Project Staff

Current StaffRare ferns at Mount Ophir. From ARW's book The Malay Archipelago.

Illustration of an orchid (Vanda lowii) from ARW's book The Malay Archipelago.

George BeccaloniProject Director: Dr George Beccaloni (e-mail
George is the founder and PI of the WCP. He is responsible for the overall direction of the project, for managing the project’s MS Access database and websites; writing and updating the project's transcription and other protocols; managing the work of the project's Archivist and Researcher; chairing project staff meetings; helping to track down manuscripts which the project doesn't have; editorial decisions; writing project reports and funding applications; project publicity etc. He is also Senior Editor - checking and signing off on the final drafts of transcripts.

George has studied aspects of Wallace's life and work for about 15 years and is one of three co-executors of Wallace’s Literary Estate as well as the CEO of the Alfred Russel Wallace Trust. George is the founder of the A. R. Wallace Memorial Fund, which was responsible for restoring Wallace’s grave in Broadstone, Dorset and for funding a number of other memorials to him, including a bronze statue now at London's Natural History Museum (NHM) (see He played a key role in helping the NHM purchase the world's largest and most important collection of Wallace’s manuscripts, books and insect specimens from Wallace's grandsons in 2002. George has written several articles about Wallace and is co-editor of the book Natural Selection and Beyond: The Intellectual Legacy of Alfred Russel Wallace, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2008 (2nd edition in 2010). He was the Series/Historical Consultant for the multiple award winning BBC series about Wallace, Bill Bailey's Jungle Hero, and spent 3 weeks working in Indonesia with the camera team and the Presenter Bill Bailey.

George has previously designed and managed two other large digitisation projects with online databases i.e. LepIndex: a uniquely comprehensive on-line synonymic catalogue of the living and fossil butterflies and moths of the world (see; and the Cockroach Species File Online (CSF), a comprehensive online synonymic catalogue of world cockroaches.

Staff Who Formerly Worked on the Project

Judith MageeProject Administrator (10% of FTE – 4 years): Judith Magee.
Judith was responsible for facilitating access to the Wallace Family Archive (which is part of the NHM Library Special Collections); line managing the Archivist; managing the budget; helping to write project reports and funding applications, etc.

Judith (now retired) was Curator of Library Special Collections in the NHM. She worked for the Museum for about fifteen years and secured grants and project managed several digitisation projects that have gone online. These include the art collections from Captain Cook’s three voyages and the art collections from the First Fleet.

Ruth BennyArchivist (13/1/2014 - 31/08/2015, full time): Ruth Benny. Ruth was responsible for locating and obtaining scans of manuscripts from institutions worldwide; carrying out the process of due diligence; cataloguing letters using the project's Access database system and entering scans and transcripts of the documents into the database; checking and correcting the metadata in the database; writing summaries of letters; and managing the work of volunteers.

Ruth has a MA in Archives and Records Management from University College London and a BA in History from the University of Liverpool. She previously worked as Archive Cataloguer for a correspondence project funded by a National Cataloguing Grant at the National Portrait Gallery on the Victorian artist, George Frederic Watts, and as an Archive Assistant at Lambeth Palace Library.

Caroline Catchpole

Archivist (5/09/2011 - 23/10/2013, full time): Caroline Catchpole.
Caroline was responsible for tracking-down and obtaining copies of letters in institutions worldwide, carrying out the process of due diligence, cataloguing the letters using the project's database system, and organising the scans and transcripts of the letters. She also managed the work of volunteers, wrote posts for the WCP News blog etc.

Caroline has a Diploma in Archives & Records Management from UCL. She worked on the Mellon-funded Director's Correspondence Project at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and as Project Record Officer in the Archives and Information Management team at King's College, London.

Digital Technician (15% of FTE – 3 years): Preparation of digital scans of letters.

Paper Conservator: Repaired and conserved letters.

Archivist (18/10/2010 - June 2011, full time): Dr Anna Mayer.

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