Update on the Wallace Correspondence Project's work.

This is an exciting time for the Wallace Correspondence Project as there have been many significant recent developments. The most important thing is that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently approved funding for year 3 of the project. This is the final year of Phase 1 of the project so we will soon have to start looking for funding for Phase 2…

The second most important recent development is that the NHM's Interactive Media team has now started work on putting the project's database, transcripts and images of letters on to the Internet. This is going to be a big complex job but hopefully it will be done within two or three months.

The WCP database currently contains records of 3770 letters, and has links to 740 associated transcripts plus 7376 images of letter pages. The number of transcripts is about to increase dramatically, as we currently have 9 hard-working undergraduates from Harvard University transcribing letters for us for two weeks, plus we recently received excellent quality transcripts (and images) of all the Wallace correspondence in Oxford University Museum (c. 300 letters). We would like to thank Annette Lord for doing the scanning and transcription of these, and Darren Mann (Oxford University Museum) for giving permission and facilitating her work. We also recently obtained transcripts of Wallace's published letters from Charles Smith's Wallace Page website, plus transcripts of all the Darwin/Wallace correspondence up until 1868 from the Darwin Correspondence Project's website. These will be catalogued soon. We would like to thank Charles Smith and Alison Pearn respectively for allowing the WCP to use these transcripts.

Some other very good news is that the British Library (which holds the largest collection of Wallace correspondence) has begun to scan the c. 1600 letters in its collection for us. Once we receive these scans, we will have images of all the Wallace correspondence in the world's three largest collections – the BL, the NHM and Oxford.

Our Archivist, Caroline, has been very busy arranging for scans of letters to be made, cataloguing letters, supervising volunteers etc. She has also made recent visits to Sussex University, Shrewsbury School, the British Museum and the Royal Geographical Society in order to scan letters, and to Oxford University Museum, to collect scans of their letters.

I have been busy too, making structural changes to the WCP database, editing transcripts in preparation for display on the Web, revising the project's transcription policy (now up to version 13) etc. I never have enough 'official' time on the project (I get 1 day per week to work on it at the NHM),
so I often have to do work at home – like now! However, I enjoy it and think it is a very worthwhile thing to be spending my time on.

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