A welcoming, open-plan reception area on the first floor greets all visitors to the library. Our expert staff are always on hand here to help you find what you need. Tours are available upon request. Our Bookshop can also be found at the library reception. 

Other facilities include:

  • WiFi is available throughout the library.
  • Power sockets for laptops
  • Printing and photocopying facilities are available. If needed, we ask a small donation is made to cover costs
  • A reference computer to access the catalogue and e-journals
  • Ample desk space
  • The Southward Reading room
  • Free tea and coffee is available to members from the MBA Common Room. A café also provides sandwiches and hot food. Tea and coffee is allowed in the library but no food please

Opening Hours

The NMBL is open to all staff and members of the Marine Biological Association:

Please refer to the home page for details.


General library enquires:

(email enquiries only)

Quiet study space with a view!

There is ample work space available throughout the library. Find a seat with a view overlooking Plymouth Sound, a quiet corner or comfy seating in the Southward Reading Room. The library is an excellent place to work in peace with extensive marine literature at your fingertips. 

Group study spaces are available on the first and second floors of the library. 

Please note there is limited desk space on the ground floor (entry floor); if you have mobility issues or will require assistance, please contact the library ahead of your visit. 

Search the Catalogue 

Use or online database to find the books or journals you’re looking for.

Opening Hours

The NMBL is open to all staff and members of the Marine Biological Association:
Please refer to the home page for details.

Feel welcome in our bright reading room with an abundance of natural light and literature to chose from. It is the perfect place to curl up and read in comfort. The Southward Reading Room is framed by the balcony, holding our collections of rare books and expedition reports, and stunning stained glass roof. Also on display here are all of the latest journals, books and magazines.

Discover the recent history of the MBA including the Royal Charter and the MBA's very own Coat of Arms which are on display on the balcony, as well as the carpet made from recycled ocean plastics (kindly donated by NetWorks). 


The Wolfson Training Centre

The Wolfson Training Centre, located on the ground floor of the National Marine Biological Library is a medium-sized meeting and training room. with views of Plymouth Sound and the Hoe. It is perfect for a board meeting, video conference meeting, lecture or workshop.

The centre is equipped with A.V. equipment, including multiple display screens and video conferencing equipment, as well as a large ‘write on’ wall, perfect for visualising meeting outputs, ideas and brainstorming. The room is also fully air conditioned.

Catering can also be provided on request.

Capacity: 45 in lecture format (no tables) 20 - 30 in board meeting or classroom format.

Rates: From £180 per day. Please contact us for availability and Bookings.