Archives and Library: subject holdings

The holdings of the Museum's research libraries are summarised below.

The Hope Library is the third largest entomological library in the United Kingdom, and contains some 15,000 books and journals, and more than 60,000 offprints. In addition to its expanding modern collection, it is also a leading collection of older classic works in Natural History, and of taxonomic entomology books and journals.

There are extensive archives relating particularly to the development of entomology as an academic subject. The entomological collections and the associated archives may also be searched online.

The Arkell Library is based on the bequest of the Jurassic geology and palaeontology books of W. J. Arkell. Together with other geological collections material, it comprises about 4,500 titles, including 14 current journals.

The geological archives include correspondence, manuscripts and a wealth of illustrative material relating to some of the most important figures in geology in the nineteenth century. The papers of William Smith, William Buckland, and John Phillips are among the most important geological archives in the English language. Later holdings include the papers of L.R. Wager, W.J. Arkell, and J.M. Edmonds.

Discover more about our William Smith project.

Mineralogy and petrology
The research libraries of the Museum have a small collection of modern books and journals on Mineralogy and Petrology. A collection of historic texts on Mineralogy, Crystallography and Petrology are also available.

There is a small archive of material relating to the acquisition and study of the collections, and material relating to several of the collectors, notably Buckland and Wager.

The Museum maintains a small holding of reference material that relates to the zoological collections. This consists of approximately 600 books and 400 offprints, mainly relating to taxonomic zoology. A small collection of archives (manuscript catalogues and accessions records) is in the care of the assistant curator for the zoological collections.

Enquiries regarding the libraries should be sent to:


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