The Wallace Correspondence Project (WCP) has just catalogued its 6000th item - a letter written in 1863 by Alfred Russel Wallace to John Henry Gurney (1819-1890) - see image below. Gurney was a partner in Gurney's bank of Norwich for 30 years, a Liberal M.P. for King’s Lynn, and an amateur ornithologist.
During Phase 2 of the WCP (which began in December 2017), we have found and added 416 new items to our database, of which 330 are letters and 86 are other documents, such as notebooks, drawings by Wallace etc. As of today, our database contains records for 5528 letters and 472 other documents - which we have found in the collections of 205 institutions and private collectors around the world. I personally do not know of any other correspondence project apart from the Darwin Correspondence Project, which has obtained letters from so many archives. It has been a very big job, and it isn't over yet as we have reason to believe that hundreds of Wallace's letters remain to be discovered...
Most of the 6000 documents we have catalogued have never been studied by Wallace scholars. What gems must be hidden among all this treasure! I have already found a few, such as THIS ONE, but there must be many, many others (I have personally read less than 20% of the letters). There is still so much for us and other Wallace scholars to do!
176 letters remain to be added to our database, so by the end of Phase 2 on 1st September 2020 we will have added a total of 592 new items during this phase of the project.
Here is the database record for the 6000th item: