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The Library and Archives are based at our Mansion House site in St Albans. We are open Tuesday-Thursday 9.30am-4.30pm.

Members and Fellows of the Society may visit the library by appointment only. They may consult the Main Collection, the Rare Books Collection, material in our Archive, and items held in storage, and may borrow items in Main Collection. Please contact the Librarian Rose Pearson on [email protected] or 01727899387 to arrange an appointment.

The Library has an online catalogue of our collections which is located here. You no longer need to login to view the catalogue.

The library will be opening to the public later this year. Until then, the Librarian can respond to enquiries by phone on 01727899387 or email at library@royensoc.co.uk

Library holdings

The Library collections date back to the founding of the Society in 1833. We collect major works of reference covering all aspects of insect biology, without any geographical bias. The library holds material on all Orders of insects as well as a small section on spiders. The collection is particularly strong in the general biology and taxonomy of insects, especially for the Western Palaearctic Region. We also hold material on Natural History more generally.

If we do not hold the material you require, please contact the librarian, we may be able to obtain it for you.

Books

The library holds around 12,000 books, covering all orders of insects, and a small section on spiders. We have sections covering Applied Entomology, Botany, Palaeography, Zoology, and Natural History, as well as biographies of notable entomologists, and literature featuring insects and entomologists.

The collection includes titles dating from 1609 to 2022, including a rare book collection of about 1000 pre-1850 entomological works.

Journals

We hold around 1,000 print journal titles, of which 130 are taken currently. As well as titles covering the breadth of Entomology, the collection also includes key titles in Zoology, Ecology and Natural History. The journal collection dates back to the Society’s founding and includes many 19th Century volumes, and many which are difficult to find elsewhere. Scans and paper copies of journal articles are available for a small charge.

Through the Society all Members and Fellows have subscription access to BioOne, which allows users to search and access the full text of over 200 journal titles in the Biological, Ecological and Environmental Sciences, including nearly 40 Entomological titles. Please email [email protected] for access details.

RES Members and Fellows get discounted access to the seven journals we publish. Details of how to subscribe to and access the journals are available here.

Antenna

Antenna is the Bulletin of the Royal Entomological Society. Antenna issues can be found here. Issues more than five years old are free to access. Newer issues are only available to Members and Fellows. Logging in at My Account will allow you to access all issues.

All articles, correspondence, obituaries and meeting reports published in Antenna from 1977-1983 and from 2002 onwards are indexed and can be searched within the Library Catalogue. Issues from 1984-2002 are currently being added to the catalogue. Enter your login details and select the ‘Advanced’ option and select ‘Antenna’ from the ‘Media type’ box to search the indexed articles.

Reprints

The library holds a unique collection of around 50,000 reprints, both print and electronic, dating from the 18th Century to the present day, many of which are available to borrow. As well as the main collections of reprints covering all orders of insects, which are partially catalogued, we also hold a number of specialist collections. As not all material has been catalogued, contact the librarian if you cannot find what you are looking for.

  • Michael Ashburner’s Diptera Reprints: Around 190 papers covering 1910s-1990s. Fully catalogued.
  • William Block’s Reprints on Antarctic Invertebrates: Around 1,400 papers on Antarctic Invertebrates. Contains some non-insect reprints. The papers are not listed in the online catalogue, but an annotated bibliography is available for consultation in the library. Additionally, 17 files of papers on Cryobiology, and 7 on Springtails (Collembola), the contents of which are not listed in the Bibliography.
  • Dr Cherrett’s Leaf Cutter Ants Collection: Around 400 papers covering 1830s-1990s. Fully catalogued.
  • Philip Corbet’s Odonata Reprints: 113 boxes of papers on Odonata arranged alphabetically by author, uncatalogued.
  • Martin Luff’s Carabidae Collection: Around 400 papers on Carabidae (Ground Beetles). Catalogued.
  • Miriam Rothschild’s Flea Reprints: 39 boxes of reprints on Fleas and Ticks. Uncatalogued.
  • John Sudd’s Ant Reprints: 21 boxes of reprints on Ants. Uncatalogued.
  • Boris Uvarov’s Orthoptera Reprints: 11 uncatalogued boxes of reprints, mainly in Russian, dating from 1909 to 1969.
  • Silkworm Collection: 5 boxes of reprints, and miscellaneous reference material on Silkworms, from 1860s to the mid 20th Century. Includes some illustrations. Uncatalogued.
  • Spider Collection: Around 150 papers on Spiders dating from the 1820s to the 1970s. Partially catalogued.

Archive

A selection of archival material relating to the history of the Society and to the history of Entomology is available for consultation in the Library.

The collections include:

  • Minute Books of Royal Entomological Society meetings going back to 1833
  • Royal Entomological Society Office Files
  • Royal Entomological Society Membership Files
  • Other Royal Entomological Society Business
  • Correspondence of Alexander Henry Haliday (1807-1870)
  • Correspondence of Herbert Druce (1846-1913)
  • Correspondence and other papers of Roland Trimen (1840-1916)
  • Editorial Papers of Professor Edward Bagnall Poulton (1856-1939)
  • Correspondence and Papers of Hugh Warner Bedford (1894-1979)
  • Correspondence and Papers of Colbran Joseph Wainwright (1867-1949)
  • Papers of George Charles Champion (1851-1927)
  • Journals, notebooks, correspondence and papers of other entomologists
  • A selection of entomological illustrations
  • Photographs of entomologists

There is not currently an online catalogue of the archive, however, a print catalogue, “A guide to the archives of the Royal Entomological Society” covering much of the collection is available for reference within the library. Please contact the librarian if you have any questions regarding the archive, or if you wish to make an appointment to view any of the archival material.

Scanning and Copying

The Library can supply copies of material to both Members and non-members. Please e-mail your copy requests to [email protected] using the Copy request form. 

For copying costs, please see the Copy Fees.

Where material requested for copying is not available within the library, we will endeavour to obtain it elsewhere, for which there may be additional charges.

Partnerships with other Societies

We are committed to offering services to the entomological community and to our partnerships with the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS) and the Amateur Entomologists Society (AES). If you would like to access RES library services as a BENHS or AES member, please email [email protected]

The Librarian

The librarian, Rose Pearson, may be contacted by phone on 01727 899387 (International +44 1727 899387) or email: [email protected] 

See also