2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
Paper No. 127-4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


JONATHAN, Cathleen1, PHILIBERT-ORTEGA, Gena2, and DIRLAM, Dona Mary1, (1) Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center, Gemological Institute of America (GIA), The Robert Mouawad Campus, 5345 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, cjonathan@gia.edu, (2) Murrieta, CA 92563

British Mineralogy by James Sowerby (1757-1822) was the first book about mineralogy to include color illustrations depicting hundreds of specimens. Published in five volumes between 1804 and 1817, British Mineralogy: Or Coloured Figures Intended to Elucidate the Mineralogy of Great Britain had a tremendous impact on the study of minerals from the British Isles. The scientific community in England at that time included such notable figures as Mary Anning (1799-1847) and Charles Darwin (1809-1882), and the connection between them and members of the Sowerby family has been documented.

In 1840, Martha Proby (1783-1864) was so inspired by British Mineralogy that she copied long excerpts by hand into her commonplace book. Commonplace books were first used in the 15th century by scholars to compile information. By the 19th century, their popularity had grown and they were widely used to record information about a variety of diverse subjects. Depending on the interests of the author, commonplace books might include scientific studies, religious or political doctrines, medical knowledge or less serious pursuits like poetry, quotations or recipes. Martha Proby’s commonplace book (bound in two volumes) is remarkable because in addition to hundreds of pages of hand-copied text from British Mineralogy, it includes over 200 hand-painted original works of art rendered from Sowerby’s illustrations.

2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (1922 October 2014)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 127--Booth# 165
Mineralogy/Crystallography (Posters)
Vancouver Convention Centre-West: Exhibition Hall C
9:00 AM-6:30 PM, Monday, 20 October 2014

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