There are several personal collection sites on the web that can help you on your way to getting a better understanding of the history of Mahjong and the carvings found on the tiles.
Michael Stanwick, a playing card historian, has researched the beginnings of the game. He tracked down some of the earliest Mahjong sets in existence, and helped museums to properly identify these sets and put them into context in terms of the history of the game.
Jim May, an American collector who started his Mahjong obsession years ago, photographed his collection and included whatever research he had about the sets and tile translations. Sadly, he has sold most of his sets, but the virtual museum still exists.
And there is a new wiki website devoted to Flowers. People can post to that site. You can find it here.
Matt Shim has photos of some sets to his website. Go to his website and click Museum
Another site is that of collector Carli van Emde Boas.He is Dutch and has been collecting for some 40 years. He has an incredible number of sets (about 240), many in absolutely mint condition, with super descriptions of the games and pieces and history. His website can be translated into English.
Jelte Rep, the author of The Great Mahjong Book, a very good interesting read in case you have not read it, has a website: http://www.mahjongmuseum.nl The website is in Dutch, but has a small translation on the sidebar.
Tony Watson is a collector with a wonderful website on google. He too has documented sets, and he has a great understanding for what many of the tiles are actually made of. I urge you to visit his site.
Another website is run by Peter Gallagher.
Last but certainly not least is Carol Ann "CHarli" Harper. She probably has one of the largest private Mahjong collections in the world. She has spent countless hours researching sets old and new, and her website can help you identify any new bakelite or catalin sets you might have. Be sure to look at the Museum section of her website, where you can enjoy views of some of the bone and bamboo sets in her collection.