Biological & Physical Sciences Library

(Location code: BIOPHY ; NUCL)
The Biological & Physical Sciences Library (Biophy) is situated on the basement level of the Oppenheimer Life Sciences building on the East Campus of the University. Together with the GeoMaths Library, it primarily serves the Faculty of Science.


Telephone: 27 (0)11 717-1962
Fax: 27 (0)11 717-1969
Postal Address: Private Bag X1, WITS, 2050

Senior Librarian (Science):
Stephen R. Mitchell, Stephen.Mitchell(at)
Tel: 27 (0)11 717-1961

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 08h00 - 20h00
Wednesday 09h00 - 20h00
On the first Wednesday of the month
excluding June & November
10h30 - 20h00
Friday 08h00 - 17h00
Saturday 08h30 - 12h30
Overnight Loan: Monday - Friday only 12h00 - 17h00

Mid-year and year end breaks
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 08h30 - 17h00
Wednesday 09h00 - 17h00
Saturday Closed


The Biophy Library is the major science library within the University and covers the disciplines of Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Physics and Zoology. The Library houses approximately 60 000 journal volumes and 25 000 books, and over 660 current journal titles are received. Special collections include the Beilstein Collection (Organic Chemistry), the Herbarium and the Paine Collection (History of Physics).

Bound journals from 1988 to date are kept in the central area of the Library; journals from 1976 to 1987 are in the compactus shelving at the back of the Library. Most journals published in 1975 or earlier have been transferred to the Store and can be requested at the Library issue desk by completing the appropriate form.

The Library subscribes to a wide range of electronic resources in the form of bibliographic databases and, increasingly, full text electronic journals.



  • Books
    The status of the user determines the loan periods for books in all libraries, unless these are coded non-circulating, in-library, three-day or overnight.
  • Journals
    Pre-current, unbound: 1 day
    Bound: 3 day


  • Renewals, Fines, Bookings and Holds
  • Interlibrary Loans, for material not available in the University Library, are available to fourth year and postgraduate students and staff.
  • Photocopying facilities are available in all libraries.
  • A substantial multi-disciplinary collection of audiovisual and multimedia material is available to all users in the Multimedia Centre on the second floor, Wartenweiler Library.
  • An extensive range of electronic resources, electronic databases and electronic journals is accessible through the Library web site. These include the eWits OPAC (the Library s online catalogue) and CDROM databases. Group training sessions on the use of these resources are offered by the Library s Education & Training section; individual assistance is always available from the branch librarians.
    Click on these links for further information and access to services.