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Inside the Alexander libraryThe Alexander Library is a specialist reference library seeking comprehensive coverage of the field of ornithology, located in the OULS Zoology Library. It is an international resource and much of its material is obtained on special funds and contributions from the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) in recognition of services provided, or by exchange. It also houses the British Falconers’ Club library, and works in close consultation with the Director of the EGI. The Alexander Library is a permanent retention library.

The library was founded on the personal collections of W.B. Alexander, the first director of the Oxford Bird Census – the predecessor of the EGI, and in his retirement, the first Librarian.

The library is one of the foremost ornithological reference libraries in the world. Its collections of 19th and 20th century books, pamphlets and periodicals, and archive of ornithological notebooks and diaries of ornithologists of this era are extensive. The collections include material of interest to zoologists generally, particularly in the fields of natural history, conservation, ecology and behaviour.

Library Statistics

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No. of periodicals (current): 590
No. of periodicals (non-current): 1,300
Total No. of periodicals: 1,890

No. of books: 10,700
No. of PhD theses (approx.): 500

Reprints/Grey Literature: 85,500
The Alexander Library has a large grey literature collection (journal offprints, pamphlets, reports) which is collectively known as the Reprint Collection.