The American Malacological Society (est. 1931)
The American Malacological Union, now the American Malacological Society, was founded in 1931 chiefly through the organizing efforts of Norman W. Lermond, a New England farmer, utopian community founder, Socialist Party politician, and amateur naturalist. Although a national organization of malacologists had long been discussed, Lermond undertook correspondence with amateur and professional malacologists throughout the country, and eventually gathered the names of 192 persons interested in forming an organization. Its first meeting was held on April 30-May 2, 1931, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with 29 attendees from 12 states. Its first president was Henry A. Pilsbry of Philadelphiaâs Academy of Natural Sciences.
In 1997, an Internet presence was established with the introduction of a "home page" accessible via the World Wide Web to anyone with access to the Internet. Early fall of 1998, the membership voted to change the name of the organization from the American Malacological Union (AMU) to the American Malacological Society (AMS). In 1931 the choice of the word "Union" was appropriate as the organization was a group of professionals, a union of shell clubs, and individual amateurs. Over the years the word "Union" evolved to refer to trade and labor groups. The word "Union" presented problems for treasurers in establishing banking arrangements and for Presidents seeking outside funding for various functions of the organization. The name change brought the organization more in line with comparable societies with a better understanding of its focus, goals, and activities.
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