Conchological books

Hand-coloured engraving, plate 132 from Volume 4 (1780) of F.H.W. Martini and J.H. Chemnitz's Neues Systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet &c. 1769–95
Hand-coloured engraving

Most people who collect shells or are interested in their animal inhabitants, as well as many general naturalists, will have some conchological books in their personal libraries.  These books are invaluable aids for identifying mollusc species and for learning about the ways the animals 'make their living'.  Despite the range of books available there is always room for another book and it seems, even with the exciting opportunities for image and information exchange offered by the Internet, the potential for conchological book publication will never be exhausted.

Natural history objects have always been admired for their beauty and this is particularly true for shells.  Small wonder then that the earlier conchological books containing plates of exquisitely illustrated shells, often hand-coloured, have been sought after by a book-loving public within and beyond the conchological fraternity.

The Society regularly reviews books which are published on the subject of molluscs and many of these reviews are available on-line.

Obtaining books

While some of the more recent works can be obtained through normal on-line book stores, most are now out of print. The Society runs an annual book sale with a proportion of the proceeds going to support the Society. There are also a range of second hand book suppliers that can help source a copy.

Recommended book lists

A vast number of books have now been published on the subject of conchology and to the beginner it can be a fairly daunting choice. Added to this, that many of the best works are no longer in print, can making getting hold of good books quite difficult. The Society has a range of books it recommends as initial starting points for a range of subject areas:

Britain and Ireland