Searching our collections

Use the guides below to navigate the Library and Archives search in preparation for your visit. The guides provide clear instruction on how to identify and access the resources held in our collections.

The Library and Archives holds one of the largest natural history literature collections in the world. The collection includes thousands of journals, unique special collections, rare books and artworks, photographs and letters from the Museum’s history and much more. 

The richness, diversity and age of our collection make it an invaluable resource for researchers and scholars worldwide.


Search and navigation.
Searching and navigation

The basics of searching the Library and Archives collection, including print, electronic and archival resources. PDF (506.3 KB)

Requesting library items.
Placing a Reading Room request

Once you’ve identified your item(s) of interest in our collections, find out how to request to view it in our historic reading room. PDF (369.8 KB)

Ready to search?

Magnifying glass. Search

Search the Library and Archives collections for books, journals, artworks, photographs and more.

If you have questions not covered by the guides, please contact us.

Magnifying glass. Ready to search?

Search the Library and Archives collections for books, journals, artworks and photographs.

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.