About the Library


The Academy’s Library collection houses nearly 250,000 titles ranging from works published in the 1500s to current serials and monographs from all over the world. Our printed works detail many significant developments in the field of natural history.

Our collections contain remarkably illustrated works from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as lengthy runs of serial publications dating back to the 17th century. In addition, our collections incorporate a wealth of expedition literature, including both the works of distinguished scientists and the published journals of amateur naturalists. Notable authors and artists represented in our collection include Louis Agassiz, William Bartram, Sarah Bowdich, Mark Catesby, Charles Darwin, Conrad Gessner, Elizabeth and John Gould, Helen Lawson, Carl Linnaeus, Maria Sibylla Merian, Charles Wilson Peale, Pierre Joseph Redoute and Alexander Wilson.


A significant number of scientific journals from numerous countries and covering various fields of the natural sciences are received annually, and the Library's journal collection is rich in long, unbroken runs and unique copies, published in a wide range of languages.

Scientific Illustration

The Library includes many illustrated volumes on natural sciences, from the works of Gessner, Aldrovandi and Catesby (published before 1750) through the bird books of Gould, Audubon, Elliot, and Wilson, from the flora of Redoute, Sowerby, and the Bauers, to the twentieth-century illustrations of F.L. Jaques, L.A. Fuertes and Terence Shortt. These printed works are complemented by original sketches and paintings in the Archives collection.

Searching and Using our Library Collections

Items in the Library may be searched using the Drexel University Libraries catalog.

The Academy’s Library and Archives is open to the public for research Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., by appointment only. We also offer consultation to those unable to visit in person.

Inquiries about our Library and requests for research appointments should be sent to library@ansp.org