To Martin Irving   27 March 1881



I venture once more, dear Professor Irving, to adress you concerning the books of M. Rothschild & Herr Fischer in the Exhibition.1 As you will be aware, the packing up will soon commence, so that it will be needful to decide soon, whether they have to go back or can remain here. I wrote on this point to his Honor Sir William Stawell (thinking he succeeded Sir Redm. Barry in the Presidency of the Library-trustees2) offering to let the payment for these two collections of book stand over til new votes or advances were available in the new finance-year. As yet I have no answer from Sir William, as probably no meeting of the trustees took place since. Do you think, that I could get a definite answer in time for the mail, which will leave near the middle of April?3



Ferd. von Mueller.

International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1880-1. No earlier letter from M to Irving on this subject has been found. The official catalogue of the exhibition, vol. 2, listed, among the French exhibits (p. 76), 'High-class books on sciences, arts, and natural philosophy, with illustrations' exhibited by F. Rothschild, 13 Rue de St. Pères, Paris; and among the German exhibits (p. 129), '15 works on natural history, school of design, map of Germany', exhibited by T. Fischer, Cassel.
Barry had died on 23 November 1880.
MS annotation by Irving: 'Will Mr Sheffield kindly bring this letter & the other letters I sent up before the Library Committee on Monday — and ask for a definite answer for Baron von Müller The purchase was recommended by Mr Smith & myself but I do not know if there are funds available.' Sheffield replied: 'Purchase has been made of the whole [of] Rothschilds Books, but those of Fischer have been declined as being too expensive'. See also H. Sheffield to M, 6 April 1881 (In this edition as 81-04-06a).

Please cite as “FVM-81-03-27,” in Correspondence of Ferdinand von Mueller, edited by R.W. Home, Thomas A. Darragh, A.M. Lucas, Sara Maroske, D.M. Sinkora, J.H. Voigt and Monika Wells accessed on 24 February 2024,