Collections

The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest biological society and has in its care several important collections, including those of the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, and the Society’s founder, Sir James Edward Smith.

Designated a collection of outstanding national importance by the Arts Council England in 2014, the holdings of the Linnean Society (which include library, archive and biological material) provide an unsurpassed resource for the study of natural history.

From 1 September 2020 the Library will open Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Opening hours will be restricted to 10:30am-3:30pm. Access will be strictly by appointment, booked at least 48 hours in advance. We regret that visitors without a library appointment – including Fellows and Associate Members – cannot be admitted.

To safeguard the health, safety and security of visitors and staff, some new procedures have been introduced (available here). Readers are asked to familiarise themselves with these ahead of their visit.

We recognise this is a truncated service, and apologise for the inevitable inconvenience this will cause. Please get in touch if you wish to visit the Library but cannot make the available days.

The Library is open to Fellows and members of the public by appointment only due to the multipurpose use of the building. We are a small team, and if we know in advance what material you are interested in, this will help us to prepare and retrieve material to make your visit more successful.

Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm

Contact: +44 (0)20 7434 4479 EXT 223 | library@linnean.org