Library and Archive services

Library service

The CEH Library Service, part of the NERC Library Service, supports scientific research by providing library and information services to both CEH staff and external researchers.A stack of hardback books

We maintain a wide-ranging collection of journals, books, reports and grey literature reflecting the key research interests of the Centre.

Access for external users to our site libraries at Wallingford and Lancaster is restricted to bona fide researchers at the discretion of library staff and by prior appointment. Please check with individual libraries for visiting arrangements:

WallingfordAdrian Smith, Dee Galliford01491 838800,
LancasterJeanette Coward01524 595800,

About the collection

We hold a collection of more than 40,000 books, reports, theses and maps, together with 900 hardcopy journal titles. Only a small number of the hardcopy journal holdings are current subscriptions; most current subscriptions are online only.

In addition to purchasing, material is also acquired through exchange agreements with other organisations and from donations by current and former staff and other scientists. This provides in-depth, and in many instances historical, coverage of subjects including terrestrial and freshwater ecology, hydrology, microbiology, climate change, meteorology, environmental chemistry, pollution, land use, remote sensing, nature conservation, entomology and ornithology.

Historical material at Wallingford includes the Hurst Collection on Nile hydrology, the Rofe Collection of 19th and 20th century water legislation, and British Rainfall from 1860.

The entire library collection can be searched through the online catalogue.

Document Supply

CEH Libraries may, at the discretion of library staff, provide access to items that are not readily available elsewhere. Other libraries may apply for photocopies and loans through inter-library loans schemes by contacting CEH Library Enquiries (charges will apply). We do not supply material to individuals but they may consult material at the Lancaster or Wallingford sites by arrangement.

Archive service

The CEH Archive Service preserves and provides access to material relating to both administrative aspects and scientific activities and outputs of CEH and its predecessor organisations, which include the Nature Conservancy, Institute of Freshwater Ecology, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Institute of Hydrology, and Institute of Virology and Environmental Microbiology. Items are held in a dedicated facility at our Lancaster site.

The Archive holds journal papers, conference papers, books and book chapters produced by CEH staff and staff of predecessor organisations, as well as corporate records and publications.

The staff publications database can be searched through the online library catalogue. From 2006, staff publications have been entered into the NERC Open Research Archive (NORA) with full-text access where possible.

Copies of contract reports and other reports not available online can be requested by contacting CEH Library Enquiries (charges may apply). Reports with a "restricted access" or "confidential" disclosure category will only be supplied following written approval by the customer and/or CEH nominated author. 

The Archive holds a wide range of corporate, programme and project outputs including:

  • Annual reports and reviews
  • Business plans
  • Newsletters
  • Brochures
  • Leaflets

Access to the Archive is available by prior arrangement only, using the contact details below.


Stephen Prince, Head of CEH Libraries & Archive Service

email: or telephone +44 (0)131 4454343