PRM ms collections, Box 1 88-89

This is the letter that Balfour actually sent to Pitt-Rivers, compare to the unsent letter in reply to Pitt-Rivers letter of 28 November, and also note the different handwriting, this might have been written by someone else as it does not resemble Balfour's normal hand, maybe it was the suggested draft by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford (to whom the unsent draft was sent for comment) which Balfour copied out? An alternative is that the letter shown here was actually the letter sent.

11, Norham Gardens, Oxford [1]  | 3.12.90 [2]

Dear Gen. Pitt Rivers

I hear from the Vice Chancellor that you are going to give your public lecture up here early in next term and am very glad that this is to be so, as it will be an important event. I will readily defer writing upon subjects which touch upon your series until you have given this lecture & have explained the

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principles illustrated by your collection. I cannot help thinking that you will be pleased with the work which has been done. I have at last devoted myself to the work, in which I am greatly interested, and I shall hope to be able to do something to advance the branch of Anthropology, with which your name is chiefly connected. I do not think the collection has been kept in the background except to an unavoidable extent. The court of the building was

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very soon thrown open to the public and the upper gallery has been open about two years. The lower one is waiting for a building for work and can be opened as soon as this is ready. I have always done all that I can, as has Dr. Tylor, to illustrate the points of the collection & its educational value, by demonstration to visitors, & I fancied with some success, as very great interest has been shewn in the collection. It only remains for me to say that if I can be of any

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assistance to you with regard to our lecture, I shall be extremely happy to do everything in my power.

Believe me
Yours truly
Henry Balfour

The series of diagrams illustrating your series of New Ireland paddles is here. I thought I would mention this in case you should want them.


[1] presumably Balfour's home address at this time.

[2] Even the date is not written in Balfour's normal manner

Transcribed by AP, March 2011, for the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project.

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