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Graham and Brian Child African Wildlife and Range Management Collection

Identifier: MS Group 291

Scope and Content

The Graham and Brian Child African Wildlife and Range Management Collection dates from 1909 to 2004, but the bulk of the collection spans from the 1960s to 2004. Much of the collection involves wildlife policy and programs in Zimbabwe from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Much of Graham Child's papers comes from his years as the Director of National Parks and Wild Life Management in Zimbabwe from 1971 to the 1980s. In addition to the papers, reports, memoranda, and correspondence related to many functions of the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management, there are many documents relating to Graham Child's dissertation, his early work on Lake Kariba, and his work as a pioneer in developing wildlife programs and national parks in a newly independent Botswana in the 1960s. In addition to data collection, analysis and reports (both governmental and non-governmental), Graham Child amassed a large amount of related literature (off-prints, conference reports, and non-published documents) that span from the early years of the 20th century onwards.

A majority of the collection relates to the research of Dr. Brian Child in the 1980s and early 1990s. Much of his early research relates to game ranching and its economic implications throughout southern Africa. Most significantly, the collection provides excellent documentation of how Brian Child operated the CAMPFIRE program, a community-based natural resource management program that was developed and implemented throughout multiple communities in Zimbabwe. The collection contains excellent examples of the step-by-step progress in the development of the CAMPFIRE program, year-to-year reports including budget analyses, examples of education literature and promotional materials for the program, as well as subsequent analyses and critiques from multiple researchers. Following his work on CAMPFIRE initiatives, Brian Child worked on several community-based wildlife initiatives in Zambia throughout the 1990s. These documents are similar in nature to the CAMPFIRE documents: planning reports, budgets, implementation strategies and follow-up reports. This collection will be of interest to anyone studying Southern African wildlife - be it from an analytical and scientific approach or from a longitudinal socio-political and economic approach.

Other topics covered in the Child Collection include tourism in African countries, the establishment of protected areas in Saudi Arabia, the U.S. Natural Resource Management Program (USAID-NRMP), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund, and wildlife management in Kenya. The collection also includes articles, reports and publications either authored or collected by the Childs. Finally, the collection includes a small quantity of personal letters and mementoes acquired by the Childs.

Note that files designated with asterisks ( ** ) include documents such as articles and reports authored or co-authored by the Graham and Brian Child.


  • Creation: 1909-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960-2004


Language of Materials

Materials primarily are in English, with some documents in French and African languages.


The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Graham Child, O. L. M. B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D. was born in 1936 in Rhodesia (later known as Zimbabwe) where he went to school. He attended the University of Cape Town; his thesis dealt with the behavior of large mammals trapped on islands during the formation of Lake Kariba, when the Zambezi River was dammed. He worked as a wildlife ecologist in the late 1950s, and at the National Museum Service of Zimbabwe. He served as the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization's Wildlife Ecologist in Botswana for six years beginning in 1965. This led to his appointment in 1971 as Director of National Parks and Wild Life Management in Zimbabwe, a position he held until his retirement in the 1980s. Dr. Graham Child is the author of numerous articles, papers and books.

Brian Child was born in Rhodesia in 1962 and moved to Botswana with his father in 1965. He returned to Rhodesia in 1970 and attended school at Plumtree, graduating in 1980. He attended the University of Zimbabwe, graduating with a B.Sc. in 1983. He earned a Rhodes Scholarship for Oxford, graduating with his Ph.D. in 1988. Dr. Brian Child was Senior Ecologist in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management in the Branch of Terrestrial Ecology. Trained as a resource economist, Child's primary assignment until 1990 was to analyze the economics of wildlife in mixed grazing regimes of cattle and wildlife on commercial ranches. This interest in the economics of wildlife utilization led to his involvement in the Community Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). This work was supplemental to his research on wildlife and cattle on commercial ranches. He began giving technical assistance to district councils with wildlife in southern Zimbabwe where these projects were often developed in cooperation with local commercial ranchers who also utilized both cattle and wildlife. In 1991, he was appointed by National Parks and Wildlife Management as its national coordinator for the CAMPFIRE program. He currently is a professor of geography at the University of Florida, specializing in the management of protected areas and conservation of natural resources.


46 Linear feet (79 boxes)


Includes reports, correspondences, maps, charts, related literature, and documents relating to the development, implementation and assessment of multiple wildlife programs and initiatives. Dr. Graham Child was active from the late 1950s onwards and his son, Brian Child, began his academic work in the 1980s. Both Graham and Brian work extensively in Zimbabwe (known as Rhodesia pre-1980), although the collection contains extensive material about Zambia, Botswana as well as research consultancies throughout the world.


The collection is organized into several groups, or series. The largest series relate to CAMPFIRE, the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management, and game ranching. Within each series, the majority of the files are arranged alphabetically, although a few smaller series are arranged in chronological order.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Gift of Graham and Diana Child, and Brian Child.

Related Material

This collection is one of several collections at the University of Florida relating to the study of wildlife in Southern Africa. The Records of the East African Professional Hunters Association contain a detailed list of wildlife researchers and hunters found throughout Eastern Africa. Many of the prominent names found throughout the Graham and Brian Child African Wildlife and Range Management Collection can be further researched in this collection. The Ian Parker Collection (currently being processed before being made available to researchers) contains information about the Ivory Trade in Eastern Africa, and is similar to some of Graham Child's work and is particularly relevant to the multitude of CITES documents in the series. The Larry Harris Collection (also in-process) contains information about the study of faun in Eastern Africa (Tanzania) as well as information about wildlife study in Botswana. This collection contains material from the 1990s onwards and provides a continuation of Graham Child's earlier research in Botswana in the 1960s and 1970s.

A Guide to the Graham and Brian Child African Wildlife and Range Management Collection
Finding aid created by Andrew C. Wilson
September 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America