Over the past week I have been cataloguing letters received from the American Museum of Natural History. They had 49 letters relating to Wallace in their Special Collections and the majority of the correspondence is between Wallace and Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell covering the years 1890 to 1912. TDA Cockerell (1846-1948) was born in Norwood, England and was the brother of Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (who was the Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge from 1908-1937).
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I have been editing transcriptions this week, which has been great fun reading about Wallace's exploits! However, I have become stuck on a word that I just can't decipher and I thought I'd ask any eagle-eyed readers out there if they would like to have a guess at what it could be!
The letter is written by Wallace to his son, William in 1901 and he is talking about overseeing the building of Old Orchard, his last home he lived in in Dorset.
It's been a while since we updated the blog, so I thought it might be nice to let everyone know how we're getting on.
The WCP's Transcription Protocol has been revised and has been designated as version 8. Please download the new version by clicking HERE and use it to replace any old version you have. A new section "Multiple layers of text" was added and a few minor changes made to other sections.
A pdf manuscript catalogue of the Natural History Museum's Wallace Family Archive has been added to the WCP's database of documents, with permission from the NHM's library. This catalogue lists and describes the c. 5000 Wallace-related documents purchased by the Museum in 2002 from Wallace's grandsons.
Details of a voluntary opportunity that has arisen on the WCP has now been advertised on the Natural History Museum's website. We are looking for three volunteers to assist in a variety of project tasks. Details of the role and how to apply can be found here;
I have been cataloguing letters this week and have come across two signatures that have left me stumped! I wonder if anyone out there can determine the names of the two correspondents?
The first signature (below) is from a letter written to Wallace from the Admirality Office on 15th November 1853 (ignore the superscript 'y' at the beginning of the signature – this belongs to the word before).
Probably the historically most important of all the enclosures to any of Wallace's correspondence in the Wallace Family Archive at the Natural History Museum, London, is an offprint of the famous 1858 Darwin-Wallace paper on natural selection - the scientific article which launched the evolution revolution. This paper is widely regarded as being one of the most important scientific papers of all time, and what is special about the NHM's copy is that it was owned and annotated by Wallace. A pdf of this document is now available for the first time.
Although letters are the focus of our project, we will make other Wallace-related manuscripts available if we a) already have copies of them in digital form, or b) if we need to make scans of them because they are useful to our project in some way. A good case in point are Wallace's two surviving address books, which we are fortunate to have in the Wallace Family Archive here at the Natural History Museum in London.
The WCP is looking for 2 enthusiastic volunteers to join our small team at the Natural History Museum, London, for one day a week to assist with various project tasks.
We are looking for someone with;
- Good IT skills
- Attention to detail
- Experience of using databases
- Experience of cataloguing
- Interest in history of science/Victorian history