Matt Beros, the WCP's Researcher, recently found an amusing mention of Wallace in a published letter from the famous Victorian novelist Samuel Butler (1835-1902) to Sir Julius von Haast (1822-1887), a geologist who founded the Canterbury Museum at Christchurch, New Zealand. It seems that Butler purchased a photo which he thought was Darwin and sent it to von Haast. Only later when he met Wallace by chance at a friend's house did he realise the photo was actually Wallace. I wonder whether this mislabelled photo is in the archives of the Canterbury Museum?
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Read on if you want to know an interesting fact about Wallace's personal life which no biographer has yet discovered! The Wallace Correspondence Project is currently hard at work on volume 1 of Wallace's correspondence which will contain all early letters to and from him up until March 1862 when he returned from the 'Malay Archipelago'.
The Wallace Correspondence Project now has a professionally designed logo (right). It is based on Wallace's monogram (left), which was used on the front cover of several of his books. The project's logo was produced by graphic designer Diky Halim of DID design in Jakarta, Java, Indonesia.
Sadly, Charlotte (WCP Archivist) and Helen (our Researcher) recently left the project to take up very good positions elsewhere. Happily though, we have recruited two excellent replacements - Matt Beros who started on the 1st February as our Research Editor, and Alice Haigh who began on the 18th February as our Project Coordinator & Editor.
Research Editor - Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project
Salary: Starting from £32,761 per year
Employment Type: Fixed Term, ending 31 August 2020
Hours Per week (exclusive of lunch breaks): 35
Annual Leave: 30 days, in addition to public and bank holidays.
Work Location: 3 Queens Mews, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 5AZ
On Wednesday 28th November 2018, the WCP staff (George, Charlotte and Helen) made a trip to Cambridge to meet the Darwin Correspondence Project (DCP) team to discuss the possibility of using the Epsilon data repository they have been developing as the online portal for our project's data.
Since Phase 2 of our project began in December 2017 we have obtained images of 246 letters and other manuscripts which are new to us! These range from a manuscript of one of Wallace's earliest publications "An Essay, On the Best Method of Conducting the Kington Mechanic's Institution", dated 1842 (below), which was published in "The History of Kington" edited by Richard Parry in 1845; to letters by Wallace's son William to Wallace's biographer James Marchant about Wallace's death in November 1913.
Legendary comedian, natural historian and Wallace aficionado Bill Bailey has kindly agreed to become a Patron of our project. Little does he know that we are expecting him to transcribe 20 letters per month for us - just joking Bill!
The WCP now has the world's two most famous Wallace fans as its patrons - Sir David Attenborough and Bill. We are extremely grateful to both of them for their support.
From left to right: George (Director of the WCP); Karen Goldie-Morrison (Trustee of the Charles Darwin Trust);
Brendan Saunders (the WCP's IT consultant); Helen (WCP Researcher); Alison Pearn (Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project)