The Chicago Shell Club is for people who enjoy collecting and learning about seashells!
Founded in 1964 in the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, our regular meetings are now conducted in the Chicago office of the Helix Camera and Video Company.
Meetings run from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month, from September through May. They are held on the 8th floor of the Helix Camera and Video Company located at 310 South Racine Avenue. Park on the street or in the lot west of the building on Jackson Boulevard. Please be on time! The entrance on Racine Avenue is open from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. In addition to the Club meetings at Helix Camera, some special events are: open house meetings held at members' homes, shell auctions, and our annual St. Nick & Neptune Christmas party.
Programs, generally, are presentations given by shell experts from around the country. Lively discussion is the rule, and members also present information about recent collecting trips, their latest shell acquisitions, and aspects of the hobby in which they're interested.
The May and December meetings include shell auctions. We have silent and voice auctions, with bidding beginning at prices just slightly higher than dealer cost. Through the years, these auctions have enabled some members to build beautiful collections which they might not otherwise have been able to assemble without extensive travel.
Besides travel, collection, classification and preparation techniques, many other aspects of shell collecting come up at meetings, including shellcraft and shell art.
Collecting books about shells is another interest shared by many members. However, it is not necessary to buy many books to keep up with the latest information. The Club's extensive library stored at Helix is open at meetings for lending to members.
Club membership ranges from novice to expert, and from juniors to retirees. Many members join the Club after an initial shelling experience that they are eager to continue. All are there to share and increase their knowledge about shells and the ecosystems in which they exist.
Dues are $25.00 per calendar year for families, $20.00 for individuals, and $15.00 for juniors (under 18 years). You do not have to be a member to attend our meetings or auctions. The current Chicago Shell Club meeting schedule is available on the Club Activities page in this website, providing details of the scope and variety of scheduled meetings and events throughout this Club season.
We eagerly look forward to seeing you at our meetings!
Chicago Shell Club
The thumbnail images below can be used to bring up full size maps showing the locations of Helix Camera & Video where the Chicago Shell Club holds its regular meetings and Sawa's Old Warsaw Restaurant where we have our Annual St. Nick and Neptune Christmas Party and Shell Auction. Place your mouse on an image and click the left button to see an enlarged view!