Mineralogy and mineral collections in 18th-century France.

Endeavour

PubMedID: 12535919

Simon J. Mineralogy and mineral collections in 18th-century France. Endeavour. 2002;26(4):132-6.
During the 18th century, mineralogy constituted an integral part of natural history, sharing the concerns of botany and zoology over collection and classification. In Paris, many people owned private mineral collections, but these have been largely neglected by historians. Here, I examine the place of private collections in the history of mineralogy, arguing that they contributed socially, economically and intellectually to the field in a period before the dominance of the large national collection. I also show how the interests of private collectors diverged from those of the curators of public collections, particularly following the French Revolution.