Project Overview

Project Phases

The white-rumped kingfisher (Caridonax fulgidus) was collected by Wallace on Lombok Island, Indonesia and named by Gould in 1857.The Wallace Correspondence Project will take place in a number of phases, largely due to funding considerations.

Phase 1

This ran from October 2010 to May 2015, and had the following aims, all of which were successfully achieved:

1) Locate as many of Wallace's surviving correspondence and other manuscripts as possible in repositories around the world and obtain digital scans of them

2) Catalogue the documents using the project's bespoke MS Access database

3) Attempt to trace copyright holders and obtain permission to publish their ancestor's letters

4) Enlist volunteers to transcribe as many of the manuscripts as possible (these uncorrected "Level 1" transcripts will be carefully checked, corrected and annotated during future phases of the project)

5) Research biographical information of Wallace's c. 1,500 correspondents and write mini biographies of as many of them as possible

6) Make the metadata and transcripts of all catalogued manuscripts available to users free of charge via the project's online archive, Wallace Letters Online (WLO) [Now superceeded by Epsilon]

Wallace's Cyriopalus beetle (Cyriopalus wallacei). Collected by Wallace in Sarawak, Borneo and named after him by Pascoe in 1866.

Phase 2

This phase of the project, which will run from 1st December 2017 to 31st December 2020, has the following aims:

1) Volunteers will transcribe the c. 1600 letters not transcribed during Phase 1

2) Summaries of c. 300 letters will be written

3) Researchers will edit and annotate c. 1100 of the Level 1 transcripts produced by volunteers. These edited versions are called "Level 2" transcript

4) Work will continue attempting to locate letters new to the project, cataloguing them, tracing copyright holders etc

5) Migrate the project's metadata and transcripts to a new online archive (Epsilon)

6) Produce A Preliminary Catalogue of the Correspondence of Alfred Russel Wallace

Future project phases need to do the following:

1) Produce authoritative annotated transcripts of all of Wallace's correspondence and other manuscripts

2) Produce scholarly summaries of the letters

3) Check and correct the metadata of all manuscripts in the database

4) Attempt to discover more letters by using more time-intensive research methods than in earlier phases (including visiting repositories in person to search for manuscripts in their archives). If more are found they will be scanned, catalogued, transcribed and researched.

5) Continue to attempt to identify copyright owners of the literary content of the letters and ask their permission to publish transcripts of them.

6) Produce a number of 'popular' and scholarly publications, in particular Selected Letters of Alfred Russel WallaceThe Correspondence of Alfred Russel Wallace in an estimated 11 volumes, and finally a Calendar of the Correspondence of Alfred Russel Wallace.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith