum staff

If you're new to the Museum or just need a refresher, you can book a place on one of our staff induction sessions, which take place on the first Wednesday of every month.

If you would like to visit the Library and Archives before your session the guides listed will help you to identify and access the resources you need to support your work. 

We recommend that staff register with the Library and Archives to get the most out of our services. To register, email us with the following information:

  • name
  • staff pass barcode number
  • email address
  • room number 
  • supervisor/line manager
  • department and division