The joint Library of the National Museums of Kenya and East African Natural History Society (Nature Kenya) was established in 1910 with an aim of maintaining a reference collection for research. It is a Special Research Library which is highly recognized as one of the best Natural History Libraries in the region.
The Library is open for use to Bona fide members of the Museums staff, Bona fide researchers working temporarily at any of the Museums, members of the Museum Board of Governors, members of Nature Kenya, Members of the Kenya Museum Society, Librarians of the established libraries recognized by Kenya Library Association, and members of the general public at a minimal fee.
The NMK Library is a modern state of the art facility located on the ground floor of the Prestigious Heritage Centre Building with a serene reading atmosphere coupled with modern facilities all aimed at ensuring that the needs of clients are met. It houses information in different format that covers all academic disciplines, and is very strong in botany, entomology, herpetology, biodiversity, paleontology, archaeology and anthropology among others.
All are welcome to visit the library as it is open every day starting from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. excluding weekends and holidays. More information is available at:

The main objective of the library is to collect, organize, preserve, disseminate and improve access to information in support of NMK and Nature Kenya’s aim and objectives, in order to facilitate research and to develop a one stop shop for Information Resources for researchers and the general public.
Collection/ Holdings
The Library is a major regional information resource centre divided into three main sections namely:-

  • Books Collection with over 27, 000 books, many of them rare
  • Reprints Collection with over 40, 000 reprints,
  • Periodicals Collection with over 2,000 journal titles
  • Audio Visual Collection with over 350 audio visual materials.

Special Collections

The library has two main special collections namely:-

  • Beecher Collection- A bequest from the late Bishop Beecher in all disciplines
  • Belcher Collection- A special collection on Birds

Electronic Information Resource (E- Resources)

The library is a beneficially to free subscription of over 700 electronic journals from major scientific publishers worldwide. This privilege guarantees the provision of relevant and up-to-date research materials thus bridging the information gap between local researchers and their counterparts in the developed world. Click link to view a list of Electronic Information Resource

Multi- Media Centre
Video Viewing
The library has a well equipped Audio/ Visual materials. Library patrons therefore, have an opportunity to take advantage of the video as a learning resource. The library has a fairly diverse and enriching collection of videos,  CDs, VCDs and DVDs available on request. Headphones are provided to ensure quiet viewing.
Television/ Daily Newspapers
The library has provided a leisure corner where clients relax while watching T.V and reading the daily papers in order to keep them abreast with the current information.



Commercial digitalization can be done in the library at a very competitive fee.

Inter- Library Loans
The library also enjoys good inter- library cooperation with other libraries especially research and academic libraries around Nairobi. Literature not available in the library can therefore be requested from cooperating libraries through inter- library loan service.
Current Awareness Service (CAS)
This service is available mainly for NMK staff.
Compilation of Annual list of Periodical Holdings
This list is distributed to our cooperating partners to promote resource sharing.
Lending Services
Clients who meet the borrowing criteria can borrow 2 books for 2 weeks or 2 months in the case of Nature Kenya members living outside Nairobi area.
Binding Services 
Binding and repair services are available on request at a reasonable fee.

Typing and Printing

These services are available at a minimal fee.

Television/ Daily Newspapers

The Library has provided a leisure corner where clients relax while watching T.V. and reading the daily papers.


Contact Us

National Museums of Kenya Library

P.O.Box 40658 00100

Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: 3742131/4