About the site

Sloth Search (formerly Sloth World) was first conceived in 2001 by Robert K. McAfee, Ph.D. during his first years of graduate school at Northern Illinois University. It began as a way to manage and process the vast but scattered information about this mammalian group upon which his studies were embarking. Primarily the website was a way for Dr. McAfee to track what publications existed and which he did or did not have in his growing personal library while at other institutions, museums or libraries. It was also handy for pulling out full citations for the bibliography or literature cited sections of manuscripts (and still is!), rather than looking it up all over again.

Within a year or two, Sloth World was being found and recognized by others with a range of interests in sloths (some were researchers, some were grade school students working on school projects), who were having their own difficulties finding specific references or information in general. To put it into perspective, this was prior to Facebook or other major social media, so sloths weren't as popular and information was harder to come by. Many of those making contact were looking for copies of publications, which led to a new, electronic collecting of books and papers to share with others by request.

Post-graduate life introduced a new kind of busy and it became longer and longer between updates of pages or pdf files available. Long overdue changes to the website were never completed but the site most lived on in what had become its basic utility of helping to connect publications with those who were seeking them or guiding them toward ones that would work best for the questions they were seeking. All of this limped along until 2012-13, when Dr. McAfee realized he was paying a rather ridiculous amount of money for hosting a website that was just languishing and stagnant, at which point (and with a heavy heart) he gave up the domain rights to www.sloth-world.org and vowed to start again.

The new name of Sloth Search was chosen to better reflect the core principle of being an online repository and bibliography for sloth literature, especially as the former name seemed far to grandiose for such a simplistic purpose. In late June/early July of 2014, Sloth Search went live with a brand new look and also an ability to search within the database of the site itself. More updates to live up to the spirit of the website's name are planned and underway.