Research enquiries

Our Collections team welcomes enquiries in person, by phone, or by email.

In exceptional circumstances, when the enquiry requires a volume of work too great for our small team of staff, we will charge for our services.

Fee: £25/hour of research (incl. VAT)
Current Fellows, Associates, and Student Associates of the Linnean Society will receive a 25% discount on the research fee.

Research visits

Our library is open to everyone with a genuine need.

For current opening times, please visit our main Collections pages, or email to discuss your visit.

Library regulations

  1. Public access to the library is by appointment and subject to the availability of appropriate study space.
  2. Access to the Linnaean Collections and other rare material shall be at the discretion of Collections staff.
  3. Bags are not permitted in the library. Lockers are provided for readers’ use.
  4. No food or drink (including bottled water) is allowed in the library.
  5. Mobile phones must be turned off or switched to silent mode.
  6. Photocopying is allowed at the discretion of Collections staff. For conservation reasons rare, fragile, and large format material or items from the library’s special collections may not be photocopied.
  7. Digital copies can be made using your own digital camera or mobile phone, without a flash, for personal research. Please ask Collections Staff for a Photography Permission form.
  8. Material from the collections must be treated with the utmost care, and any handling instructions issued by staff must be followed strictly. Every possible care must be taken to avoid damaging or defacing books and other materials in any way - in particular:
    (i) Please use a pencil (not a biro or other pen) when taking notes with special collections.
    (ii) Tracing is not allowed.
    (iii) Sketching and writing materials must not be placed on or near any book, manuscript, drawing, print or photograph.
    (iv) No marks are to be made on any book or other materials belonging to the collections.
    (v) No object is to be placed on top of the open pages of any book, &c. Book snakes and pillows are available from Collections Staff.
    (vi) Readers must wash their hands before handling items from the collections.
  9. A maximum of 10 library or archival items may be called up for consultation at any one time. Please speak with library staff if you anticipate needing larger amounts of material.


Fellows and Associate Members of the Linnean Society of London residing in the United Kingdom can borrow up to six books from the library with the following exceptions:

  • Books published before 1900.
  • Items containing original artwork or hand-coloured illustrations.
  • Oversize, rare, valuable or fragile books.
  • Items containing or consisting of manuscript material, including annotations.
  • Books with an important provenance or association.

Loans are made for one month and renewable if not required by another user. Postal loans are sent by Recorded Delivery (with all postage to be paid by the borrower). Further information can be found on the Library Loans webpage.

Limited reciprocal access arrangements are available in connection with the other learned societies at Burlington House. If you wish to use another Burlington House Society’s library, please contact the Collections team.


  • Wireless internet access is available; please ask library staff for the password.
  • Laptop computers may be used, but overseas visitors are advised to bring their own UK adaptors.
  • A computer is available to access our online catalogue and electronic journals.
  • A photocopier may be used at the discretion of library staff in accordance with copyright law and considering the suitability of material to be copied. A small fee may be charged.
  • We regret there are no public printing facilities available.