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The completion of the first volume of the “ Midland Naturalist” seems to call for a few remarks from those who undertook its editorship.
The purposes and aims of this periodical are fully set forth in the opening address (p. 1.) How far the ideas and hopes therein expressed have been fulfilled we must leave our readers to decide, but we can earnestly assure them that on the part of the Editors and Publishers no efforts have been spared to realise all that was promised.
It is, however, with the future rather than with the past that we are now concerned. If the “ Midland Naturalist” is to assume its proper position in scientific literature, as the official
organ of so large and influential a body as the Midland Union of Scientific and Literary Societies, then continual efforts must be made for its improvement. But the power to so improve our Magazine, to illustrate it well, as we wish to do, to enlarge it so as to admit both popular and abstruse scientific communications, is entirely dependent on the number of subscribers. Of the 4,000 members belonging to our Union, too few have, as yet, become annual subscribers to this Journal. During the coming year their number ought to be largely increased, and we ask every one of our readers to aid in bringing this about.
Furthermore, every subscriber should consider him herself as commissioned to observe and report on all occurrences of scientific interest which may happen in their neighbourhood. It cannot be doubted that hundreds of facts, which if published would be of scientific value, are yearly observed by some one or other, but lost because not recorded. If our readers will help us in this respect, our endeavour to make the “Midland Naturalist” a magazine of Midland Counties Natural History will be realised.
Many of our readers have given us valuable assistance, and to all the kind friends who have contributed to our pages we tender our warmest thanks. We owe especial thanks to Mr. W. R. Hughes, F.L.S., and Mr. W. B. Grove, B.A., not only for contributions, but for unceasing help in correcting proofs, and in other ways.
We also gratefully acknowledge the services rendered by our eighty Meteorological observers, who have enabled us to publish from month to month a very complete record of the weather of the Midlands.
To Mr. Charles E. Scarse, of the Birmingham Library, both we and our readers are greatly indebted, for compiling the excellent Index we are enabled to publish of the contents of our first volume.
During the coming year we hope to present our readers with a number of interesting papers. To the January part Philip Henry Gosse, Esq., F.R.S., will contribute a most valuable account of a Marine Aquarium on the circulating principle recently erected by him in his house at Torquay. We shall also soon commence a series of practical Geological papers, entitled “Rambles with a Hammer in the Midland Counties." The important communications with which Dr. T. Spencer Cobbold, F.R.S., has favoured us will be continued, as will also Mr. James E. Bagnall's " Moss Habitats;" the latter gentleman is also preparing some articles on “ The Cryptogamic Flora of Warwickshire." Mr. W. B. Grove, B.A., will contribute some papers on “ The Pronunciation of Scientific Names.” The Glacial scheme (see p. 242) will, we trust, be productive of good results, which we shall be glad to chronicle. A paper
“ Practical Meteorology," with illustrations of the most recent improvements in meteorological apparatus, is also in hand. Entomology, Ornithology, and Microscopy will not be forgotten; but for these subjects we invite and shall be glad to receive further aid.
PRINCIPAL CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS VOLUME.
JAMES E. BAGNALL, Birmingham.