M.A.N. Müller Reference Library

Situated at the National Botanical Research Institute in Windhoek, the M.A.N. Müller Reference Library is one of the twenty ministerial libraries and is run by a staff member of the NBRI.

This facility is a branch library of the Namibian Agriculture and Water Information Centre (NAWIC).


Since the establishment of the SWA Herbarium in 1953, traces of a library could be seen as books and periodicals were bought through the Department of Agriculture, or were donated by other libraries and institutions in South Africa and elsewhere.

After independence, the name SWA Herbarium changed to the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and the type of publications procured diversified in accordance with the more expansive functions of the developing institute.

In 1996, the NBRI moved to the current building which houses a custom-designed library, where all the books and periodicals gathered over the years could at last be proudly displayed.

The library is named after the late Dr. M.A.N. (Mike) Müller, who was the curator of the herbarium from 1975 to 1991, and who contributed greatly to the development of the institute.


  • To provide information on Namibian flora and related subjects
  • To expand the book collection by relying on and soliciting donations from other institutions and libraries in Namibia and elsewhere as well as purchasing using the ministerial budget
  • To maintain a friendly environment where all users may feel welcome when doing research or just to relax
  • To develop a resource centre/collection for use by NBRI staff in compiling lectures, talks and publications.

This library is open to all users, being NBRI staff, students, scholars, researchers or visitors from local or foreign countries.

Since the library is a reference library only, we offer a limited photocopy service to facilitate the needs of our users.

» Read more about our core functions.

Book Collection

Our book collection includes dictionaries and bibliographies, books on medicinal plants, trees and shrubs, biodiversity, conservation, horticulture and gardening, agronomy, plant genetic resources, ecology, biotechnology, Namibian plants, southern African plants, succulents, herbarium management and much more.

We have a unique classification system developed by NBRI staff, unlike other libraries that are using the DDC system.

All books are added to the WINISIS programme, using a database called NBRI. Searches done for information requests are not only limited to our book collection. We can also use our other sources such as databases for our periodical, literature reprint and slide collections.

Periodical Collection

The periodical collection consists of journals such as Aloe, Bothalia, Kew Bulletin, Veld & Flora, Plant Ecology and many more. All new additions to the periodical collection are bound into annual volumes.

Just recently articles from the periodicals are being added to a new database, called ARTICS, using the Winisis programme.

Slide Collection

This collection consists of a wide range of slides of flowers, leaves, fruits and of the habitat of Namibian plants, vegetation types and ongoing work. All slides are filed in a separate cabinet and added to the SLIDES database.

Reprints Collection

Literature reprints are ordered from other libraries in Namibia and South Africa, using the Inter Library Loan (ILL) system. These literature reprints and other bits of printed information, like pamphlets, are added to the PAPERS database and filed in a separate cabinet.

Other material

Other material housed in our collection includes annual reports, proceedings of workshops and meetings and newsletters.

Other databases that can be accessed for information searches are the Namibian book collection of the National Library and that of the Namibian Agriculture and Water Information Centre.

Libraries play an important role in the development of each country. Our library has the most comprehensive collection of botanical literature in the country that forms an invaluable basis in planning, implementing and evaluating projects with a botanical component.


Ms Joceline Dentlinger

202 2022