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September 27, 2012

Historian of Science Dr John van Wyhe (National University of Singapore), officially launched his Wallace Online website today. Wallace Online is the first complete edition of Wallace's published writings (22 books and over 900 articles). It also contains records of manuscript items extracted from a number of electronic catalogues - such as the NHM's Archives Catalogue - which means that these can be conveniently searched using a single interface. Although transcripts of most of Wallace's publications have been available for many years on Charles Smith's Wallace Page website, Wallace Online also includes scans of the actual documents, which - in the same way as Darwin Online - can be viewed either by themselves or side-by-side with the relevant transcript. Wallace Online's major novelty is, however, that it includes the publications in which the huge number of new species of insects, birds etc which Wallace collected on his epic expedition to South-East Asia were described (given scientific names) by other naturalists.


Next month will see the 'soft launch' of the Wallace Correspondence Project's database of Wallace's letters, The Correspondence of Alfred Russel Wallace Online. This, together with Wallace Online, will provide an amazingly complete Wallace resource which will be invaluable for exploring and studying his extraordinary life and work.


For a nice article about the launch of Wallace Online see Ian Sample's article in the Guardian newspaper.