The Vertebrate Zoology satellite libraries are spread throughout the National Museum of Natural History Building. Each is located within the respective Division: Amphibians & Reptiles and Fishes, Birds, and Mammals. These divisional libraries focus on the systematics, taxonomy, anatomy and physiology, ecology, distribution, and evolution of their respective subject groups. The book and periodical collections total around 56,000 volumes. They have strong collections of 19th and 20th century literature (thanks in part to the gifts of early Smithsonian curators). Materials from publishers throughout the world are actively collected. In content, the collection consists of taxonomic information from post-Linnaean research, 1758 onward, but takes in the recent geological period (past 10,000 years) as well. For materials published before 1840, see the rare book collections of the Cullman Library of Natural History.
All Vertebrate Zoology Libraries are open to the public and outside researchers by appointment only. Please contact the main Natural History Library
Amphibians & Reptiles and Fishes Library
Location: NMNH WG32
The Amphibians & Reptiles and Fishes Library collects books and periodicals for the whole range of herpetological and ichthyological subjects. It holds approximately 12,500 volumes, including 140 journal subscriptions. The Amphibians & Reptiles collection follows the research interests of the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, which are evolution, morphology, and systematics of reptiles and amphibians. English and major European languages are actively sought. There is worldwide coverage with particular emphasis on North American and tropical regions of the world. An extensive reprint collection is maintained by the Amphibians and Reptiles Division.
The Fishes collection follows the major research interests in the Division of Fishes, which are the systematics and zoogeography of fishes. The library is also strong in the subject areas of life history, aquariology, and economic biology of fishes. English, major European languages, Japanese and Chinese publications are actively sought. There is worldwide coverage, especially South America (neotropics) and the marine tropics. An extensive reprint collection is maintained by the Fishes Division.
Location: NMNH E609
The Birds Library holds over 20,000 volumes, including approximately 100 journal subscriptions. The major scientific research in the Division of Birds, and thus the Birds libraries, is systematics of ornithology. The collection places an emphasis on palearctic, neotropical regions, and the Pacific Ocean regions, though it incorporates all aspects of ornithology around the world, including evolution and structural adaptation, distribution studies, zoogeography and checklists of birds. Many languages are represented. There is some juvenile and popular literature where it contains significant illustrations. An extensive reprint collection is maintained by the Birds Division.
Location: NMNH 398
The Mammals Library contains about 10,000 volumes, including 40 journal subscriptions. Its collecting policies follow the Division of Mammals, where the major research interests are systematics, distribution, evolution, and morphology, as well as ecology and evolution of world mammals.
Popular works and juvenile works are included if illustrations are exceptional. English and major European languages, in addition to Russian language publications are actively sought. An extensive reprint collection is maintained by the Division of Mammals.