The Wallace Correspondence Project is Recruiting!

*Job Announcement*

Research Editor - Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project

Salary: Starting from £32,761 per year

Employment Type: Fixed Term, ending 31 August 2020

Hours Per week (exclusive of lunch breaks): 35

Annual Leave: 30 days, in addition to public and bank holidays.

Work Location: 3 Queens Mews, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 5AZ

Closing Date: Midnight 9 January 2019

Interview Date: Week of 14-18 January 2019

Thanks to a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation (USA), the Wallace Correspondence Project (WCP) is seeking to recruit a Research Editor who will work closely with the two other staff in our small project team. The WCP was founded in 2010 and our current grant is hosted and managed by The Charles Darwin Trust, an educational charity set up in 1999 by members of the Darwin family (see

The WCP aims to locate, digitize, catalogue, transcribe, interpret and publish the surviving correspondence and other manuscripts of the great 19th century scientist and intellectual Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Wallace has many claims to fame, not least that he is the 'father' of evolutionary biogeography and the co-discoverer with Darwin of the process of evolution by natural selection. He also made many other important contributions to subjects as diverse as glaciology, land reform, anthropology, ethnography, epidemiology, and astrobiology.

The WCP's mission is to make Wallace's inspirational life and ground-breaking work better known to contemporary audiences, through the publication online and in print of his collected manuscripts for the first time. This archive will be an important primary resource for students of the history of science, cultural studies and 19th century society. For more information see

The Role

The Research Editor will be responsible for meticulously checking and correcting transcripts of letters to and from Wallace which have been produced by project volunteers. They will also research and write detailed scholarly endnotes to help readers better understand and interpret the content of the manuscripts (see for example Producing such endnotes requires considerable research experience and knowledge of 19th century history and Wallace’s milieu. The transcripts which the Research Editor will be working on will be be published in volume 1 of The Correspondence of Alfred Russel Wallace and part of the Research Editor's role will be to play a leading role in producing a 'camera ready' copy of this book.

Essential Skills & Experience

  • A good honours degree
  • Experience of transcribing and editing transcripts of handwritten 19th/20th century manuscripts.
  • Experience of doing historical research.
  • Outstanding spoken and written English.
  • Excellent IT skills and proficiency in using standard Microsoft Office applications.
  • Experience of using a variety of online research resources such as JSTOR, etc.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Proactive and able to take the initiative.
  • Ability to work alone or as part of a team and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent planning skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks.

Desirable Skills & Experience

  • A good honours degree, preferably in history or biology.
  • Previous employment on a similar project.
  • In-depth knowledge of 19th century history and ideally the life and work of 19th century biologists, including Wallace, Darwin and colleagues.
  • Experience of publishing.


  • Applicants must have the right to work in the UK.
  • This position is limited to the project duration specified.
  • The applicant's ability to transcribe manuscripts and edit transcripts will be tested during the interview.
  • The applicant must be prepared to commute daily to our office in Buckhurst Hill, Essex (on the Central Line).
  • Ideally the applicant should be able to begin work in late February/early March 2019.


Application is by email to You should provide a covering letter (600 words maximum) explaining your skills, aptitudes and suitability for this role; a curriculum vitae; and the contact details for two referees, one of which is your most recent employer. Please state when you would be able to begin work should you be offered the post. Please enter "WCP Research Editor job application" in the subject line of your email.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith