[ William Sweetland Dallas, zoologist, 'collaborateur to Darwin'. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('W. S. Dallas') to 'G. Masters', agreeing under duress to allow a visit to the Geological Society collection, the scope of which he discusses.

W. S. Dallas [ William Sweetland Dallas ] (1824-1890) of the Geological Society, zoologist, friend and 'collaborateur' to Charles Darwin, as also Huxley, Owen and Lyell
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Geological Society, Burlington House, W. [ London ] 19 May 1882.
SKU: 19997

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In good condition, lightly aged. He begins by conveying his irritation that Masters had arranged 'a visit to the Society's Museum' without consulting 'the authorities'. However, as the notices have been distributed, and 'the party will be a very small one, we must do the best we can'. He asks to be informed, 'by return of post, what you think will interest your friends, in order that the drawers may be got out & prepared for their inspection'. He repeats what he said in a former letter: that 'our Collection is not one to be displayed to people in search of things of general interest, - it is particularly intended for he use of students for reference, - its mode of preservation renders it particularly unified to be made a show of, - & the staff of the Society is so small that at this time of the year [...] we are about as much occupied as we can well be.' He hopes that his explanation 'will suffice to show that my objection to receive a party of visitors for show purposes is not due either to caprice or ill-nature, but simply to the actual nature of the case'. Dallas's obituary in the Geological Magazine (July 1890) describes how he 'frequently acted as collaborateur to Darwin, and indexed his works for him with hat loving care which only strong personal attachment could have brought to the task'.