Some regard Aristotle as the first malacologist (Coan & Kabat, 2016), but it is not that far that we like to go back in time with this site on malacohistory. Rather we prefer to focus on the 19th and 20th century when malacology became fashionable among amateurs and also the first professional malacologists appeared as staff members of natural history museums. Collecting shells, however, started much earlier (see e.g. Dance, 1966 for an extensive review), and the interest for snails as such is notable in literature and visual arts from early on in history (see the site Huntingforsnails). For practical reasons, we will focus especially on European malacologists, their collections and their fate, and the context in which they operated.
It should be noted that ‘malacology’ is referred to herein broadly, i.e. both Recent and fossil shells may be involved. Besides malacologists (or conchologists, those who study only empty shells and not the animals) also palaeontologists will occur, and frequently related fields like geology and botany may be mentioned. Both well-known persons will come across as well as hitherto completely unknown people who contributed (often in a modest way) to European malacology.
We intend to publish on this site data that we obtained through our research, background data used for publications, and preliminary data. This can be either biographical data, data on the location of (part of) collections, and other facts that help to explain the development of malacology in Europe. Also new insights from literature and methodological notes may find its place here in blog posts. We will use this site as a source of information, not only for our own on-going projects (e.g., we may use raw data from this site in our own publications) but also for others. However, beware of possible copyright issues, as not automatically all material which is posted here might be free of rights. Therefore an important disclaimer needs to be made: original visual materials are referred to in corresponding notes under each post; the copyrights for the context picture(s) are stated there and implicitly apply also to our blog posts, unless further stated. Users of pictures from this blog therefore should consult the links mentioned in the respective notes. If readers have contributed pictures for this blog, they have granted publication permission in email correspondence, and are acknowledged in notes with each applicable blog post. Otherwise photos are our own.
We hope you will enjoy this site, and invite you to share your own contributions.