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Note on methods

This set of bibliographies is a subset of a larger bibliography under construction at the American Museum of Natural History Library. The larger bibliography attempts to gather as many citations as possible to works on the history and science of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This bibliography is being created as part of the Museum's Digital Library pilot project, the focus of which is the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909-1915. This expedition, sometimes called the Lang-Chapin Expedition after the zoologists who led it, collected some 54 tons of zoological specimens and anthropological artifacts from the northeast of the area now known as Orientale, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The scope of the project bibliography mirrors the scope of the Congo Expedition: all recent vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as cultural and physical anthropology, are emphasized, with somewhat less emphasis on botany, geology and paleontology. The bibliography currently contains more than 7,000 citations.

Omissions of relevant research are purely the fault of the bibliographer. Additions, edits, and revisions are welcome: please email or fax to 212-769-5009.

Gathering citations

The following databases were searched to gather citations to research done on the Congo:

  • Zoological Record 1978-1998
  • BasicBIOSIS
  • OCLC FirstSearch
  • Eureka Anthropological Literature
  • General Science Abstracts 1984-1998
  • Current Contents databases: Agriculture, Biology, and Environmental Sciences; Life Sciences; Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

In addition, the following library catalogs were searched:

  • American Museum of Natural History Library
  • British Museum (Natural History) Library
  • New York Public Library
  • Joint World Bank/IMF library
  • Cornell University library
  • Columbia University library
  • Emory University library
  • Harvard University library
  • Indiana University library
  • Johns Hopkins University library
  • Northwestern University library
  • New York University library
  • Pennsylvania State University library
  • SUNY Albany library
  • Yale University library
  • University of Michigan at Ann Arbor library
  • University of Wisconsin at Madison library
  • University of Texas at Austin library

These libraries were chosen because each of these institutions has sponsored an expedition to the Congo or has an African Studies department.

Several printed library catalogs and bibliographies were consulted: among them the Catalogue de la bibliothèque of the Bruxelles Académie Royale; the periodical Africa Bibliography published by Manchester University Press; and French-speaking central Africa; a guide to official publications in American libraries, compiled by Julian W. Witherell of the U.S. Library of Congress' African Section in 1973.

The publication lists of international agencies such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the World Conservation Monitoring Center (WCMC), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and UNESCO were reviewed.

Other bibliographies and references consulted:

Besterman, Theodore. A world bibliography of African bibliographies; revised and brought up to date by J.D. Pearson. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Littlefield, 1975.

Brasseur, Paule. Les sources bibliographiques de l'Afrique de l'ouest et de l'Afrique équatoriale d'expression française. [Dakar]: Bibliothèque de l'Université de Dakar, 1970.

Dinstel, Marion. List of French doctoral dissertations on Africa, 1884-1961. With indexes by Mary Darrah Herrick. Boston, G.K. Hall, 1966.

Duignan, Peter. Guide to research and reference works on Sub-Saharan Africa. Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University [1971 or 1972].

International African Institute. Select annotated bibliography of tropical Africa, compiled under the direction of Daryll Forde. New York, 1956.

International Conference on African Bibliography (1967: Nairobi, Kenya). The bibliography of Africa; proceedings and papers. Edited by J. D. Pearson and Ruth Jones. New York, Africana Pub. Corp. [1970].

Moorland Foundation. A catalogue of the African collection in the Moorland Foundation, Howard University Library. Compiled by students in the Program of African Studies. Edited by Dorothy B. Porter. Washington, Howard University Press, 1958.

Rogers, Dilwyn J. A bibliography of African ecology: a geographically and topically classified list of books and articles. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1979.

Royal Empire Society (Great Britain). Library. Annotated bibliography of recent publications on Africa, south of the Sahara, with special reference to administrative, political, economic, and sociological problems. By Evans Lewin. London, The Royal Empire Society, 1943.

South African Public Library. A bibliography of African bibliographies; covering territories south of the Sahara. Cape Town, 1955.

UNESCO. A review of the natural resources of the African Continent. Paris: UNESCO. New York: UNESCO International Documents Service: Columbia University, c1963.

Worthington, Edgar Barton. Science in Africa: a review of scientific research relating to tropical and southern Africa, issued by the Committee of the African research survey under the auspices of the Royal institute of international affairs. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1938.

Worthington, Edgar Barton. Science in the development of Africa: a review of the contribution of physical and biological knowledge south of the Sahara. London: Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara, 1958.


The taxa-based classification framework used by Zoological Record was selected as the framework for sorting the zoological citations into categories. This was chosen because it covers all of vertebrate and invertebrate zoology and was felt to be familiar to zoologists.

Three other subject bibliographies are included: Conservation, Description and travel and Maps and atlases.


The Conservation bibliography includes works on the conservation of the Central African rain forests and savannahs, including works having to do with economic activities such as farming, hunting, and forestry.

Maps and Atlases:

This bibliography constitutes a more or less complete listing of published cartography on the Congo.

Description and Travel:

Works cataloged using the subject heading "Description and travel" include early works by explorers and missionaries. These works often include early maps as well as descriptions of an area's flora and fauna before it has been significantly altered by imported species or economic strategies.