Shell Clubs and Institutions
Shell Clubs are a well-founded tradition in our shell subculture, both in the U.S and around the world, and seemingly a necessary adjunct to the hobby. They are groups, each with its own focus and personality, which answer the need of shell enthusiasts to come together for enrichment, discussion and stimulation of their interest in shells. Activities run the gamut from fund-raising raffles, auctions and shell shows to beach cleanups, sponsorship of scholarships in malacology, and field collecting and observation trips. Many publish a periodic newsletter. Shell clubs are a fixture in most large coastal cities and many others are located in the American heartland.
Malacological societies are primarily oriented toward professional malacologists and serious amateurs. More emphasis is placed on the animal and its biology and phylogenetic relationships, and less on the shell. Most malacological societies include and welcome amateurs -- indeed, America's societies originated, in part, with amateurs.