The Institute for Cambrian Studies (ICS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to international research in the Cambrian System. The objectives and purposes of the ICS are exclusively to promote the scientific study of the Cambrian System in all its aspects in all parts of the world, including but not restricted to (1) promotion of the exchange of scholarly information through publication of newsletters, articles, and books of timely interest to the scientific community; (2) sponsorship or co-sponsorship of scientific conferences; and (3) promotion of scientific research through grants-in-aid to qualified scientists, advanced graduate students, and public institutions.
The current ICS Board of Directors comprises: Mark Webster (President), James Hagadorn (Secretary-Treasurer), Nigel Hughes (Board Member), Loren Babcock (Board Member), and A. R. (Pete) Palmer (Past President).
ICS Research Library and Collections
The internationally important Research Library and Collections of the ICS, previously managed and maintained by Pete Palmer (Boulder, CO), was passed into my care in the summer of 2006. The Research Library and Collections consist of (1) a vast library of Cambrian literature (published and unpublished); (2) an extensive database of Cambrian fossil occurrences and species synonymies; (3) an extensive collection of Cambrian fossil specimens; and (4) replicas of the type specimens of many Cambrian trilobite species. These resources are used by many international scholars and students, and the ICS is considered by many Cambrian paleontologists to be a key information hub for Cambrian research.
Considerable effort has been made since 2006 to expand the ICS Research Library and Collections and make the resources more easily accessible. The research collections have more than doubled in size since 2006. This stems largely from the incorporation of my own newly collected material, but also from the acquisition of additional collections (e.g., the Sepkoski thesis collections) and the generous donation of the personal collection of Norm Brown. The ICS research library has almost doubled in size with the generous donations of the personal libraries of Michael Taylor (in 2008), George Theokritoff (in 2014), and Jim Derby (in 2019).
All records for the ICS Research Library and Collections were previously maintained on index cards. To improve the utility of the database, I have constructed easily searchable electronic databases for all ICS records. To date, the ICS Collections Database includes locality details and species occurrences for > 1,000 fossil collections held by the ICS; the ICS Replica Collection Database includes systematic, stratigraphic, and repository information (and in many cases digital photographs) for almost 4,000 replica specimens; and the ICS Synonymy Database includes extensive synonymy and occurrence data for over 20,000 trilobite species. These databases are currently available for use upon request, and will ultimately be posted on the ICS web site.