Event Date: 6 December 2011
Flett Lecture Theatre
Natural History Museum
London SW7 5BD
Wallich and Indian Natural History:
Collection Dispersal and the Cultivation of Knowledge
Antonia Moon (British Library) and Charlie Jarvis (Natural History Museum)
Wallich’s Papers at the British Library and Beyond
This paper introduces the 110 files of India Office Records now digitised for the Wallich project. Ranging from reports and travel accounts to letters and financial statements, these records are a major source of information on Wallich’s career: a direct result of the insistence by the East India Company’s directors that every action of its servants in India be fully reported back to London. We shall explain the administrative context of the documents, draw attention to some of the themes contained within them, and suggest possibilities for new research that their digitisation opens up. We shall briefly compare this collection to Wallich’s surviving papers in Calcutta, and indicate further sources where relevant material might be found.
Antonia Moon is Lead Curator, India Office Records (post-1858) at the British Library. She has a particular interest in the archives of colonial science and has led the Library’s contribution to the Wallich project.
Charlie Jarvis is a botanist working at the Natural History Museum in London. He has published extensively on the botanical binomial names published by Carl Linnaeus and the herbarium collections, books and manuscripts that contributed to Linnaeus’ understanding of these numerous species. The biological collections of Hans Sloane are a current research interest. He is also scientific co-ordinator of the Museum’s Centre for Arts and Humanities Research.