text was probably prepared by George Langford, Sr. to accompany the
collection of over one thousand five hundred fossils which he donated
to the Illinois State Museum. - GL,III]
Some species are abundant, others very rare. The following table gives some idea of this. It represents my own experience for four years, over four hundred fifty of which were spent in the field, collecting.
The second table shows how the numbers of species increased as time progressed. The figures represent the total [cumulative] scores of Flora and Fauna at the end of each of the four years.
Each species is illustrated and described in my records. From a humble beginning these records grew as fast as I found things I had not found before, until they reached their present volume. I made more illustrations when I found finer specimens of species already found and of specimens showing variations or peculiarities. I supplemented my photographs with ink sketches. I made no great effort to find the specific names of all of them. I had no time for that. I merely added things that were different from those already figured and described. Many of my auxiliary illustrations were made to point out peculiarities as they struck me, so as to assist the specialist who might some day make a study of the collection. Many of the illustrations are clear enough to necessitate only little description.
Unquestionably, I have made mistakes. Some of the species are wrongly named or bear synonymous names. Perhaps I show or claim more species than there really are. Some species have many variations not entitled to the name "variety." But if one becomes too critical in his condemnation of synonyms and variations, things really different may be passed over and forgotten. So my list of species may really number less than I claim. But on the other hand there are a great many specimens, among which some have doubtless been overlooked.
This collection is about a tenth and is the best of what I have brought in from the field. It is selected for all the uses to which it may be put in the largest museum or university.
[unsigned, but in the handwriting of] George Langford, Sr.