Alcide d’Orbigny and the Paris foraminiferal collection
M.-T. Vénec-Peyré, A. Bartolini, 2013. "Alcide d’Orbigny and the Paris foraminiferal collection", Landmarks in Foraminiferal Micropalaeontology: History and Development, A. J. Bowden, F. J. Gregory, A. S. Henderson
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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.
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This TMS Special Publication comprises a collection of 23 papers with an international authorship reflecting on landmarks in the history and development of Foraminiferal micropalaeontology. The volume is prefaced by an introductory overview that provides a brief and selected historical setting, as well as the intended aims of the book. Selected developments in Foraminiferal studies from a global perspective are presented from the time of Alcide d’Orbignyand the founding of the Paris MNHN collections in the mid-nineteenth century to the use of foraminifera in industry, other museum collections, palaeoceanography and environmental studies, regional studies from the Southern Hemisphere and the riseand fall of significant research schools. The book concludes with a chapter on the modelling of foraminifera. Landmarks in Foraminiferal Micropalaeontology: History and Development will be of particular interest to micropalaeontologists, other Earth scientists, historians of science, museum curators and the general reader with an interest in science.