The BNHS library is one of the oldest and largest libraries in India dedicated to natural history. It is a source of information on various subjects such as wildlife, ecology, zoology, botany and environment conservation. It has a priceless collection of antique books and rare lithographs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many not available elsewhere. The library houses valuable photo-negatives and transparencies, particularly those of E.P. Gee, Loke Wan Tho, R.S.P. Bates, M. Krishna and Dr. Sálim Ali, and those generated through various scientific projects of the BNHS.

Library Collection

  • A unique assemblage of books, periodicals, journals, scientific reports and theses from all over the world related to wildlife and environment.
  • More than 24,000 books
  • Nearly 5000 bound volumes of scientific journals,1700 reports and 160 theses.
  • A collection of 2000 rare books dating back to the early 19th century, ranging from the popular to the technical.
  • Photographs, lithographs and transparencies

Library Hours : Monday to Friday: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Library Services

Apart from catering to the Society’s members, the BNHS library acts as an important information centre to institutions and individuals throughout the country and abroad. Many researchers avail its facilities for in-depth studies:

1. Circulation Service (Library Rules):

    • For a deposit of Rs. 750/-, two books are issued to all eligible members
    • Theses, dissertations, reports, journals, CDs and video cassettes are for reference only
    • Readers should check if a book is intact before borrowing it.
    • No book will be accepted in a damaged condition. The borrower will be asked to replace it.
    • Books will be issued for 30 days and can be renewed once. After the period, late fee of one rupee/day will be levied on the borrowed book
    • To know about replacing a lost book, kindly contact the library.
    • A book is re-issued only if there are no claims.
    • Any misuse of the library or unacceptable behaviour, the borrowing facility will be withdrawn or restricted.
    • Non-members have to pay visitor’s fees of Rs. 50/day/head
    • Members should bring along their membership cards.

2. Photocopy Service:

    • The Library offers photocopying service to all its members and visitors
    • Only single copy of journal articles and 20 pages of the book or one chapter whichever is maximum are provided for private study and research purpose. No cover to cover photocopy is provided.
    • Photocopy charges would be Rs. 2/print

3. Reference Service:

    • Readers may approach the library or write to library” for information or any assistance in using the Library resources.

4. Document Delivery Service

    • The Library also provides photocopies to institutes/individuals by post on payment

5. Awareness Programme

    • The librarian helps new members to familiarize with the library resources and services through a tour of the library. Users can seek assistance in utilizing a particular resource.

Conservation of Rare books

BNHS Library has a collection of rare books on Natural History. Many of these books are still in demand. These valuable resources are indispensable to the present and future generations. However, these rich rare books face a threat of survival due to threats from, several climatic, physical, chemical and biological factors. There is an old saying that "Prevention is better than Cure". The same is applicable for the science of preservation. There are two aspects of preservation; Preventive Conservation and Curative Conservation.

National archives of India, Ministry of culture is supporting BNHS in the Conservation of rare books since 2010. So far 81 books were restored, and in the year 2018-19 another 45 books are being restored.

Preventive conservation of rare books in the BNHS Library:

In BNHS Library, proper care of rare books has been taken right from the beginning as a part of preventive preservation by strictly observing the following steps.

    • Round the clock Air conditioning: The library reference section area admeasuring about 500 sq. feet has been under controlled climatic conditions for last 5 years with the help of three air conditioners that run on a rotational basis for 24 hours.
    • Pest Management Program: There is an annual contract for pest control for general infestation, rodents and termites.
    • Cleaning of library shelves is done on a regular basis using Vacuum cleaner.
    • Smoke detectors have been installed to prevent any damage to library.
    • 5. The collection is frequently monitored for its condition on a continuous basis.

Curative Conservation of rare books in the BNHS Library:

The curative conservation work of rare books is being done by the paper conservation team of “Himalayan Society for Heritage and Art Conservation” under the guidance of Mr Anupam Sah, a well known conservationist. All material and chemicals used by the team were of archival quality and of conservation standard. Temporarily a conservation lab is set up on 2nd floor of Hornbill house.

Process of conservation of books

List of New arrival books

Author Title Publisher
Jacobson, Susan K. Conservation education and outreach techniques Oxford university press
Kerkar, Rajendra Sacred groves of Goa Goa state biodiversity board
Divyabhanusinh Story of India's Unicorns Marg Foundation
Johnsingh, A.J.T. On Jim Corbett's trail and other tales from the jungle Nutraj publisher
Raha, Bishwarup Birds of Nashik district Nature conservation society
Ziembicki, Mark Australian bustard CSIRO Publishing
Vulture reintroduction programme Scientific papers and gazette notifications related to vulture conservation Vulture reintroduction programme
Schauenberg, Paul Animal communication Burke books
Lucas, Richard Common and uncommon uses of herbs for healthful living Arco publishing
Bhave, Nilima Shibiratalya goshti Raja Prakashan
Bhave, Nilima Ha Pakshi Konata Raja Prakashan
Bhave, Nilima Bajichi goshta Raja Prakashan
Kannan, P. Ornithophily: Interdependency between plants and nectar feeding birds Institute for restoration of natural environment
Kothari, Ashish Birds in our lives University press
Ibrahim, Kamal M. Grasses of Mali Smithsonian Institute
Redden, Karen M. Understanding Paloue (Le guminosae: Detarioideae) Revision of a predominantly guiana shield endemic Smithsonian Institute
Khan, M. Monirul H. Photographic field guide to the wildlife of Bangladesh Aranyak foundation
Choudhury, Anwaruddin Mammals of India: Systematic and cartographic review Gibbon Books
Gupte, M. Bubesh (ed.) Butterflies of Puducherry Universal eco foundation
Nair, Prabha So long, Amur Falcon BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY
Singh, Ram Pratap Bibliography on wildlife studies in Andaman and Nicobar Islands SACON and ZSI
Sevaperuman, Chandrakasan Biodiversity and climate change adaptation in tropical Islands Elsevier