Skip navigation |

Library & Archives

From its beginnings in 1788, the Society set out to make books and other sources & resources on natural history available to its users. We are very privileged to have an in-house Conservation department to help us preserve our outstanding collections.

We invite you to be part of this tradition by appreciating the beauty as well as the scientific and historical importance of our collections.

Search our Online Library Catalogue

We welcome bibliographic and scientific queries, as well as enquiries about the history of the Society and past Fellows.

The Library is open to all, free of charge. Please contact us before planning a visit to ensure space, staff and materials are available.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 10:00-17:00, Tel: +44 (0)20 7434 4479 EXT 23

Email: The Library of the Linnean Society of London

Library & Archives Collections

At the core of the Library is the Linnaean Library - the research library, manuscripts & correspondence of Carl Linnaeus.

The Main Library holds outstanding historical works relating to Natural History, but it is also still a major repository of information on plant and animal classification. It is the leading repository of information on the life and work of Carl Linnaeus. Our holdings also include important Manuscripts and Correspondence collections, as well as the Archives of the Society. Our visual and art collections are extensive. We have collections of Natural History Illustrations and Drawings as well as a notable collection of Portraits and Photographs

You can search our collections using the Online Catalogue. Please note that the catalogue does currently not include our serials or complete manuscript and visual art holdings. The loan information may not be correct for some items. Please check with us if you would like to borrow material.

Our Online Collections currently include Linnaeus’ Specimen Collections (Insects, Fish & Shells) and Herbarium, as well as his Correspondence. Also included are the Nepalese Flora drawings of Buchanan-Hamilton.

Find out more about more about our Specimen Collections.

For quick answers, try our Library FAQs.