Manuscripts, maps and photographs

The Library holds maps, photographs, notes and letters from many key figures in the field of natural science.


The Library holds a collection of topographical and geological maps with worldwide coverage. These range from the nineteenth century (including a number of William Smith maps) to the twenty-first century.


The manuscript collection contains a wealth of unique material, including notes and letters from:

  • Mary Anning (1799-1847)
  • Dorothea Bate (1878-1951)
  • Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
  • Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)
  • Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820)


Photographic material includes a collection of images from the Challenger Expedition (1872-1876)

Lodran meteorite microscope image
Picture Library

Search over 50,000 images online.

Sperm whale skeleton, 1901.
Museum Archives

Learn about the official records and historical collection of the Natural History Museum.