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great great grandmas shell collection
05-09-2008, 01:05 PM,
great great grandmas shell collection
Hello Sarah,

Welcome to the website. I hope we will be able to help you in some way. Regarding sorting the shells into families - have you seen the family identification page on this website?  That may be helpful, and some of the smaller pictures on that page will be updated shortly so that they will show more species.

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As far as books go, there are two general types - inexpensive books that show a small sampling of the commoner shells from a given family or a given location; and large, high quality books that cover a particular family or a particular geographic location in great detail, which are usually very expensive. Your local library is likely to have a number of books in the first category, but is not likely to have very many of the more specialized books. There is an excellent 2-volume set called Australian Marine Shells by Barry Wilson which your library might have.  That would be well worth looking at if you can find it, though chances are the majority of your shells are not from Australia. Shells of the Philippines by Springsteen & Leobrera is quite good, though the pictures are not of the quality seen in the Australian book. Of the more general types of books, the Compendium of Seashells by Abbott is probably the best, simply because of the large number of species illustrated. But again, it can be hard to find and expensive to buy.

Most collectors house their collections in a cabinet of some sort with shallow sliding drawers or trays. A shell collection takes up a lot more space than a stamp or coin collection! Here is a view of some of my cabinets. Not fancy, just functional:

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As a shell dealer I need a bit more room than the average collector. I have 7 more rows of 5 like the row you see here, for a total of 40 cabinets, each 7 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

Do feel free to post your pictures and we'll do what we can to put names on them (though it may take us a week or more to ID several thousand shells) :-) You can include more than one shell in a picture, but not too many. When a large number of shells are included in one picture the images are necessarily small, and there isn't enough detail to distinghish between similar species. If you are only going to provide one view of a shell, a straight-on ventral view (like you see in most books) is usually best.

Messages In This Thread
great great grandmas shell collection - by sarah - 05-09-2008, 12:11 PM
great great grandmas shell collection - by paul monfils - 05-09-2008, 01:05 PM

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