The Museum book guide: women in science

A photograph showing a selection of books from the Museum shop

In celebration of women's contribution to science, we've selected some books written by women scientists and staff members at the Museum.

Women have shaped the history of the Museum since its earliest days, both front of house and behind the scenes. From palaeontologists like Dorothea Bate, who was one of the first female scientists employed by the Museum, to the hundreds of women who make up our workforce today.

Discover the work of incredible women who have been inspired by the wonders of the natural world. 


Science and scientists

Museum scientists are leaders in their fields, and these books reveal some of the incredible stories to be found in natural history collections. 

The Secret Life of Flies

Dr Erica McAlister's ground-breaking work explores the fascinating and often surprising life of flies. She dispels common misconceptions and reveals how truly amazing and important these creatures are.

Meteorites: The Story of our Solar System

Thanks to meteorites, we can discover the process that formed the solar system 4,570 million years ago. Join leading Museum experts as they answer some of life's big questions. 

Flora: An Artistic Voyage through the World of Plants

Compiled by Museum botanist Dr Sandy Knapp, this box set contains over 20 essays, 160 illustrations and 36 frameable prints, all of which tell the story of the plants that have come to form the modern world. 

Wildlife photography

This traditionally male-dominated field is beginning to attract more and more women, and their work is changing the shape of nature photography for the better. 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Highlights Vol. 6

Discover the beauty of Wildlife Photographer 56 with this year's highlights book written by Rosamund Kidman Cox, the competition's Chair of the Jury. Roz has been judging the competition for nearly four decades, and her expertise in the field is unparalleled. 

How Wildlife Photography Became Art: 55 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year

This beautiful book charts the development of nature photography, from the colour film revolution of the 1960s, to the increasingly sophisticated photographs of wild animals and unexplored places that are taken today.

The library and collections

The Museum's library collections continue to provide inspiration for generations of scientists, authors and artists. Explore the some of the most important works in the collection and the natural world that has inspired them. 

The Art of British Natural History

Library Special Collections Manager Andrea Hart explores the beauty of the British Isles with this beautifully illustrated work. 

Rare Treasures from the Library of the Natural History Museum

Take a look at some of the rarest and most prized books from the Museums library and archives. Collated by Judith Magee, previous Curator of rare books, manuscripts and artwork at the Museum.

Women Artists: Images of Nature

This stunning collection celebrates the work of women artists spanning the last four centuries and is illustrated with a selection of artworks from the collections held in the Library of the Museum.

The history of the Museum

Discover some of the people and events that have shaped the Museum's history and uncover the incredible stories that are set within its walls. 

A Museum at War

Using records and letters from the Museum s archives, Karolyn Shindler chronicles both the impact of the war on museum life and the surprising and significant role its employees played in the war effort.

Museum Through a Lens: Photographs from the Natural History Museum 1880-1950

Explore the history of the Museum through black and white photography and discover some of the animals, plants, minerals and people that graced the halls of the Museum between 1880 and 1950.

Discovering Dorothea

Dorothea Bate's determination and inquisitive spirit is brought to life in this biography by Karolyn Shindler. Discover the story of one of the Museums first female scientists.

Shop the full collection of Museum books in our online shop.