Excerpt from Systematical, Stratigraphical, and Alphabetical Indexes to the First Six Volumes of the Mineral Conchology of Great Britain: To Which Is Added a Short Account of the Life of the Author
AT the time the Mineral Conchology was commenced, so little was generally known of the great assistance a knowledge of fossil shells would prove towards the examination of the structure of the earth's crust, that most collectors were very careless in ob serving the relative situations from which they obtained their specimens; and Mr. Sowerby himself, more anxious to record the existence of the species as they came in his way, than to enter into details for which he had but indifferent means, justly considered, that by publishing figures with names he would at least enable future geologists to use terms which a reference to his work would render intelligible, and thus facilitate their labours and means of communication with each other. Mr. Farey had rendered the work somewhat more useful by the Supplementary Indexes which he furnished to the earlier volumes; but as the science of geology advanced he was obliged to vary his plan, and the termination of his life unhappily prevented him from completing the task he had assigned himself, of giving an improved geological arrangement to the whole work.
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