The books cover the literature of biology from 1483 to date, with especially strong collections of eighteenth and nineteenth century titles in all languages. Special areas of interest include plant and animal classification, Darwinism and the evolutionary controversy, conchology, ornithology, early mycology, expedition reports, ecology, and wildlife conservation. There is a great number of annotated books by either the author or the owner of the book.

The Insch Tea Library Collection came to the Linnean Society in 1951, and comprises over 300 books and pamphlets on the history, cultivation and use of tea, dating from 1668 to the middle of the twentieth century. Many of the books are lavishly bound and illustrated.


The Library receives approximately 300 serials, and holds over 2,000 earlier serial titles, many from academic institutions, and including some dating from the seventeenth century. They are in all languages, from most countries, and cover a wide spectrum of biology, but with an emphasis on taxonomy and systematics.


The books and some artworks can be searched using our online catalogue.

The journals have been listed, but the list does not currently include holdings.