Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Dorset to Fred R. Birch [none given] on 15 November ?1903.
Offers advice for Birch's forthcoming visit to the British Museum (Natural History) where he should meet Waterhouse, Kirby and Thomas.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 6
part of text destroyed
Transcriber: Martinho, Antone
Transcription date: July 8, 2011
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
Nov. 15th. 190[MS burned]
My dear Fred,
I wrote to 2..3 pap[MS burned] for spare descriptive papers for you, but hitherto have had <no> replies.
I am afraid the lot of ref[MS burned] you have from the 300e: Record w[ill] be of very of very little use to you. I just looked up the [1 word illeg.] & find they are either short description papers of a visit to [2 words illeg.] with of the collected or seen - were [MS burned] or descriptions of about 1/2 nests & eggs of Para birds.
I send you now what wil<l be> of more use to you - the com<plete> list of all known birds from [MS burned] & whole [1 word illeg.] Valley- from this [MS burned, blotted] [] Probably half of those from the Lower Amazon or the Rio Negro will be either identical with Guiana species or have near representative forms there.
I also send you the two first parts of the Album with coloured figures of a good many species - these will enable you to recognise a good many species - & to know a god many genera. By marking in the Catalogue (in red ink) all the species you have figured here, you will know which to make notes of [to] the B.M. I do not know if you [ca]n make out latin bird-descriptions. [If] you can I could give you any old [MS burned] <co>py of Bonaparte’s Conspectics, which [MS burned][con]tains all the older known species [MS burned], and show characters of great [MS burned] of them. The Chatterers & [MS burned] almost all described. [] I found it invaluable in the East. The B. Mus. Catalogue of all the specially American families would be better still - especially the Tanagrida, Ioteride, Tyrannida, Dandrocolaptidae &c. which abound in species - but I am afraid thy are both bulky & costly.
I would also give you a n[MS burned] old copy of Boisduval’s Species S[MS burned] de Lepidopteres - cont[aining] descriptions in french of all the known Pap[MS burned] & Peridae of 70 years ago, including almost all the S[MS burned] species; - if you can make th<em> out.
The Jackau Penguin - are [four word emendation illeg.] "Reci" is "Travels" in Suriname.
When you go to London I will <send> you a note to the Librarian of [MS burned] Soc. where you can see [MS burned] anything useful in it. [MS burned] [] [MS burned]t Georgetown, no doubt.
It really does not matter whether you go to London before Xmas or after. I think at this time of year it would be better aid to cycle, as with short days, wet & bad roads, & lodgings on the way you would not have much by it. It causes a pity to make two journeys (really three) of you go from Southhampton. But that you must arrange as you find best. You can go for a day to Tring when [in] London. Perhaps it would be best <to> wait till you hear from Mr. De Jouge and then make one journey of it. - Oxford - London ( Tring), Here, Southhampton. This would save with time & expense & give more [MS burned] at home to maker all your [Ms burned]ements.
Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
As this List of Amazon b[irds] is well printed with wide margins there is room for a short character of a good many species which you might co[py] from the B.M. catalogue (if as I suppose that has descriptions (abbreviated) of Guiana and Venezuelan birds in "[1 word illegible] Cal," on nearly sa[MS burned] sized paper to be interleaved in proper places. This would form (an) invaluable book of reference as ag[MS burned] Birds, & all you really want as b[word illeg.] generally for S. America are hardly worth collecting except for beauty & skies, - most heavy & common. I used powdered arsenic for bird sku[MS burned] arsenical soap only for mammals, reptiles &c. I suppose you know [the] value of plaster of Paris cla[MS burned] feathers &c. Glue [MS burned] [] [MS burned]r on this list & it will be <in>valuable. On the added leaves & margins you might note colours of eyer, legs &c. & other notes.
Of the B.M. you will have to [MS burned]sad all your time in the [MS burned]ised Room with Mr. Kirby & [MS burned]r, Waterhouse, to whom I will give you notes, but I have already asked them for descriptive papers for you.
Mr. Oldfield Thomas - the mammal [MS burned]an of the Museum will tell you what they want & show you our skins & skeletons are to be [MS burned]ub, & I think the Museum will probably take a complete set of the small mammals.
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