Guest blog Ruud Bank the Dutch Malacological Society

Sometimes things go wrong and technology lets you down. Emails get lost in spam filters. That is why this guest blog didn’t reach me in time. Therefor you will receive  two blogs today.

The Dutch Malacological Association (NMV) was founded on July 1, 1934, and had 33 members at its start. As soon as 1937 Tera joined the board. At the time, two places were important for professional taxonomic malacological research in the Netherlands: the Zoological Museum in Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum of Natural History in Leiden. Most of the societies activities, such as meetings, took place in one of the two museums. The founding of a malacological library within the NMV for the benefit of its members took place in Amsterdam – Tera managed the library and took care of lending, purchasing and administration. It was used frequently, and “reading circles” were even created in various places in Utrecht and in the west of the Netherlands.

Because the malacological fauna of the Netherlands was still insufficiently known, a form of mapping was set up within the NMV. This was done in close consultation with the existing Mollusc Committee, of which Tera was the driving force. In this context, Tera checked many determinations, which considerably increased the reliability of the registrations.

NMV members found their way to Amsterdam anyway; Tera has assisted many members in various ways. Some members (such as Hans Kuiper, Frederik Loosjes, Louis Butot, Wim Neuteboom) became, partly because of her enthusiasm, an example for others.

The association grew (the 100th member was registered in 1940), and the NMV acquired the necessary fame abroad, which was mainly due to its scientific journal Basteria. From 1948-1977, Tera was editor of Basteria, along with C.O. van Regteren Altena (1945-1968) and later with A.C. van Bruggen (from 1968). Exchange subscriptions from Basteria with other foreign malacological journals, which Tera took care of, allowed the NMV library to grow further.

In 1959 the 25th anniversary of the NMV was celebrated in Amsterdam, with an international exposure. This meeting gave impetus to the creation of the Unitas Malacologica Europaea in 1962 in London, which organized its 6th International Congress in 1977 at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. This eventually grew into a worldwide organization that still organizes conferences; last year (2022) it was again in Europe (Munich).

Tera’s three mollusc books in the series “Fauna van Nederland” (1933, 1936, 1943) were the bible for the study of the Dutch mollusc fauna for decades (and are still a sought-after purchase!). Partly for this reason, the study of our molluscs took off in the Netherlands, from which the NMV also reaped the benefits. Rightly so, Tera was the first member of the NMV to be appointed an honorary member of the association. For a long time she was a central person within the association.

The NMV is a solid association, with many activities (meetings, identification days, excursions). See, among other things, the beautiful book “Schitterende schelpen en slijmerige slakken” (Beautiful shells and slimy snails) that appeared on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the association (2009). The NMV also publishes three magazines: Spirula (the successor to the “Correspondence magazine”), Vita Malacologica, and Basteria. The latter journal will enter its 87th year in 2023, making it one of the oldest malacological journals worldwide.

Undeniably, Tera left an important mark on malacology, and NMV in particular. Barbara’s blog is also a tribute to this remarkable person, who occupies an important place in the history of malacological science in the Netherlands and abroad.

Ruud Bank (former chairman of the NMV), 15 January 2023

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