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This volume was proposed after Peter Tandy and Joe McCall organized a 1-day meeting of the History of Geology Group, which is affiliated to the Geological Society, at the Natural History Museum in December 2003. This meeting covered the History of Meteoritics up to 1920 and nine presentations were included, the keynote talk being given by Ursula Marvin. There was an enthusiastic audience of about 50, who expressed the view that this meeting should lead to a publication. Dr Cherry Lewis, the chairperson of the group, discussed this with Joe McCall, who said that the material was too small for a Special Publication, but it could be developed by expanding it, taking the history through the 20th century, when there was a revolution and immense expansion both in the scope of meteorite finds and the application of meteoritics to scientific research on a very broad front with the advent of the Space Age. This was agreed and a format of about 24 articles was designed, approaches being made to selected authors.

The sections of this Special Publication relate to the early development of meteoritics as a science; collecting and museum collections; researches establishing the provenance of meteorites; and impact craters and tektites.

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