Subscription Databases

Zoological Record
"World's oldest continuing database of animal biology...includes 1.8 million indexed and searchable records from 1864 to the present."
OCLC FirstSearch

"Provides seamless electronic access to dozens of databases and more than 10 million full-text and full-image articles."

EBSCO Electronic Journals Service
BioOne Abstracts and Indexes

Search the abstracts and indexes from all the Academy's full-text BioOne titles.

TL-2 Online (Taxonomic Literature 2)

“The standard reference work for plant taxonomic literature from Linnean times to 1940" and a selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types, Second Edition.


"Provides information on wild California plants for conservation, education, and appreciation."


Free Databases


Serves as the catalog and index to the collections of the National Agricultural Library and "covers materials in all formats and periods, including printed works from as far back as the 15th century."


"A freely accessible, Web-based encyclopedia of historic botanical literature from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library."

California Statistical Abstract

"A compilation of data on social, economic, and physical aspects" of California available in PDF and Excel formats.


(electronic Plant Information Centre hosted by Kew) -- search International Plant Names Index, Kew Record of Taxonomic Literature, Survey of Economic Plants of Arid and SemiArid Lands, Living Collection of c30,000 plant taxa individually or all at the same time).


Education Resources Information Center allows searching of more than 1.2 million citations (journals and non-journals) related to education. Full-text is available for more recent non-journals and "grey literature."


American Heritage Dictionary plus a thesaurus, computing, medical, legal and financial dictionaries, the Columbia Encyclopedia, and an acronym dictionary.


A freely available database designed to help individuals and organizations interested in reducing the negative impact and increasing the positive impact they have on the environment.

Index to American Botanical Literature

"Covers various aspects of extant and fossil American plants and fungi, including systematics and floristics, morphology, and ecology, as well as economic botany and general botany from 1995."

ING [Index Nominum Genericorum (Plantarum)]

"The Index Nominum Genericorum (ING), a collaborative project of the International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) and the Smithsonian Institution, was initiated in 1954 as a compilation of generic names published for all organisms covered by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature."


Multiple discipline database plus document delivery for scholarly and professional literature

Nature Precedings

"A place for researchers to share pre-publication research, unpublished manuscripts, presentations, posters, white papers, technical papers, supplementary findings, and other scientific documents biology and other fields."

Nomenclator Zoologicus v. 1-10

"A list of the names of the of the genera and subgenera in zoology from the tenth edition of Linnaeus 1758 to the end of 2004."

Plant Information Online

Includes citations to plant science literature, listings for North American seed and nursery firms, and incorporates Flowering Plant Index


Bibliographic database for primatology including Primate Lit from 1940, current Primate references and books received


Medical literature "a service of the National Medical Library that includes over 17 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. Includes links to full text articles and other related resources."

Statistical Abstract of the United States

"The authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the U.S. which includes data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other federal agencies and private organizations."


The TROPICOS site provides access to the Missouri Botanical Garden's VAST (VAScular Tropicos) nomenclatural database. For any given scientific plant name, you can obtain current information on the name, its place of publication, type, and other information about the plant.

OCLC Databases

A selection of additional databases are available through OCLC, including services such as ArticleFirst. Broad categories include: Arts & Humanities, Business & Economics, Engineering & Technology, General Science, News & Current Events, and Social Sciences. Please feel free to consult a librarian if you have questions on how to search any of these most effectively. Here's a sample list of databases:



  • Who can use the Academy Library?

    The Library is open to all staff, students, and volunteers of the Academy during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm).

    Members of the public with a legitimate research interest are welcome to use the collections by appointment.

  • Can I check out books from the Academy Library?

    Items from the Academy Library only circulate to Academy Staff for in-house use. Members of the public may view items in the Naturalist Center


  • How do I contact a Librarian?

    Librarians are generally available during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm).

    We can help you with questions, provide referrals, or schedule an appointment for you to visit the Library.

    You can contact the Library by

    Phone: (415) 379-5484




  • How do I look up a book?

    All of the Academy Library and Naturalist Center book, journal, and multimedia holdings are listed in the Academy Library catalog.

    Confused? Watch a tutorial on searching the Academy Library catalog.

    There are many ways to find items in the Academy Library catalog.

    Watch a short tutorial

  • How do I find journal articles?

    The Academy Library offers access to a variety of databases and indexes, both free and subscription services.  You must be on-site at the Academy to use the subscription databases.

    Browse our Indexes & Databases

  • I know what I want, now how do I get it?

    First, look it up in the Catalog.

    If we don't own it, try the following:

    Academy Staff ONLY: Place an Interlibrary Loan request.

    If you do not have Academy Library borrowing privileges, try searching to see if a library near you owns the item.

  • Can I reuse or publish your photographs or other materials?

    In most cases, the answer is yes.  Please see Scanning, Reproduction & Use for more information.

  • How do I search for archival collections in the catalog?

    As a rule, those collections are not listed in the Library catalog.  You can browse the list of manuscript holdings here and you can search Archives image collections in the Manzanita Image Gallery.


    Please contact archives [at] calacademy [dot] org with any questions.

  • Can I volunteer at the Library?

    We periodically have volunteer opportunities for both short-term, project based and long-term assignments. 

    Please contact Volunteer Services if you are interested in becoming a Library volunteer.