The formation of a zoological library was among the initial aims of the Wildlife Conservation Society upon its founding in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society. In 1909, with the construction of the Administration Building, an official library space was created. The WCS Archives formally began as a unit of the Library in 1979 with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the H. W. Wilson Foundation.
The Library is composed of print and digital research collections focused on the topics of wildlife conservation, animal behavior, veterinary medicine, biodiversity, and the history of zoos and aquariums. Formats held by the Library range from eighteenth and nineteenth-century texts collected by WCS's founders to digital books and journals. For more information on the WCS Archives, please visit the Archives section of this site.