I had been looking forward to reading John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaaker's new book Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters from the Malay Archipelago as the adverts for it state that it contains "recently discovered letters".
This month’s selected letter from Wallace Letters Online was written on 16 August 1892, when Wallace was 69 years old, to Henry Deane.
Deane, an engineer who was born in London in 1847, had emigrated to Australia in 1879 and was responsible for electrifying the Sydney tramway system, and for building the Wolgan Valley Railway and Trans-Australian Railway. Deane graduated from Queen’s College, Galway, with honours in mathematics and natural sciences and later in life was twice president of the Royal Society New South Wales and was also president of the Linnean Society of New South Wales.
This month’s selected letter in my 'Letter of the Month' series was written by Wallace to his mother, Mary, from Java on 20 July 1861, just as his Malay Archipelago adventure was coming to an end. The opening sentence reveals his plans:
“I am as you will see now commencing my retreat westwards I have left the wild and savage Moluccas & New Guinea for Java the garden of the East & probably without any exception the finest island in the world.”
This month’s selected letter was written on 26 June 1898 to Michael Flürscheim (1844-1912), a German economist who worked on economic and social reforms that focused on the single tax, land nationalisation and an improved currency. This letter highlights Wallace’s involvement in socialism; an area he became very involved in later in his life.
The short letter begins with Wallace expressing regret that Flürscheim has moved to New Zealand and also that he has, as Wallace writes
CLICK HERE to see a 9 minute video about the Wallace Correspondence Project and our Web database Wallace Letters Online. It is a talk I did as part of the Natural History Museum's Informatics Day on the 24th July 2013.
Eleven students from Harvard University are working for the WCP for two weeks. For more information please see the post on the NHM Library Blog
A variety of bugs were corrected in the Wallace Letters Online user interface last week by the Museum's IT team. We (and they) are aware of other bugs, such as additional spaces in the text of the pdf versions of transcripts, and these will be corrected when they have time. If you notice any bugs when using WLO then please report them to me - George Beccaloni (email@example.com) as we may not have detected them.
Wallace Letters Online (the electronic archive of Wallace's correspondence) has just received its first major update since its launch on 24th January this year.
Now that Wallace Letters Online has offically launched and in this celebratory year of all things Wallace, I will be selecting a letter from each month of the year from the catalogue and blogging about it (there may be more than one if I just can't choose between letters one month!).
The blogs will be posted on the Natural History Museum's Wallace100 blog and you can read January's selection here;
Wallace Letters Online (WLO), the Wallace Correspondence Project's online archive of Wallace's letters, is now live on the Natural History Museum's website - see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/scientific-resources/collections/library-collections/wallace-letters-online/index.html (a short url is http://www.nhm.ac.uk/wallacelettersonline).