Library collections are enhanced by a number of important donations, including the vast collection of Sir Walter Rothschild.
Hay's fantastic collection of 2,560 ornithological volumes, many of them rare, was donated to the Museum by his nephew. The volumes were originally collected as part of Hay’s publication describing new bird species from the Indian subcontinent.
Thomas de Grey bequeathed his collection of 200,000 micro-lepidoptera specimens and his books to the Museum.
Sherborn presented the Library with a collection of 8,000 letters and other documents from naturalists. These have proved invaluable in identifying the handwriting on collectors’ labels.
Rothschild donated his vast zoology collection at Tring, Hertfordshire to the Museum. Not only did his museum contain the largest collection of animals ever assembled by one man, but it also included a working library of nearly 300,000 bound books relating to ornithology and entomology. The library has been maintained and is kept up to date.