Library and Archives

Search our collections

Curious about the natural world? Then you're in the right place.

The Library and Archives has been developing its unparalleled collection of natural history literature, artwork and information resources since the Museum opened in 1881.

Our collections

Search across our collections

Electronic resources

Our digitised collections

Opening times and contact

Reading rooms

South Kensington

Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00 to 16:00

Ornithology Library collections at Tring please contact us.


  • Monday to Friday 10:00 to 16:00
  • Contact us
  • Phone +44 (0)20 7942 5460 

Service update

Forthcoming closures to the reading room and enquiries:

13 – 17 May 2024

11 – 15 November 2024

Restricted access to collections February – March 2024

Please note that due to building works in South Kensington during February and March, there will be restricted access to some of our Botany and Mineralogy library collections. If you are making an appointment during this time, our team will advise you if this will affect your visit.

Public transport industrial action: our service may be affected during these periods.

Using our services

Find out how to search the collections, access our resources or visit one of our reading rooms.

About us

Find out how the Library and Archives has evolved to support a broad range of research.