Besides the various professional fossil collectors employed by James Hall to work in particular parts of the state, there were many "amateurs" for whom fossils were more or less of an avocation. From the middle 1840's to the end of the Hall era, the names of more than 150 amateurs can be counted - farmers, teachers, professors, students, clergymen, businessmen, physicians, and men of leisure, ranging from those who collected purposefully to those who casually picked up a specimen here and there. Very many of their finds came to Hall or the State Cabinet; many became types of new species to be described and figured by Hall, the collector's name often becoming the species eponyms. A sampling of their finds gives a glimpse of the activities of amateurs from 1847 to the time of Hall's death in 1898.

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