Union Catalogue



  • What are the benefits of becoming a partner?

You will become part of a closely-knit international network which includes important Linnaean institutions, Natural History research centres, Libraries and Museums. A list of our current partners can be found HERE.

Your institution and collections will be promoted to searchers and researchers world-wide through prominent individual “branding” of your records.

You will have free access to most partners’ high-quality MARC records which you can download and use to enhance your own holding records.

  • Can my institution become a partner?

Yes, if your institution holds or collects significant material by or relating to Carl Linnaeus or his legacy. Collections should be significant either in scope (holdings exceed 20 items) or because of the historical importance or rarity of individual items. Becoming a partner is not restricted to academic institutions and applies world-wide. It may not be necessary for the Linnaean material to have been formally catalogued. Please get in touch!

  • Can non-British institutions become partners?

Yes. Some of our most important partners are non-British. We would like to reflect the original international outlook of Carl Linnaeus himself, and strongly encourage international membership. The new LLUC system can in principle cope with all scripts and languages. Please get in touch to find out more.

  • How can my collection be uploaded?

We require a basic listing of material (at its most basic on an Excel Spreadsheet), and Soulsby numbers have to be allocated to individual items. We will guide and support you through this process.

  • What are the procedures for becoming a partner?

Just get in touch! Details depend on your collections and set-up. We would send you an initial survey form to complete and then discuss with you how we can make your collections available though LLUC.

  • How is Linnaeus Link funded?

The Linnean Society of London provided initial funding for the project in 2006, collaborating with the Natural History Museum London, which supplied facilities. The Linnean Society of London has since carried the cost of maintaining and managing the LLUC, as well as for building the new system in 2012.

  • Can I support Linnaeus Link without being a partner?

There are many ways of getting involved in LLUC. Please get in touch! The Linnean Society is a charity and currently carries all costs related to LLUC. Donations are always welcome. We will be happy to publicly acknowledge any major support received.

  • Who maintains Linnaeus Link?

The Linnean Society of London in collaboration with ULCC (University of London Computer Centre) and the IT company 67 Bricks. The Librarian and Deputy Librarian of the Linnean Society look after LLUC and its partners.

  • Who built the Linnaeus Link system?

The new LLUC was built in 2011-2012 by the company 67 Bricks.

  • How can I suggest improvements to Linnaeus Link?

Please complete the Contact Us form. We would love to hear from you!

  • I have a private collection of Linnaean material. Can it be included into Linnaeus Link?

Yes. We only require basic listings on an Excel spreadsheet. Please get in touch for more details.

  • How many records are in Linnaeus Link?

There is no easy answer to this as partners are constantly updating their records, but there are many thousands. Please go to “Browse” (Browse Partners) to find out how many records are currently contributed by the partners.

  • Will I find every Linnaean item in existence on Linnaeus Link?

Only if held by one of the partners. However, partners include the most important collections of Linnaean material world-wide, so there is a good chance. If you cannot find what you are looking for, or if you would like to suggest material that should be included, please get in touch.

  • I know of material that should be included in Linnaeus Link. Can I let you know?

Yes, please get in touch!

  • What material is included in Linnaeus Link? Are manuscripts or visual material included?

Most of the material included is printed material, especially books. However, some visual material (like portraits) and manuscripts are included, and we are keen to add more.

  • Can I freely access digital versions too?

Yes. Where present in the partners’ online catalogues, digital versions of items are prominently highlighted on the right-hand side of the relevant record. There will be a direct link to the digital resource. Access and use is subject to the individual partners’ rules and regulations.

  • What are the technical specs of Linnaeus Link?

The system is built as a Java web application running inside a Java application server. Search is implemented using Lucene, with the Lucene index stored on the file system. Z39.50 servers are accessed using the JAFER library.

  • How does the harvesting of records work?

The automatic harvesting uses Z39.50, and records are uploaded in MARC / XML format. Alternatively, data can be manually uploaded by the administrators from Excel spreadsheets.

  • What does Soulsby mean?

Please find more information about Soulsby and Soulsby numbers HERE.

  • What does the Linnaeus Link logo mean?

The LLUC logo reflects Carl Linnaeus’ ambition to order all areas of the natural world as he perceived them: The bird stands for the animal kingdom, the leaf for the kingdom of plants and the gray for the stones and minerals. The logo was designed for Linnaeus Link by the Natural History Museum of London in 2006.

  • How do partners network and make decisions?

A dedicated JISC mailing list, as well as an online forum, allows partners to get in touch and exchange news and documents.

The three London-based founding members (Linnean Society of London, The Natural History Museum, The British Library) meet roughly every two months in London.

All partners are encouraged to attend the yearly Linnaeus Link meeting, which partners take turns to host.

  • What makes Linnaeus Link special in comparison with other Union Catalogues?

First of all, our partners, which include important Linnaean institutions, Natural History research centres, Libraries and Museums. A list of our current partners can be found HERE.

Also, LLUC uses a unique tab view system which allows users: to intuitively identify records with their holding institutions; individual “branding” of records; information-rich display; and comparison of important copy-specific information.

Last but not least, Linnaeus Link is very flexible and can deal with most special characters or scripts encoded in MARC-8 encoding or in UTF-8.