12 Pages

Time capsule of carcinology : History and resources in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

WithEarle E. Spamer, Arthur E. Began

In 1988 to 1990, the General Invertebrates Collection of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia was reexamined by collections management staff and an annotated catalogue of type specimens was prepared. The opportunity is taken in this chapter to reintroduce the Academy's crustacean holdings to the scientific community, and to outline the history of crustacean research here, the birthplace of American carcinology. In 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences was founded by a small group of educated men whose common avocation was natural history. Thomas Say is renowned as the father of American malacology and entomology, but he is less widely appreciated as the father, also, of American carcinology. Most of the collections were sent to the new Smithsonian Institution, but various specimens were also deposited with other institutions including the Academy of Natural Sciences. The Academy retains part of Pilsbry's working collection, including many types, which remains much as he left it.