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Vasilii Mikhailovich Severgin
SEVERGIN, Vasilii Mikhailovich.

SEVERGIN, Vasilii Mikhailovich.
(1765 - 1826)

(Born: St. Petersburg, Russia, 19 September 1765; Died: St. Petersburg, Russia, 29 November 1826) Russian mineralogist, geologist, chemist & physicist.

Son of a court musician, Severgin was admitted to the private Gymnasium of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1776. He matriculated at the Academy's University in 1784 choosing mineralogy as his speciality. In 1785, he travelled to G÷ttingen to study under J.F. Gmelin. There he became involved in the controversy between the neptunists and the plutonists. Upon returning to St. Petersburg in 1789, he was appointed an adjunct in the department of mineralogy of the Academy of Science. In that post, Severgin began a long and influenial career in the teaching of science in Russia generally and especially mineralogy. He examined minerals from a chemical basis which followed Lavorsier's theories. This was sustained by his numerous publications, which appeared throughout his lifetime. Besides Severgin's mineralogical writings, he also published translations of European works on metallurgy, chemistry and physics. In 1804, he founded the Teknologichesky Zhurnal (Technological Journal), which he also edited until 1824. Severgin was also a founding member of the Mineralogical Society of St. Petersburg.

Biographical references: Barsanov, Istorii Razvitiia Russkoi Mineralogii, 1950. Barsanov, Severgin i Mineralogia, 1949. Carver, V.M. Severgin, 1977. DSB: 12, 329-30 [by G.D. Kurochkin]. Great Soviet Encyclopedia: 23, 392 [by N.A. Voskresenskaia]. Moliavko, Geologi Biograficheskii, 1985: p. 238-9. Poggendorff: 2, cols. 913-4. Sarjeant, Geologists, Suppl. 1, 1986: 2, 770. Sedletskii, I.D., {\scyr Akad. V.M. Severtin i uqenie o paragenezise mineralov} [Acad. V.M. Severgin and the study of the paragensis of minerals], Vestn. As USSR, 1 (1948). Sedletskii, I.D., "{\scyr Prioritet russkogo uqehogo V.M. Severgina v uqehii o paragenezise mineralov}" [Russian scientific priority of V.M. Severgin in the study of the paragensis of minerals], Zap. Rostov State Univ., 11 (1948), no. 6. Shafranovskii, I.I. and A.V. Nemilova, {\scyr Akad. V.M. Severgin, i ego rol\char127 v istorii russko\char31 mineralogii} [Acad. V.M. Severgin, and his role in the history of Russian mineralogy], Priroda [Nature], 1947, no. 3. Sokolovskaia, 400 Biografii Uchenykh, 1988: p. 231. Zvorykin, Biograficheskii Slovar, 1958: 2, 203-4, portrait.

Начальныя основанiя естественной исторiи, содержащiя cарсва животныhъ, пронзрастъний и нзкопаемыhъ. (2 vols., St. Petersburg, 1791).
See under: Kirwan, Richard.

Минералогичеcкия, геолрафнчеcкия и другия смеxанныя нзвестия о Алтайскиh гораh, принадлежащиh к российскому владеиию. Изданныя И.М. Ренованcом ... Василей Севергин ... (St. Petersburg, 1792).
See under: Renovantz, Hans Michael.

Pervyia Osiovaiia Mineralogii, 1798

1. Russian, 1798.
Первыя Осиоваиия | Минералогии | Или | ЕстественноŠ Истории | Ископаемыhъ Тълъ, | Бъ Двуhъ Книгаhъ. | Сочиненiя | Василгя Севергина, | [5 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Книга И. [-ИИ.] | [double rule] | Въ Санктпетербургъ, | при Импераморской Академиа Наукъ | 1798 года.

[Transliterated title:]

Pervyia Osiovaiia | Mineralogii | Ili | EstestvennoŠ Istorii | Iskopaemykh Tel, | B Dvukh Knigakh. | Sochinen´ia | Vasilgia Severgina, | [...5 lines of titles and memberships...] | [rule] | Kniga I. [-II.] | [double rule] | V Sanktpeterburge, | pri Imperamorskoi Akademia Nauk | 1798 goda.

2 parts. [Part 1] 8░: [2], vi, 498, [2] p.; [Part 2] 8░: xvi, 437, xxxi, [1] p.

Rare. Based on Lavoisier's new chemistry, this work served as Russia's chief advanced mineralogy text. It was published in an edition of 1200 copies and became Russia's chief textbook for the next 30 years. The book abounded in information about the chemical characters of rocks and minerals, but because of the embryonic nature of chemical analysis, the nature and quality of the entries was uneven. To promote chemical mineralogy, Severgin's introduction included a summary description of the techniques, instruments and objectives of the chemical method.

Kurochkin writes that Severgin's Foundations of Mineralogy was "the first textbook written in Russian on the subject. Besides describing minerals and rocks, Severgin classified petrifications as "simple" or "complex." Among the former were marble, jasper, and flint (quartz), which lack foreign particles. He gave detailed descriptions of the physical and chemical properties of minerals, developing "wet" methods of analysis as well as methods using the blowpipe." Also in this work, Severgin was the first to formerly recognize what he called "contiguity of minerals," but what is today called mineral paragensis.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. Carver, V.M. Severgin, 1977: pp. 190-5. DSB: 12, 329 [by G.D. Kurochkin]. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97. Slavonic Collection: 24, 199. Sopikov, Essay in Russian Bibliography, 1904-8: no. 6222. Svodnyi Katalog Russkoi Knigi: no. 6392.

2. Russian, 1800.
Спосов испытывать минеральныя воды. Сочиненный, поновейxим о сем предмете навлюдениям, трудами Василья Севергина, академика и надворнаго советника; Государствнной Медиcинской коллегии почетhаго члена; Имп. Российской академии и С.П. бургскаго Вольнаго экономическаго общества члена; Лондонскаго и Лейпcигскаго экономическаго общества, и Минералогическаго общества в Иене почетhаго члена; Геттингскаго ученаго общества корреспондента. С. Петербург, тип. Гос. Мед. Коллегии, 1800.

[Transliterated title:]

Sposov ispytyvat' mineral'nyia vody. Sochinennyi, ponoveishim o sem predmete navliudeniiam, trudami Vasil'ia Severgina, akademika i nadvornago sovetnika; Gosudarstvnnoi Meditsinskoi kollegii pochetkhago chlena; Imp. Rossiiskoi akademii i S.P. burgskago Vol'nago ėkonomicheskago obshchestva chlena; Londonskago i Leiptsigskago ėkonomicheskago obshchestva, i Mineralogicheskago obshchestva v Iene pochetkhago chlena; Gettingskago uchenago obshchestva korrespondenta. S. Peterburg: tip. Gos. Med. Kollegii, 1800.

8░: 148 p., one folding table. Rare.

Bibliographical references: BL [7470.bbb.50]. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97. Sopikov, Essay in Russian Bibliography, 1904-8: no. 11228. Svodnyi Katalog Russkoi Knigi: no. 6393.

Zapiski, 1803

3. Russian, 1803-4.
Записки | Путесhествiя | по западнымъ провинcиямъ Российскаго | Государсxва, | или | Минералогическия, hозяйсxвенныя и другия | примъчанiя, учиненныя во время проъзда | чрезъ оныя въ 1802 году | Академикомъ, Коллежскимъ Совъxбикомъ | и Ордена св. Анны вxораго класса Кава- | леромъ Васильемъ Севергинымъ. | [tapered rule] | [double rule] | Въ Санктпетербургъ, | При Импераxорской Академии Наукъ | 1803 году.

[Title page of part 2 reads:]

Продолженiе | Записки Путесhествiя | по западнымъ провинciямъ | Россiйскаго Государсxва; | или | Минералогическия, Теhнологическия и | другия примъчанiя, учиненныя во время | проъзда чрезъ оныя въ 1803 году. | Академикомъ, Коллежскимъ Совъxбикомъ и | Ордена св. Анны вxораго класса Кавалеромъ | Васильемъ Севергинымъ. | [ornate rule] | Въ Санктпетербургъ, | при Импераxорской Академии Наукъ | 1804 году.

[Transliterated title, part 1:]

Zapiski | Puteskhestviia | po zapadnym provints´iam Ross´iskago | Gosudarsshva, | ili | Mineralogichesk´ia, khoziaisshvennyia i drug´ia | primechaniia, uchinennyia vo vremia proezda | chrez onyia v 1802 godu | Akademikom, Kollezhskim Soveshbikom | i Ordena sv. Anny vshorago klassa Kava- | lerom Vasil'em Severginym. | [tapered rule] | [double rule] | V Sanktpeterburge, | Pri Imperashorskoi Akadem´i Nauk | 1803 godu.

[Transliterated title, part 2:]

Prodolzhenie | Zapiski Puteskhestviia | po zapadnym provintsiiam | Rossiiskago Gosudarsshva; | ili | Mineralogichesk´ia, Tekhnologichesk´ia i | drug´ia primechaniia, uchinennyia vo vremia | proezda chrez onyia v 1803 godu. | Akademikom, Kollezhskim Soveshbikom i | Ordena sv. Anny vshorago klassa Kavalerom | Vasil'em Severginym. | [ornate rule] | V Sanktpeterburge, | pri Imperashorskoi Akadem´i Nauk | 1804 godu.

2 vols. [Vol 1: 1803] 8░: π4 1-148; 116l.; [8], [1]-224 p. [Vol 2: 1804] 8░: π4 1-108 114; 88l.; [8], [1]-168 p. Page size: 195 x 110 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1 pg], Dedication.; [1 pg], Blank.; [2 pgs], ``Предисловiе'' [=preface].; [1 pg], ``Погръxности.''; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-224, Text.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1 pg], Dedication.; [1 pg], Blank.; [2 pgs], ``Предисловiе'' [=preface].; [1 pg], ``Погръxности''.; [1 pg], Blank.; [1]-168, Text.

Rare. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Severgin undertook several journeys through European Russia. In 1802, Severgin made several extended trips to the Urals. In his Notes of a Journey through the Western Provinces of the Russian State he describes the mineral resources he encountered, including the minerals, mines, and refining and fabrication methods. He also describes other potential mineral deposits. The work was successful and in 1803 Severgin continued his travels, which were published as a Continuation and second volume of this book.

Bibliographical references: BL [1426.g.7.(1.)]. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97. Slavonic Collection: 35, 546.

Obozrenie Rossiiskoi, 1805

4. Russian, 1805.
Обозрънiе | Россiйской Финнляндiи | или | Минералогическия и другия примъчания, | учиненныя во время пуxеxесxвия по | оной въ 1804 году | Академикомъ, Коллеxскимъ Совъxникомъ | и Кавалеромъ Василиемъ Севергинымъ. | [tapered rule] | [ornate rule] | Въ Санктпетербургъ, | При Импераxорскоъ Академии Наукъ | 1805 года.

[Transliterated title:]

Obozrenie | Rossiiskoi Finnliandii | ili | Mineralogichesk´ia i drug´ia primechan´ia, | uchinennyia vo vremia pusheshesshv´ia po | onoi v 1804 godu | Akademikom, Kolleshskim Soveshnikom | i Kavalerom Vasiliem Severginym. | [tapered rule] | [ornate rule] | V Sanktpeterburge, | Pri Imperashorskoe Akadem´i Nauk | 1805 goda.

8░: π4 1-88 93; 71l.; [8], [1]-133, [1] p., 4 folding tables.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1 pg], Dedication.; [1 pg], Blank.; [4 pgs], "Предисловiе" (=preface).; [1]-133, "Вступленiе." [=text].; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 4 folding tables.

Rare. This work brings together and systematizes data on the mineral resources of Finland, then a territory of the Russian empire. The success of the author's description of the western provinces prompted his survey in 1804 of Russia Finland and Estonia. His observations are preserved in this volume that highlight the minerals, mines and manufacturing of the region.

Bibliographical references: BL [1426.g.7.(2.)]. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97.

Podrobnyia Slovaia Mineralogicheskiia, 1807

5. Russian, 1807.
Подробный | Словарь | Минералогиchескiй, | Содержащiй въ себъ подробное изъясненiе всъhъ | въ Минералогiи упоxребиxельныhъ словъ и на- | званiй, xакже всъ въ наукъ сей учнненныя | новъйxiя оxкрыxiя. | [tapered rule] | Изданный | Академнкомъ, Сxаxскимъ Совъxникомъ и Кавалеромъ | Васильемъ Севергинымъ. | [ornate rule] | Томъ Первый | оxъ А до Л. | съ Фигырами. | [double rule] | Бъ Санктпетербургъ, | При Импераxорской Академiи Наукъ, 1807 года.

[Transliterated Title:]

Podrobnyi | Slovar' | Mineralogitskheskii, | Soderzhashchii v sebe podrobnoe iz'iasnenie vsekh | v Mineralogii uposhrebishel'nykh slov i na- | zvanii, shakzhe vse v nauke sei uchnnennyia | noveishiia oshkryshiia. | [tapered rule] | Izdannyi | Akademnkom, Sshashskim Soveshnikom i Kavalerom | Vasil'em Severginym. | [ornate rule] | Tom Pervyi | osh A do L. | s Figyrami. | [double rule] | B Sanktpeterburge, | Pri Imperashorskoi Akademii Nauk, 1807 goda.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 4░: lii, 668 p. [Vol 2] 4░: xv, 615, 68 p.

Rare. Detailed Mineralogical Dictionary is one of Severgin's best linguistic contributions to mineralogical science. But it was more than a mere dictionary. It was an alphabetically arranged mineralogical handbook listing all known minerals, their localities in Russia and elsewhere, their agricultural and industrial uses, and their identifying external, crystallographic and chemical features. It was also the first through account of crystallographic analysis in Russia recounting HaŘy's methods. In it Severgin emphasized the determinative value of crystalline forms, translated lengthy sections from HaŘy's TraitÚ, described the techniques of angular measurements and reproduced HaŘy's complex charts of angular variations and crystalline forms.

In this two volume mineralogical dictionary Tome I covers A to L and Tome II, M to Z.

Bibliographical references: BL [726.l.11]. Carver, V.M. Severgin, 1977: pp. 183 & 201. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97. Slavonic Collection: 24, 199.

6. Russian, 1809.
Опытъ | Минералогическаго | Землеописанiя | Россiйскаго Государства, | Изданный | xрудами Сxаxскаго Совъxника, | Академика и Кавалера | Василья Севергина. | [ornate rule] | Часмь вморая. | [tapered rule] | С. Петербургъ, | Печаxано при Импераxорской Академiи | Наукъ 1809 года.

[Transliterated title:]

Opyt | Mineralogicheskago | Zemleopisaniia | Rossiiskago Gosudarstva, | Izdannyi | shrudami Sshashskago Soveshnika, | Akademika i Kavalera | Vasil'ia Severgina. | [ornate rule] | Chasm' vmoraia. | [tapered rule] | S. Peterburg, | Pechashano pri Imperashorskoi Akademii | Nauk 1809 goda.

2 parts. [Part 1:] 8░: xviii, 262 p.; [Part 2:] 8░: iv, 240 p.

Rare. Kurochkin writes "The mineral collections of the Institute of Mines, the Free Economics Society, and the many St. Petersburg amateur collectors, as well as his personal collection, served Severgin as material for ... An Attempt at the Mineralogical Description of the Territory of the Russian State. The first volume, a physical-geographical survey, describes structures and lithology as well as the hydrographic network. The second volume deals with the geographical distribution of minerals."

Bibliographical references: BL [1255.c.17-18.]. Carver, V.M. Severgin, 1977: p. 221. DSB: 12, 329-30. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97. Slavonic Collection: 35, 546.

Novaya Sistema Mineralovia, 1816

7. Russian, 1816.
Новаыа | Система | Минераловъ, | Основанная На Наружныhъ Оxли- | чиxельныhъ Признакаhъ. | [tapered rule] | Сочиненiя | Академика Сxаxскаго Совъxника и Кавалера | Василiя Севергина. | [tapered rule] | [double rule] | Въ Санктпетербургъ. | при Импераxорской Академiи Наукъ | 1816 года.

[Transliterated title:]

Novaya | Sistema | Mineralov, | Osnovannaia Na Naruzhnykh Oshli- | chishel'nykh Priznakakh. | [tapered rule] | Sochineniia | Akademika Sshashskago Soveshnika i Kavalera | Vasiliia Severgina. | [tapered rule] | [double rule] | V Sanktpeterburge. | pri Imperashorskoi Akademii Nauk | 1816 goda.

8░: xiv, 306 p.

Rare. This is Severgin's systematic treatment of mineralogy, following primarily Werner, but incorporating the methods of HaŘy. It lists all Latin, German, and French as well as Russian synonyms and represented his chief contributions to the standardization of mineralogical nomenclature in Russia.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. Carver, V.M. Severgin, 1977: p. 182. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97.

Nachertanie Tekhnologii Mineralanago, 1821

8. Russian, 1821-2.
Начертанiе | Теhнологiи | Минеральнаго Cарства, | Изложенное Трудамн | Василья Севергина, | [...12 lines of titles and memberships...] | [tapered rule] | Томъ Первый. | [tapered rule] | С. Петербургъ. | При Императорской Академiи Наукъ | 1821 года.

[Transliterated title:]

Nachertanie | Tekhnologii | Mineral'nago Tsarstva, | Izlozhennoe Trudamn | Vasil'ia Severgina, | [...12 lines of titles and memberships...] | [tapered rule] | Tom Pervyi. | [tapered rule] | S. Peterburg. | Pri Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk | 1821 goda.

2 vols. [Vol 1: 1821] 8░: π8 210 1-278 2810; 245l.; [i]-[xxxiv], [xxxiii]-xxxvi, [1]-437, [1], 13, [1] p. (pages xxxiii-xxxiv are repeated).; [Vol 2: 1822] 8░: π2 1-178 1810; 148l.; [4], [1]-291, [1] p. Page size: 204 x 122 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso "Печаxано оxъ Императорской..."; [iii], Dedication.; [iv], Blank.; [v]-[vi], "Предъувъдомленiе."; [vii]-xxxiii, "Ориктогностическое Распредъленiе..." [=overview of Werner's mineralogical system].; [xxxiv], Blank.; [xxxiii]-xxxvi, "Минералы | Употребительные Въ Овщежитiи."; [1]-437, Text.; [1 pg], Blank.; [13 pgs], "Азбучная Роспись Пербая."; [1 pg], Blank.

[2 pgs], Title page, verso "Печащано ощъ Императорской..."; [2 pgs], "Минералы | упоxребуxелъные Въ Общежуxiу."; [1]-282, Text.; [283]-289, "Азвучная Роспись Перввая." ; 290-291, "Азвучная Роснись Бторая."; [1 pg], Blank.

Rare. This text book was attractive to a broad audience. It was practical in nature describing mineralogy in the broadest sense an including advice on locating mineralized deposits and descriptions of veins, etc. To insure publication an eclectic group including educators, statesmen, military personnel, mining officials and members of The Free Economic Society agreed to purchase copies prior to publication.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. Carver, V.M. Severgin, 1977: p. 221. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97. Slavonic Collection: 24, 199.

Kratkaii Opisia Mineralinomu, 1821

9. Russian, 1821 [Collection catalog].
Краткая Опись | Минеральному Кабинету | Императорской Академiи Наукъ, | По Новому Онаго Расположенiю | бъ 1820 году. | [ornate rule] | При Императорской Академiи Наукъ | 1821.

[Transliterated title:]

Kratkaia Opis' | Mineral'nomu Kabinetu | Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk, | Po Novomu Onago Raspolozheniiu | b 1820 godu. | [ornate rule] | Pri Imperatorskoi Akademii Nauk | 1821.

8░: π8 28; 16l.; [i]-viii, [1]-24 p. Page size: 238 x 150 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-viii, ``Предъувъдомленiе,'' signed ``В.С.'' [=Vasilii Severgin].; [1]-24, Text.

Very rare. Published anonymously, but the preliminary material is signed "V.S." which is almost certainly an attribution to V. Severgin. An early collection catalog of the mineral cabinet of the Russian Imperial Academy of Science with descriptions of the latest discoveries to 1820. There are 92 numbered specimens described.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. Grigorev & Shafranovskii, Russkie Mineralogi, 1949: pp. 86-97.

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