Early history 1800–1914
This paper reports the history of the Paris foraminiferal collection and documents the beginnings of foraminiferal studies in France from 1826 until the early years of the twentieth century. The first foraminiferal classification was published in 1826 by the French naturalist Alcide d’Orbigny (1802–1857), considered to be the father of micropalaeontology. His work produced a prestigious and fruitful scientific heritage that extends well beyond the scope of foraminiferal research. His important foraminifera collection is a priceless heritage, which is today held at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN, Paris, France). Other important French pioneers include d’Archiac, Terquem and Schlumberger, who have made great contributions to foraminiferal research and to the enrichment of the collections held at the MNHN.