Letter (WCP6050.6999)





W. G. Wallace2 Esq[uire].,

61 East Avenue,



13th March 1951

Dear Mr. Wallace,

Festival of Britain 19513

I have been advised by Sir James Marchant4 to get in touch with you and should be very grateful if you could assist us in connection with the above exhibition.

As part of a display on Alfred Russel Wallace, we are anxious to show a diary or notebook which he himself kept. The only volumes of which we have any knowledge are at the British Museum5 and the regulations governing the Museum do not allow of any loan of books or manuscripts. Sir James thinks it possible that you may have something which you would be willing to loan the Festival Office for exhibition. This would be displayed in the Dome of Discovery6, in the section dealing with the work of Huxley7, Darwin8 and Wallace. In the case of the first two scientists, we have been successful in obtaining on loan notebooks and sketches and we hope to be able to do the same in the case of Alfred Russel Wallace.

I should much appreciate any help you can give us.

Yours sincerely, | Esther Atkin9 [signature]

Esther Atkin

Assistant to the Designer

The letter is typewritten and signed in ink. The page is numbered [WP16/2/27 (1)] in pencil in the top RH corner.
Wallace, William Greenell (1871-1951) Electrical engineer, second son and third child of ARW.
A national exhibition held throughout the United Kingdom in the summer of 1951. It was organised by the government to give the British a feeling of recovery in the aftermath of war and to promote the British contribution to science, technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts.
Marchant, James (1857-1956) Free Church minister, social activist and philanthropist.
A museum dedicated to human history, art and culture established in Bloomsbury, London in 1753 and largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane.
A temporary exhibition building for the Festival of Britain celebrations which took place on London’s South Bank in 1951. The theme of the exhibition was "British initiative in exploration and discover is as strong as it ever was" and was divided into eight sections: The Land, The Earth, Polar, Sea, Sky, Outer Space, The Physical World and The Living World.
Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825-1895) English biologist (comparative anatomist), philosopher and advocate of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection (see Endnote 8).
Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882) English naturalist and geologist, jointly with ARW originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection and author of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
No information found on author.

Envelope (WCP6050.7000)

Envelope addressed to "W. G. Wallace, Esq., 61 East Avenue, Winton, Bournemouth", with stamp, postmarked "LONDON W. I. A | 7:15PM | 13 MCH | 1951". Pencil note on front of envelope in W. G. Wallace's hand: "A.R.W. Re Festival of Britain." Pencil notes in W. G. Wallace's hand on back of envelope reads: "Suggest | MS of Palms of Amazon in possession of Linnean Soc. nov. 1947. Eight Note Books given to Linn Soc May 1936 | Two notebooks given to B. M. Natural History Feb 1917 | 20 Sketches some coloured in scrapbook". [Envelope (WCP6050.7000)]

Please cite as “WCP6050,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 1 December 2023, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP6050