Catalogue number: Z/MSS89oWAL/1/p5
Notebook entry listing food supplies taken to Aru (New Guinea), undated, circa 1857.
This is a page from Wallace's small field notebook used between 1855 and 1858, while on his Malay Archipelago expedition. The page is headed 'Articles taken to Aru - and remarks on quantities', followed by a short list of key supplies.
The units are mainly in 'catt.', which is an abbreviation of 'catty' - used in Southeast Asia and equivalent to roughly 600 grams. So '50 catt.' of sugar would be approximately 30 kilograms. Wallace calculated this would last eight months. Other supplies include butter, coffee, tea, soy, vinegar, oil, Madeira and beer. There is a note at the end of the page saying that common starch is good to clean the feathers of birds. A useful tip for the nineteenth century collector!
For enquiries about the Wallace Collection please email the library
View high resolution scans and transcripts of Alfred Russel Wallace's correspondence, including all surviving letters between him and Charles Darwin.