Since my first post in mid November 2010 we have done a huge amount of work on the project and have been too busy to write anything for this blog! Here is a brief summary of the most important things we have achieved in the last 3.5 months:-
- Anna spent several days in the British Library listing all of their Wallace correspondence (1700 letters) and noting down how many pages of text each letter has(this isn't stated in the BL catalogue). We need this information to apply for funds to pay for the scanning of this huge and valuable archive.
- Anna has also been tracking down ARW correspondence, especially that in the Natural History Museum's (NHM's) library and archives. Not all of the NHM's Wallace correspondence is well catalogued, so this has been quite a task.
- We have successfully negotiated with the Hope Library, Oxford University, for scans of their 270 letters. Several other repositories which hold relatively small numbers of letters have also agreed to supply us with scans.
- The A. R. Wallace Memorial Fund paid £500 for the development of an MS Access database which will be used to manage the project's data.
- George has been working on a master list of all of ARW's correspondents (about 1110 people) - identifying exactly who they are, finding their birth and death dates (etc) and writing mini biographies of each to assist historians and others with the study of ARW's correspondence. This is an enormous task which will not be completed for several years.
- Earlier this week scanning began of the NHM's Wallace correspondence (about 1200 letters). Steve Cafferty, who runs the NHM's part of the Mellon-funded Aluka project, kindly agreed to allow the WCP to use two HerbScan units for the scanning of the NHM's letters, since they have higher resolution than the NHM library's scanners.
Watch this space for more developments!