The Wallace Collection

Natural History Museum: Wallace's treasures go online

Lost treasures that belonged to Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer of the process of evolution by natural selection, are online for the first time through the Natural History Museum's website.

The newly digitised items in Wallace Online give a rare and personal insight into Wallace's life as a naturalist, collector, family man, spiritualist, social commentator and great thinker.

The Wallace Collection contains, amongst other things, images and transcripts of original, handwritten letters, such as this one from Wallace to his brother, John, showing an uncharacteristic lack of modesty:

… I do not know if you have seen the wonderful book of Mr Darwin's "The Origin of Species" published about four years ago, which has revolutionised Natural History & caused more discussion & excitement than any other book <.....> on a scientific subject during the present century, I have some little share in the work myself having discovered the main principle on which the work depends, called by Mr. D. Natural Selection, & communicated it to him before the work was published.

This internet thing is going to turn into a really useful resource some day soon.

See also: Alfred Russel Wallace: a life (book review)

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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