Micropalaeontology library

Slide of microfossil specimens

A slide of specimens from the Heron-Allen collection

The Heron-Allen Library represents an unsurpassed micropalaeontology literature resource, providing access to books, bound reprints and microfiche copies of scientific papers.

As well as providing comprehensive background to our fossil and recent collections, the library contains a mass of data from around the world, including taxonomic and stratigraphical information.

It contains literature associated with the foraminifera collections housed in the department and also holds some fascinating historical texts.The library attracts scientific visitors in its own right, and has provided essential data underpinning many important biostratigraphical projects.


The micropalaeontology library holds an array of key works, including many early literary milestones on foraminifera, ostracods and radiolaria. It is regularly updated with new and important works.


In addition to works gathered by the Museum, we are fortunate to have received bespoke collections of literature from leading researchers upon their retirement:

  • Dr G Adams (foraminifera)
  • Dr W Riedel (radiolarians)
  • Dr J Neale (ostracods)
  • Dr R Austin (conodonts)

We have also acquired a large number of research theses, of which:

  • most accompany their associated microfossil collection
  • some arrived together with the entire university reference collection (from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, for example)


Looking for a specimen?

The micropalaeontology collection is being digitised

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Collections on the move

We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected. 

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