The status of animals in our society has changed dramatically in recent decades. Interest in their diverse functions both in the ecological framework and within human society is steadily increasing. Recent branches of research are no longer interested only in their behavior and anatomy; their emotions and individual personalities are also being increasingly explored, unearthing some astounding facts. This, in turn, is also fueling interdisciplinary scientific fields such as human-animal studies and historical animal studies, which are becoming increasingly important.
The Animal Libraries Network, which goes online today as www.animal-libraries.org, has set itself the task of pooling information in these fields of interest and making it more visible and accessible. It connects private and public libraries, archives, and databases focused on animal-related subjects involving human society. The collected material, including scientific publications, photographs, and other historical documents of various kinds, helps researchers, media professionals, and other interested parties in their examination of all facets of the human-animal relationship.
The platform is sponsored and run by TIR with its own library of animal-related books, scientific articles and around 1000 DVDs in law, ethics, and society. The foundation for the idea of a network on animal libraries was laid in mid-2018 during an inspirational exchange with Dr. Carola Otterstedt of the Stiftung Bündnis Mensch & Tier. The Rachel Carson Center at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, a member of the Environmental Libraries Network, also contributed significantly to this project's success. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to everyone involved!
The platform animal-librariers.org will be expanded continuously. We hope for the participation of further private and public libraries and archives that have collections related to animals or nature that they would like to make available to a wider public. Currently, the following libraries and archives are part of the network:
The Stiftung Bündnis Mensch & Tier
has made numerous
German-language essays and studies by well-known experts available
online and includes helpful book recommendations on topics including
animal welfare, ethics of the human-animal relationship, animal
husbandry, animal-assisted intervention, the Begegnungshöfe network
(network for human-animal interactions), species conservation, as well
as companion animals and farm animals.