17 August 2007

From one great malacologist's library to another great malacologist's library

I knew Melbourne "Mel" R. Carriker (1915-2007) from the MAM meetings at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. The 2006 meeting was the last one he attended. After my presentation, which was about the extra space in the shells of land snails, several people had comments and questions. During the break, Dr. Carriker came over to me and we had a brief discussion about my presentation and he suggested that I look for a certain anatomical character in snails to test my ideas (I still haven't done it, though). Later, I thought that his suggestion was the best I had received that day. When I learned at this year's meeting that Dr. Carriker had died a month earlier at age 92, I was truly amazed and impressed that at age 91 he had outdone everyone else, at least in my mind, at the 2006 MAM meeting.

So when one of Mel Carriker's books* went up for bidding at the American Malacological Society's traditional auction during the World Congress of Malacology in Antwerp last month, I managed to outbid everyone to buy it for 20 euros. That may be a little bit too much for an outdated book, but it is for a good cause as the proceeds from the auction support the American Malacological Society's programs for graduate students. Besides, Mel Carriker's name is on 2 pages.


I have written my name on the same page. Imagine how much money that book will sell for, say, 50 years from now, after people realize that it once belonged to not one, but two famous malacologists. Either that or they will say "Who was this Örstan guy who defaced this page?"

Anyway. Another interesting thing about this book is that there is a 1959 "season's greetings" card from the Paleontological Research Institution pasted on the first page.


The inside of the card has pictures of the monoplacophoran mollusk Neopilina ewingi.


*Molluscs by J.E. Morton, 1958.

1 comment:

Nuthatch said...

Ah! The Carrikers. They have ornithological connections, too, and I've read with pleasure Mel's book Vista Nieve: The Remarkable True Adventures of an Early Twentieth-century Naturalist and his Family in Colombia, South America. There was a review of this and two other books in a recent issue of The Auk (http://tinyurl.com/32opxw). Vista Nieve was a coffee farm, another interest of mine.

Aydin, we have too many interests in common.