Since 1881, the Natural History Museum, formerly the British Museum(Natural History) has a long publishing history which continues today. Our publications range from catalogues of the collections and gallery guides, through to popular natural history and scientific books including our long-running international scientific journals –Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and Systematics and Biodiversity
The origin of the Natural History Museum dates back to the creation of the British Museum in 1753 when an Act of Parliament was passed for the purchase of the collections of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) for the nation. In 1881, under the supervision of Richard Owen, the natural history collections moved from Bloomsbury to South Kensington where it opened to the public in April 1881. Despite legally separating from the British Museum in 1963, it was only renamed the Natural History Museum in 1992.
The Library at the Natural History Museum Library has been collecting published material since 1881 and, along with our Institutional archive, is home to a world-class collection of natural history literature, artworks and manuscripts that relates to and complements the Museum’s specimen collections and represents the development of natural history science and collectiong over time to the present day. From our earliest incunabula dating from 1469, we continue to develop the collection with current scientific literature and digital content to support research and curiosity. The Library discovery layer and our increasing collection of digitised content can be accessed from the Library & Archives Collection.
A founder member of the BHL Consortium, the Natural History Museum has proudly contributed more than 4 million pages to the Biodiversity Heritage Library.