Zoological Society of London

Zoological Society of London

Open to the public

Library or archive in Westminster

26 artworks

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Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Library is one of the UK’s largest repositories of animal images. There are approximately 6,000 original artworks, mainly watercolours, which were produced in the nineteenth century, but the collection dates from the early seventeenth century to the end of the twentieth century. The Library also holds a number of sculptures of the Zoo’s famous animals. In the nineteenth century the best professional zoological artists were engaged by the Society to illustrate its scientific work and their paintings form a major part of the Library’s collection. Artists represented in the relatively small collection of oil paintings include J. L. Agasse, Roelandt Savery, George Edward Lodge and William Timym. Iconic animals depicted include the famous gorilla 'Guy' and the giant pandas 'Chi Chi' and 'An-An', as well as portraits of people associated with ZSL such as the animal painter Joseph Wolf and ZSL’s founder Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. One of the most important paintings is Roelandt Savery’s painting of a dodo: 'Dodo in a Landscape with Animals' – the now extinct dodo was painted from life!

The Library, Regent's Park, London, Greater London NW1 4RY England


020 7449 6293

Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Library is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.30pm. It is open to all free of charge. However, members of the public must register for a reference ticket showing proof of address and photo identification. Contact ZSL Library if you would like to see any of our artworks or other special collections.