[ToC]

 

Susan M. Pearce, On Collecting, Routledge, 1995

SCHEMES OF CLASSIFICATIONS FOR SHELLS, DRAWN FROM DIAGRAMS IN N. GREW'S MUSAEUM REGALIS SOCIETATIS OF 1681

Nehemiah Grew's catalogue of the collection duly appeared in 1681, and does indeed endeavour to express some of the material, particularly the shlls. in the form of taxonomic tables.... The collection itself, however, was too frail to bear the philosophical burden prematurely thrust upon it. As Grew noted, the 'perfect' classification was not feasible 'because as yet the collection itself is not perfect' (Hunter 1983: 166). The time for such 'perfect' collections was soon to come; as we shall see, in the next century the effort to classify the world, hand in hand with art, gained the moral high ground, while those curiousities and rarities, often the relics of human history, at which Grew had sneered, were, for a while, banished from the temple.