Archives and Library

Archive material in the library

Archive material

The Archives and Library house a unique collection of natural history books, journals and archives, with a focus on subjects relating to the Museum's collections and research.

The Library contains over 19,000 volumes, including a number of rare and antiquarian books, and over 100 current periodicals titles. It also houses an impressive collection of rare offprints, with more than 80,000 catalogued. The majority of the collection comprises works in the subject areas of geology and entomology, with smaller collections in zoology and mineralogy.

The Archive holds a wide range of papers, photographs and maps relating to the Museum's specimen collections, and several archives from some of the most notable naturalists in English history, including William Smith, William Buckland, John Phillips and J.O. Westwood.

Discover more about our William Smith project.

Discover more about our Jones' 'Icones' project.

We are open to all interested researchers and students, and to members of Oxford University.

We receive a lot of requests for information and we endeavour to answer them as quickly as possible. For detailed enquiries we recommend that you make an appointment to visit. We do not have the resources to conduct research on users' behalf.

Opening hours
Monday - Friday: 10am - 4.30pm

Please make an appointment before your visit.

To make an enquiry or book an appointment please email:


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