Betty Gorman and Norma Pugh with lizards and reference books.

N7648a "Student Section: Betty Gorman and Norma Pugh with lizards and reference books." © California Academy of Sciences


The California Academy of Sciences Library collections include the Research, Reference, Rare Books, Serials, Map Collections, and Archives. With the exception of the archival holdings, all of these collections are represented in the Academy Library catalog. Items from the Academy Library are available by appointment only for in-house use. In order to facilitate wide research use, materials from our library are non-circulating and cannot leave the California Academy of Sciences. To make an appointment or to receive help finding a book or resource, contact the library at

The Main Library

Image of rare books

Search the Academy Library catalog

Reference service is available in the Academy Library by appointment during business hours. Services are provided on site, and reference requests can be made by clicking on the link below.

Academy librarians can assist with the use of online library catalogs, indexes, and databases. In addition, we are available to facilitate use of the reference, journal, and research monograph collections, as well as our fine collection of Rare Books. For reference assistance or to make an appointment to use library resources, please click on the link below.


Academy Archives

Image of photographs on a desk

The Academy Archives is part of the Academy Library, and includes material on the history of the institution, including scientific expeditions and research, previous Academy museum exhibits, building history, and general administrative history. We also hold collections on the history of science in the American West and the research of scientists throughout the Pacific Rim. Academy archivists are available by appointment during business hours for reference and research appointment requests. Reference inquiries and appointments can be made by clicking the Archive Request link below.

 Information about archival holdings, box lists, finding aids, and biographies are available by request for many of our collections. Material from the Academy Archives is available for research and may also be used on a fee-for-use basis in publications and commercial products. Please request a price listing for fees and information about the reproduction and use of materials by contacting the archives at the link below.

Most reproduction orders are completed within 3-4 weeks of receipt. Large or difficult orders may require additional time. Rush orders may be accommodated for additional fees depending on staff availability.



The Corsi Digital Library and Lab

Athene cunicularia; Burrowing Owl

The Corsi Digital Library is the institutional home of the Academy's historic and naturalist photography collections. The Corsi Digital Lab is our onsite digitization laboratory, facilitating digitization of the Academy's historic photograph and text collections.

Through a partnership with the CalPhotos project, the Corsi Digital Library also has provided over 40,000 images of flora and fauna in the field to the Manzanita Image Project. This project is a partnership with CalPhotos, an online image databases specializing in natural history subjects created by the University of California, Berkeley. Please be aware that our images are only part of the larger CalPhotos image system. Various organizations and individuals have contributed photographs to CalPhotos and retain the copyright for those images. If you elect to use an image that is not from the California Academy of Sciences' collection, you must follow the individual usage guidelines found with that image. To view only the images created by the California Academy of Sciences, select 'CalAcademy' from the 'Collections' field on the CalPhotos search pages.

For more information about accessing and using content from the Corsi​ Digital Library, please click on the link below.


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Contact the Library

Academy Library and Archives
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118