My account Basket
Black and white etchings of sea insects from the book A Natural History of Cornwall (1758) by William Borlase.
Royal Entomological Society

Archive Library

2023 has been a busy time for the Library, with a number of exciting projects taking place that aim to make the RES Library and Archive collections more discoverable and accessible to the entomological community.

Archive Digitisation

The RES Archive has been digitised in collaboration with Wiley Digital Archives. The digitised archive forms part of their Environmental Science and History Collection, which explores the way human activity is impacting the natural world. As part of this process, much of our Archive material was taken offsite for digitisation. The digital archive is available for RES members to consult within the Library and can be purchased by universities and other institutions. The majority of our material is already available in the collection, with more being added regularly. The platform includes Automated Text recognition (ATR), which translates handwriting to text, meaning that the contents of documents can be easily searched, increasing the discoverability of the collections. As part of an online event promoting the Digital Archive, I spoke to a group of Academic Librarians about the work of the RES, and its history as a learned society, and highlighted some of the fantastic material we have in our collections, including letters written by Charles Darwin to the naturalist and RES President 1897-98, Roland Trimen.

One of the notebooks of Entomologist and RES Fellow Rev. Alfred Edwin Eaton (1844-1929), held in the RES Archive,
which has been digitised and is available to view on Wiley Digital Archives.

Print Journals Assessment

We have also been working with the British Library UK Research Reserve, to assess our print journals holdings. We compared our collections to other libraries around the UK and discovered that we hold a high percentage of rare and unique titles. However, a number of titles that are little used and widely available elsewhere have been identified for weeding and will be transferred to the British Library for long-term preservation or offered to other relevant libraries and organisations. This will allow us to free up space that is the equivalent of 20 bookcases, which can be used for new acquisitions, or repurposed for additional study space, as well as eliminating the need for external storage.

BioOne Complete Password Update

Did you know your RES membership comes with access to 200 journals across the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences via BioOne Complete? The 2024 access details can be found here.

Suggest an Item for the Library

A ‘Suggest an Item’ form has been added to the Library Website. If there is there a book, journal or online resource you think that the Library should acquire, let us know. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their suggestions already.

New Acquisitions Policy

.A policy for the purchase of new library resources has been approved by the Library Committee and is available to view here.

New Library Catalogue

Our Library catalogue has an updated interface which should make searching and discovering our collections easier. You can search the new-look catalogue here.

Archive Valuation

Following a recent Archive valuation we received a report picking out some of the highlights of the collection including a photo of Charles Darwin taken by pioneer photographer Julia Margaret Cameron which was donated the RES by Darwin’s daughter, Henrietta Litchfield. Also highlighted was a portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace by E.O. Hoppé, a renowned photographer who also shot Albert Einstein and King George V.

Library on Tour

I have been taking the Library out of our St Albans home, attending events including Ento2023, The Verrall Lecture, and The Orthoptera SIG Meeting. With a stall highlighting some of our Rare Books, and information promoting our collections and services, it has been a great opportunity to meet Members and understand what they need from us and showcase what makes the RES Library and Archive unique.

‘Sea Insects’ from The Natural History of Cornwall (1758) by William Borlase.
On display at Ento2023 in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Photography for Royal Entomological Society by ©Julia Wrzesinska

If you would like to make an appointment to visit the Library or Archive, have an enquiry, or would like to give feedback please contact the Librarian by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 1727 899387.

See also