Moseley to Franks 1881

Please note that this has been transcribed and not edited, all misspellings or mis-punctations are in the original and are not sic'd. Warning: this letter has not been proofread except by the transcriber

1. PRM Box 1, 1-33: 5-6

Pencil note at top in unknown hand: Letter sent to me by C.H. Read [1]

Little Hampton Sussex | March 30. 81.

My dear Franks

I am here for a couple of days fresh air with my wife. I do not know whether you have heard that at the suggestion of Westwood [2] Gen. Pitt Rivers has offered his collection to the University of Oxford. He has authorised me to make the offer on his behalf on the condition that the University funds a building &c. The offer will come before the Council about the second or third week in April.

I think the collection would be a splendid gain to Oxford and would do much in the way of letting light into the place and would draw well. Besides of course it would act as an introduction to all the other art collections & about to be made and would be of extreme value to students of anthropology in which subject we hope to allow men to take degrees very shortly.

I should be extremely obliged if during the next fortnight you could write me a letter which need not be long expressing an opinion as to the value of the collection and its usefulness at Oxford, such a letter could be read to the Hebdomadal Council of course absolutely ignorant of the collection and all connected with it. Such a letter from you would be of the greatest assistance. I have asked John Evans [3] to write one also but not any-one else. Pray excuse my troubling you. I do it in the interests of the University. What a splendid lot of New Ireland carvings Pitt Rivers has got

Yours ever

H N Moseley [4]


[1] Charles Hercules Read, (1857-1929), British Museum keeper. See here for more information

[2] John Obadiah Westwood, 1805-1893, entomologist, first Hope professor of zoology at the University of Oxford. See here for more information about him.

[3] John Evans (1823-1908), archaeologist, numismatist and paper manufacturer. See here for more information

[4] Henry Nottidge Moseley (1844-1891), naturalist, Linacre Professor of Human and Comparative Anatomy, University of Oxford. The first Curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. See here for more information.

See here for an article about Pitt-Rivers and Moseley

Transcribed by AP July 2010 as part of the Rethinking Pitt-Rivers project.

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