The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.


The Biology collection of the Penn Libraries supports the research and teaching activities of the faculty, staff and students of the Department of Biology and the Biological Basis of Behavior (BBB) Program and is housed in the Biotech Commons. The collection was established in 1980 with materials transferred from the Biology Department Library.

Collection Description

Many other libraries on campus also hold biology-related materials in support of specific programs at the University. These include landscape architecture (Fine Arts Library); paleobiology and environmental studies (Van Pelt Library); bioengineering and biophysics (Van Pelt Library); botany and horticulture (Morris Arboretum) and physical and medical anthropology (Museum Library). In addition, journals that support the Perelman School of Medicine and the Biomedical Graduate Studies program are also held at the Biotech Commons and cover related fields such as biochemistry, genetics, and neuroscience. The library system subscribes to a wide variety of biology and STEM related databases such as MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases.


Doing Research

The library provides access to multiple Biology related databases, e-books, e-journals, protocals, and videos. The Biotech Commons homepage is always a good place to start. Other starting points are listed below: