On the 28th April 2015 Ruth Benny, the WCP's Archivist, gave a talk about the project at the Linnean Society of London's conference 'From Cabinet to Internet: Digitising Natural History and Medical Manuscripts'. Here talk was entitled "A Life in Letters: The Wallace Correspondence Project" and it is now available as a video on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/128239695
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The project has had a very productive year - far exceeded our aims for the period. If you would like to see a copy of the report it can be viewed HERE. We would like to thank the Wallace Centenary Celebration, directed by Richard Milner, who funded our project, and the John Templeton Foundation who funded Richard's project.
When the new version of the WCP's online archive of Wallace's manuscripts (i.e. Wallace Letters Online) is launched in a few weeks time, it will have a new feature which will enable users to look up biographical information about Wallace's correspondents. We started the task of researching and writing mini biographies for Wallace's c.1660 correspondents quite a while ago, but have had little time to devote to this task.
Just to let everyone know - Phase 2 of the WCP has been delayed for a time due to unforeseen circumstances (illness of the director etc). In the iterim, Ruth and George will be continuing to work on the project - but no new staff will be hired until Phase 2 begins. I will let you know when the start date for Phase 2 has been decided.
It's been a while since our last blog post, but we have been hard at work over the past few months and have lots of exciting news to share!
George Beccaloni, Director of the WCP, and Ruth Benny, the WCP Archivist, will be giving a talk next week (27th Jan) entitled "Letters of Note: Alfred Russel Wallace" at London's, Natural History Museum (see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/whats-on/programs/naturelive/letters_of_note%3A_alfred_russel_wallace.html?date=27.01.2015).
Great news! We have just been awarded a grant of £399,795 GBP by the John Templeton Foundation (USA), which will fund the project for 33 months from 13 May 2015 until 12 February 2018. The grant will pay for backfill for George (the project's Director) to enable him to spend 50% of his time working on the project. It will also pay the salaries of the project's Archivist and two new staff: a full time Subeditor/Researcher and a part time Editor.
Objectives of the project during the grant period are:
Wallace Letters Online (WLO), the WCP's electronic archive of Wallace's correspondence, manuscripts and other documents has just been updated. The last update was on the 23rd June 2014, and since then 500 new documents and 1823 digital scans have been added thanks to the hard work of the project's Archivist, Ruth, and a small army of volunteers. We have also taken the opportunity to improve the layout of the downloadable pdfs of the transcripts.
By Ruth Benny
This summer the NHM Library and Archives welcomed 15 students from Harvard University, who were here as part of a eight week summer school. The students spent the first two weeks in London at the Museum, with the remaining time spent at Oxford University.
Whilst at the Museum the students worked for the WCP, transcribing letters from the NHM collections and repositories worldwide. These were written by a variety of different authors, some of the braver students even taking on Darwin's untidy hand!