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Greenland Whale

Lithograph of the 'Greenland Whale' (detail), which was found dead on the coast of Belgium, floating at a distance of twelve miles from Ostend, on the 3rd November 1827, drawn and lithographed by George Scharf, and printed by Charles Hullmandel, June 1832. (LDGSL/649)


The Geological Society Library’s Picture Library is uploaded to Flickr which is very simple to use. The Photostream option allows you to browse all of our uploaded images, alternatively you may wish to browse through the subject categories using the Albums option.

Flickr also has a more direct search box at the top right, enabling you to either search across the millions of images hosted on the site, or just the Geological Society Library’s images.  


Books and journals

The Library catalogue is the first port of call for when searching for our book and journal holdings. Most will not be digitised, but you may be able to submit a request (subject to copyright restrictions), please contact the Library.

The Lyell Collection is the online platform which hosts the Society’s journals and selected books series, including the Special Publications. The Lyell Collection includes the Society’s first journal, ‘Transactions of the Geological Society’, which came out in two series between 1811 and 1856. With its engraved and hand coloured illustrations, the first series (1811-1821) was both expensive to produce and purchase, and as a consequence sold in very modest numbers. In 1822, a second, cheaper to produce series was introduced. By increasing the word count on each page, and substituting lithographs for the illustrations where possible enabled the Society to keep its costs down. To access the full text through the Lyell Collection you will need to be a Fellow of the Society, or have a subscription, but it can also be found as part of the Biodiversity Heritage Library collection.

All of the plates from the Transactions have been digitised, and will be uploaded to the Picture Library shortly. If you would like to request a particular plate illustration, please contact the Library


A number of the historical maps from our Map Collections have been digitised and are available to purchase through our Map Sale pages. However it also possible to request others which are not yet available. The Library catalogue should be used in the first instance when searching for a map or alternatively you can contact our Map Librarian directly.


The Archive Catalogue, coming soon, will be the primary method to access the descriptions of our archive holdings, which will include thumbnail image previews of around 2,000  items. In the meantime an overview of our collections can be found on the Archive Collection pages. Images from the Archives can also be found in our exhibition pages.

To request an image, or to enquire if the Archive holds relevant images, please contact the Archivist.

Library Catalogue


Search for books, journals and maps using the Library catalogue.

Map Print Sale

Buy a print of one of our historical maps