Visitor services

The Library and Archives welcomes anyone intending to use the collections for research purposes. Please make an appointment at least 48 hours in advance of your visit.

Opening hours

South Kensington: Tuesday-Friday, 10:00-16.30 (closed bank holidays).

Tring, Hertfordshire: Monday-Thursday, 09.30-15.30 (closed bank holidays).

The Natural History Museum at Tring houses the Library’s Ornithology and Rothschild collection.

Our collection

The Museum looks after one of the world’s finest and most comprehensive collections of natural history literature, artwork and manuscripts. From 1489 to the present, from paper to digital, the collection is a unique resource for scientific and historical research. It includes:

  • international coverage
  • comprehensive holdings in taxonomy and systematics
  • the latest high impact E-journals and online databases
  • unique collections of natural history art and manuscripts
  • major subject collections covering anthropology, botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology
  • extensive archives about the Museum’s history

Use our search system to find what you need, then request to view the items in our reading room or order a digitised copy.

  • On the Origin of Species
    Searching our collections

    Find out how to search the Library and Archives collections and request items.

  • William Smith's geological map.
    Your visit

    How to arrange a visit to the Library and Archives.

  • Giant video wall, Ecology gallery.
    Digitisation orders

    Get a physical or digital copy of our collection material sent to you with our digitisation ordering service.

Library and Archives notices

  • Audit closure 17-21 November 2014  We are closed to external enquiries and visitors during this period, our service re-opens as usual Monday 24 November

  • Christmas/New Year closure 22 December 2014 - 2 January 2015 We are closed to external enquiries and visitors during this period, our service re-opens as usual Monday 5 January 2015

Follow us on Twitter @nhm_library

On the Origin of Species
Searching our collections

Find out how to search the Library and Archives collections and request items.

Chalcopsitta sintillata illustration
Email the Library and Archives

Arrange a visit or request information about Library and Archives materials.

Or call us on +44 (0)20 7942 5460.