Wallace Letters Online

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Alfred Russel Wallace

Explore this amazing collection of letters from one of the world's most significant scientists, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 - 1913).

Wallace's fascinating letters and manuscripts are brought together in one place for the first time by the Wallace Correspondence Project, in this digital archive Wallace Letters Online.

Browse the correspondence of the "father of evolutionary biogeography" and co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection.

Alfred Russel Wallace's letters contain:

  • iconic correspondence between Wallace and Charles Darwin about evolution by natural selection
  • important observations and discoveries made when in the Malay Archipelago (1854 - 1862)
  • fascinating discussions on a variety of subjects, scientific and social such as glaciology, anthropology, epidemiology, astrobiology, socialism, land reform and spiritualism

Wallace's correspondents read like a "Who's Who" of 19th century science and society, Charles Darwin, Thomas Henry Huxley, Joseph Dalton Hooker and Gertrude Jekyll, to name just a few.

Over 4,300 letters written or received by Alfred Russel Wallace survive. These were scattered across the collections of about 180 institutions and private individuals worldwide before being brought together in Wallace Letters Online.


This project was funded by

We thank the following institutions for providing scans of key collections of letters:

  • British Library
  • Oxford Museum of Natural History
  • Oxford University
  • Cambridge University Library

We thank the many other people and organisations who have made valuable contributions to this project.


What is in Wallace Letters Online?

This digital archive contains scans and transcripts of letters written and received by Wallace as well as a selection of other Wallace manuscripts.

Discover more detail about what is in the archive and how to use the data by downloading

More about Wallace Letters Online (PDF) Terms and conditions for use of data (PDF)

If you have more questions please contact us.


You can search Wallace Letters Online by keyword here.

To use multiple search terms such as person, address and date continue to the search page.

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