Margaret Smith Library

The Margaret Smith Library is named in honour of the first Director of the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, and contributes to research and teaching in aquatic biodiversity through our heritage literature collections, and a global web of data.

The Library grew from a diverse collection of printed material: books, reprints, journals, maps, antiquarian works, and a large collection of unpublished ‘grey literature’, put together by Margaret and JLB Smith in the years following WWII. Many of the books are now housed as a special collection, which has always been referred to as the "Rare Books".


Access the Margaret Smith Library Libguide here.

Socio-economic implications
  • Open Access to essential aquatic biodiversity reference material for research into:
  • Biological diversity, climate change
  • Education and training
  • An information hub supporting over 240 scientists, students, visiting researchers and SAIAB’s Collection platform.
  • Partners with Rhodes University Library, IAMSLIC, BHL and the National Inquiry Services Centre (NISC).
Enhance capacity to manage and share data
  • A specialist library which houses one of the largest document collections for African aquatic biodiversity research in Africa.
  • A “hybrid” of traditional print material and electronic resources essential for verifying the provenance of recorded specimens.
Transformation & Capacity Development
The Library is the key reference source for ichthyology for the next generation of aquatic scientists.

The Team