Welder Wildlife Foundation Library.

Welder Wildlife Foundation Library

The Welder Wildlife Foundation library came into being primarily through the efforts of the first director, Dr. Clarence Cottam. Dr. Cottam had been employed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) for 25 years, and his last position prior to coming to WWF was that of assistant chief of USFWS. He knew many of the prominent players in the early conservation movement. Upon leaving Washington, D.C. he asked his close friends and colleagues to consider leaving their personal library collections to WWF. As a result of Dr. Cottam’s requests, individuals such as Drs. Alexander Wetmore, T.S. Palmer, Luther L. Baumgartner, and Arnold L. Nelson, and Mssrs. C. R. Guthemuth, Raymond P. Holden, and J. S. Wade willed their personal libraries to the Foundation. The largest contribution was that of Dr. Alexander Wetmore, a contribution of approximately 5,000 volumes. These donations, plus Dr. Cottam’s own library, included many of the original works in the field of conservation. The contributions also included serial journals, many of which dated back to first issues published in the 1800’s.


The WWF library contains approximately 24,000 individual books and journals.    In the rare books collection are numerous highly valuable volumes, some dating to the 1600’s. As an example, the collection contains a complete set of the journal Audubon. 


In addition to adding a number of new books each year, the WWF library currently subscribes to 60 scientific journals. The library has a computerized retrieval system; and we are currently phasing out hard-copy purchase of scientific journals as the electronic versions become available. Visitors may use the library by appointment from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.