Library and Archives
The Chris Mead Library
Our library is situated in the chapel of the old Nunnery at BTO’s headquarters in Thetford.
We hold one of the finest collections of books on birds and the science of ornithology anywhere in the world.
There is something for everyone in the library, from popular science and natural history, to bird ID guides and ornithological scientific journals.
Our library is particularly renowned for its comprehensive sets of county and local materials, such as bird reports from local groups and bird observatories.More about the library
The Archives hold nationally important collections of notebooks and personal papers relating to key figures in ornithology, and photographic materials with an emphasis on early bird photography.
We are, for example, privileged to hold some of the photographic plates made by Emma Turner, the pioneering Edwardian ornithologist and bird photographer.
The Archives are also where we store the physical and electronic outputs from BTO studies, together with organisational records dating back to the Trust’s foundation in 1933.Explore the archives
Visit and contact information
The Chris Mead Library and the Archives are normally open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday–Friday.
Everyone with an interest in ornithology is welcome, but space is limited so please contact us first to arrange your visit.
A lift and wheelchair access and facilities are available, and there’s also a free car park for visitors.
- library [at] bto.org
- archives [at] bto.org
- British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU
Read reviews of the books we hold in the Chris Mead Library, written by our in-house experts.
BB/BTO Best Bird Book of the Year announced
The winner of the BB/BTO Best Bird Book of the Year has just been announced as Nick Davies for his book Cuckoo: Cheating by Nature.