Arts Council England Designated Outstanding Collection Logo

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.

Forthcoming Closures

We regret that the library will close to the public on Friday, March 24, due to an internal staff meeting. We apologise for this inconvenience.

The Library and Archives are open TuesdaysFridays, 10am–5pm.

If you would like to make an appointment, please email To allow adequate time to retrieve material, we ask that appointments are made at least 48 hours in advance, if possible. All visitors to the Library will be asked to follow the Society’s ongoing Covid-mitigation guidelines (available here).

Visits to our biological specimen collections must be overseen by our honorary curators, who work at other institutions. If you wish to arrange such a visit, please contact the Collections team at least a fortnight in advance.