Naturalis' Library

Pigeon book

Naturalis has one of the world's largest collections of scientific, taxonomic and paleontological literature. Over 300,000 books and magazines about the natural world and biodiversity can be discovered there. From leading international magazines to exceptional old prints, some over hundreds of years old.
We also manage the library collection of the Dutch Entomological Association.

With the opening of the new museum at Darwinweg, the library collections will for the most part be located in one place. This applies both to literature from the former Naturalis Library, to material from the former Botanical Library and of course to the collection of the Netherlands Entomological Society. For the first time we combine publications, archives and print collections on zoology, geology, paleontology, botany and entomology under one roof.

We focus on everyone who is interested in research into biodiversity, geodiversity and evolution. You can find all publications we manage in our catalog.

Special collections

A special room in our collection tower - the Rare Book Room - is reserved for valuable and fragile paper materials. In addition to rare books, this room also contains the scientific and correspondence archive and a large collection of printed images. The tower is climate controlled to provide the best possible storage conditions for these paper treasures. Many books can be seen via the digital international platform Biodiversity Heritage Library, where you can find all the special works from natural history libraries around the world.

Antique books
Rare book about pigeons

Bibliotheca Carcinologica

The Bibliotheca Carcinologica is a unique collection of books in the Naturalis library. This collection was compiled by a former curator, Lipke Bijdeley Holthuis (1921-2008), who for over half a century was the leading expert in the taxonomy of crustaceans, including lobsters, crabs and shrimps. He was particularly interested in collecting books that were handed down by generations of his famous predecessors. Bibliotheca Carcinologica is a unique treasure that will provide study material for many years for countless biologists, book scientists and scientific historians.

Lobster illustration
Special proof-sheets

Dutch scientific journals

The Netherlands produces a wealth of magazines and journals that offer reliable information about Dutch biodiversity and geodiversity. Many articles from more than 65 magazines and journals are available digitally via, a Dutch platform that has been set up jointly by the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and various clubs and associations.


Naturalis' Library
Tel .: +31 (0) 71 751 9668