slideshow 10

Library & Archives: Use and Access

FBA Library in 2017

The library is one of the largest and most comprehensive sources of published and unpublished material on fresh waters in the world (2.2 kilometres of shelving, 400 000+ catalogued items). It is mainly situated at Windermere (approximately 80 %), with a satellite library at East Stoke, in Dorset, which is especially rich in information on rivers.

This world class resource is global in its coverage, with hard to find publications from Eastern Europe, Russia and China being of particular importance. It is a major international collection and historical archive covering freshwater biology, taxonomy and ecology from 1930 to the present day, and its unique catalogue includes book chapters from multi-authored books as well as individual journal articles from over 2500 journal titles and the wide range of grey literature in its holdings.

The FBA collection of information on freshwater science, built up over 80 years, is probably the world's finest Library on freshwater science, covering all aspects of freshwater ecology, phycology, microbiology, invertebrate taxonomy and ecology, sediment and water chemistry, aquaculture, fisheries management, pollution and hydrology. The strength of the ‘grey' literature and collections of reprints arranged by subject make it an ideal resource for researchers and students.


The use of the library is free to FBA members and non-members for non-commercial use.

Charges apply for the use of the library for commercial use: £30 per day.

Opening Hours

The library is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:30pm.


Data and Information Services:


The library and archives catalogues are not currently online.

Some of the Library’s grey literature and reports have been digitised and can be found on the Agricultural & Environmental Data Archive (Open Access)

555 reports and reprints can be found on Aquatic Commons (Open Access)

The details of 26 FBA archives collections can be found on Archives Hub

If you require assistance to search for any other library and archives items, please contact the Library staff.


FBA Libraries: Members of the FBA residing in the British Isles can borrow up to five books from the Library.

As a general rule the following books are not available for loan:

bosmina Books published before 1850

bosmina Items containing original artwork or hand-coloured illustrations

bosmina Oversize or fragile books

bosmina Items containing or consisting of manuscript material, including annotations

bosmina Books that are exceptionally rare

bosmina Items that are highly valuable

bosmina Books with an important provenance or association

bosmina Any other items as specified by the Librarian

Loans are for one month, and renewable if not required by another user.

Books can be borrowed by Recorded Delivery post, postage both ways to be paid by the borrower.

Library Rules

bosmina Eating, drinking and the use of mobile phones and pagers are not permitted in the Library.

bosmina Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the building.

bosmina Access to manuscripts requires prior notice, as some may not be available at short notice.

bosmina The use of pens is forbidden when manuscripts are being consulted. Pencils can be provided on request.

bosmina No photography (including using mobile phone cameras) is allowed without permission of Library staff.

bosmina Please let Library staff know if you are taking a break or if you are leaving for the day.


Laptop computers may be used in the Library, but overseas visitors are advised to bring their own UK adaptors.

Wireless Internet access is available throughout the building. Please ask Library staff for the password.

There is a computer available in the Library to access the Library Catalogue. Please ask for assistance in order to access the archives catalogue.

A photocopier may be used at the discretion of Library staff in accordance with copyright law and considering the suitability of material to be copied. A fee may be charged.

There are no public printing facilities available.


More information on Document Delivery Service, photography (including own photography), scanning and photocopying can be obtained here.

Contact | Privacy Policy | © Freshwater Biological Association 2019 | Registered charity number 214440