Presenting... Alfred Russel Wallace

38dc7b96 470b 4717 bfff 41c90d2278cd min

Presenting... Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)

31 MARCH – 23 MAY 2023


Presenting... Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) was a temporary exhibit at Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of biologist, geographer, explorer and naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. One of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century, Wallace is most well-known for independently developing the theory of natural selection concurrently with Charles Darwin.

Wallace spent eight years in the Malay Archipelago, between 1854 and 1862, where he built up a huge collection of insect specimens. Many of these are now held by the Museum's entomological collections in one of the largest collections of Wallace specimens in the country. The Museum's Library and Archive also holds material relating to Wallace.

To mark Wallace's 200th year, we have re-catalogued and digitised the entire Wallace correspondence and made it available on our online platform, Collections Online.



A view of the presenting case from the outside


A tray of insect specimens collected by Wallace including weevils and longhorn beetles, and a letter from Wallace to Francis Pascoe from 1860

Weevils and longhorn beetles collected by Alfred Russel Wallace, and a letter from Wallace's archive

A Troides hypolitus butterfly

Rippon's birdwing butterfly collected by Wallace




Map showing that the presenting case is just to the left, next to the help desk, as you enter the Oxford Natural History Museum through the main door.

You can find the Presenting Case next to the Welcome Desk; just to the left as you enter the Museum through the main entrance.