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Wallace Collection Acquired
The writer A A Gill pictured with one of the Museum's beetle displays.  Zed Nelson/IPG

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Wallace Collection Acquired


Library, manuscripts and specimens of Alfred Russel Wallace
Library, manuscripts and specimens of Alfred Russel Wallace
Library, manuscripts and specimens of Alfred Russel Wallace
Library, manuscripts and specimens of Alfred Russel Wallace
The Museum has bought the library, manuscripts and specimens of Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913) for 162,500, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and a number of trusts and individual supporters. This is the most significant addition to the Museum Library for 40 years and will ensure that a major research resource is available to scholars.

Wallace was an explorer and naturalist who collaborated with Charles Darwin and was central to the identification of natural selection as the key to evolutionary change. The collection contains letters discussing evolution and Wallace's copy of his joint 1858 paper with Darwin. There are over 700 manuscripts in total, including botanical drawings and photographs as well as correspondence, together with 79 books, most of which are Wallace's annotated copies of his own works. The collection also contains 393 specimens of exotic butterfly and moth species. Selected items will go on public display when the collection has been catalogued and conserved.

The Museum's Dr Sandy Knapp has written an account of Wallace's 1849 expedition to the Amazon: Footsteps in the Forest is available from our online bookshop, www.nhm.ac.uk/shop.
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