Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
JDH/1/14/1 f.48-49
Sir Charles Wyville
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Voyage of HMS Challenger Letters
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Original MS
6 page letter over 2 folios

JDH informs Sir Charles Wyville Thomson [CWT] that he has received copies of the latter's correspondence with the Admiralty & Treasury regarding the publication & dispersal of the results of the HMS 'Challenger' Expedition. The Treasury has asked for the advice of the Royal Society Council on how this can best be done independently & for the greatest scientific benefit. JDH quotes at length from the Treasury's request which asks especially for advice on what the limits of the published works should be, given CWT's insistence that they be restricted to the particular objects of the expedition. To help the Royal Society deliberations JDH asks CWT for his opinions on how the collections should be 'worked up' & what audience he has in mind for the published works & who should write them. Also as regards payment for & ultimate length of the work & whether or not the deep & shallow ocean fauna could be considered & published separately. He asks for the information promptly as the Challenger Committee must report for the Parliamentary Settlement of 1877-1878.


-ments for 1877--8 are far advanced, & we must report by middle of next month.
V[er]y sin[cere]ly y[ou]rs | Jos. D. Hooker | [signature].

Page 1

Nov 24/[18]76
Mr dear Thomson*1
The Treasury has forwarded your correspondence with it & the Admiralty -- respecting its publication & dispersal of the results of the Challenger Expedition to the P.R.S. [President of the Royal Society]*2 with a request that the ? the? R.S. Council would "advise my Lords how, with due regard to honesty, the results of the expedition may, independently of all

Page 2

personal questions, be made most conducive to the advancement of Science, both as regards the final dispersal of the collections specimens themselves, & as regards whatever publications are necessary to explain & illustrate them[.]"
"My Lords attend in particular to those parts of S[ir]. W[yville]. T[homson's] remarks in which he insists upon the special objects of the expedition; on limiting the extent of

Page 3

the works especially of publications to be undertaken."
It would aid us very materially in our deliilleg deliberations if you could give us your views more in detail as to the working up of the materials for visitors.
1. To whom would the "General descriptions of the voyage" be intended (yourself I suppose)
2. To whom the "Account of Observations, physical & biological made during the Voyage".

Page 4

3. What experts have you in your eye for writing up the descriptions & figures of the "Animal forms".
4. Upon what data do you base opinion that they should be "paid by the sheet" -- This implies your having an estimate of extent of work, amount of type etc. etc..
I understand from your letter that you propose to publish under your own direction not only the deep ocean fauna, but the literal fauna of the ocean. as far as your collections all useful for th are concerned[.]

Page 5

Would it not be possible to confine your work to the deep ocean collections, & to let the others go to Brit[ish]. Mus[eum].?
If the committee believes the Deep & Shallow water form is so intricate as to render any division of labour here inexpedient, please to discuss this position fully.
An answer to the above for the view of the "Challenger Committee" would be very acceptable & this soon as the Parliamentary settle-

Page 6

-ments for 1877--8 are far advanced, & we must report by middle of next month.
V[er]y sin[cere]ly y[ou]rs | Jos. D. Hooker | [signature].


1. Sir Charles Wyville Thomson (1830--1882). Scottish natural historian and marine zoologist. He served as the chief scientist on the Challenger expedition; his work there revolutionised oceanography and led to his knighthood. Secretary to the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh. Professor at: University of Aberdeen; Queen's College, Cork, Ireland; Queen's University of Belfast; Royal College of Science, Dublin; and University of Edinburgh.
2. Joseph Hooker was President of the Royal Society from 1873 to 1877.

Please note that work on this transcript is ongoing. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document where possible.

Powered by Aetopia