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The Library

Welcome to The Hoffmann Library. The library has two main collectable aspects. First, I believe it to be one of perhaps the top three private collections in the world for African mammalogy. The library includes nearly all the major reference works for the African continent published over the past 130 years or so, including the major country treatises of Ansell, Happold, Kingdon, Schouteden, Smithers, Rosevear, and others, but also many rare and hard-to-find titles. A few important reference works are missing, of course. Many of the books are signed (either inscribed to me or a former author), while some publications were owned by well-known biologists, including works originally from the collections of the late Reay Smithers, AC Van Bruggen, Derek Yalden and Richard Lawes. I also have titles relating to mammals from elsewhere in the world, but the main focus is Africa.


Second, the library contains a very good set of IUCN species-related publications, including a near-complete set of IUCN SSC action plans, the SSC occasional paper series, and various Red List / Data Book publications. There are also some near-complete sets of IUCN SSC Specialist Group newsletters, the ICPB/BirdLife Technical Publication series, and Conservation International RAP reports (including some of the earliest issues). 


Not everything in the library is catalogued: there are various natural history titles, field guides, and coffee table books not itemized.

Mike Hoffmann.jpg

About Mike Hoffmann

I'm originally from South Africa, a mammologist by training, but now more of a conservation generalist. I currently work for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) where I head up a number of cross-cutting thematic programmes largely focused on innovating and implementing solutions to complex conservation challenges. I have worked in intergovernmental (IUCN), non-governmental (Conservation International, WCMC and ZSL) and academic sectors (the University of Pretoria’s Mammal Research Institute and Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit) in South Africa, the US and the UK. I’ve been involved in helping launch or grow several major conservation initiatives, including the IUCN Red List and IUCN Green Status of Species, Key Biodiversity Areas and the Alliance for Zero Extinction, the biodiversity hotspots concept, EDGE, SMART, the Universal Ranger Support Alliance, the Wildlife Conservation Bond, and more. My research and interests span extinction risk assessment, species recovery, protected areas, wildlife use and trade, biodiversity indicators, conservation priority setting, conservation impact measurement, conservation technology, and (of course!) mammalian taxonomy, biogeography and conservation. For more, see my Google Scholar page; most of my publications (including some of the books or reports I've edited/written, but alas not Mammals of Africa) are free to access on ResearchGate

Monard, A. 1935. Contribution a` la Mammalogie d’Angola et Prodrome d’une Faune d’Angola.jpg

Access the Library

One of the reasons for creating this website was because I wanted to try increase access, even in some small way, to information. Internet repositories like the Biodiversity Heritage Library and Internet Archive have transformed access to previously inaccessible publications, but it can still be hard for scholars to find the information they need. I was partly inspired to create the website when a friend of mine, Dan Challender, set about editing a book on pangolins and needed access to some of the references. While I can’t scan entire books or reports, I’m always happy to scan and email a few pages of a book or report for anyone looking for information from something in the catalogues.


In addition to the items in the catalogues, I also have a very extensive digital library of pdf's of journal papers (nearly 8,000) as well as reprints and photocopies of many older papers that are quite hard to find. I don’t have everything, but odds are if you’re looking for a reference that has something to do with African mammals, I will probably be able to help so feel to contact me. 


I've had a lot of help building the library over the years, and several kind souls have been good enough to give me copies of books (either their own or someone else's!), or swap books, including Guy Castley, João Crawford-Cabral, Eric Dinerstein, Sam Fallon, Kris Helgen, David Happold, Luke Hunter, Jonathan Kingdon, Andrew Lowry, Jill Lucena, David Macdonald, David Mallon, Russ Mittermeier, Ara Monadjem, Dave Rowe-Rowe, the late John Skinner, Andrew Smith, Simon Stuart, Sam Turvey and Nobby Yamaguchi, and probably a few other good folks I have neglected to mention. A massive word of thanks to all.

A special word of thanks to my wife, Rachel, who very kindly tolerates nearly an entire room of the house being taken up with books (I promise the next house will have a sewing room!). And finally to my parents, without whom my love of books (and more specifically books on wildlife) would probably never have developed.

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