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Robert Marsham-Townshend papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 482
Scope and Contents

The Robert Marsham-Townshend Papers consist of letters and diaries containing descriptions of Robert Marsham-Townshend's travels around the world. The collection is arranged into three series: Correspondence , Diaries , and Other Papers , and spans the dates 1853-1910.

Many of the letters are written to him, though there is a group of 22 letters written by him to a relative identified only as Harriet, dated 1856-1864. Correspondents include Henry Alabaster, interpreter to the King in Siam; scientists W. S. Atkinson and Robert Stirling; George Ferguson Bowen, first governor of Queensland, Australia; in addition to numerous family members and other acquaintances. Stirling writes at length from the Sandwich Islands describing earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, a particular interest of Marsham-Townshend's. There are also fifteen letters from Youhannah El Karey, a missionary from Nablous, near Jaffa, Palestine.

The 18 diaries span the dates 1853-1876, and carry descriptions of travel to Brazil, Egypt, Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, Japan, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, California, Australia, Indonesia, Siam (Thailand), India, Persia (Iran), the Mideast, South Africa, Russia, and Europe. There is a great deal of geographic and volcanic observation, as well as descriptions of cities, cultures, and peoples encountered.

The papers are accompanied by a bound notebook with notes on volcanoes throughout the world, two passports for Marsham-Townshend to use in Persia, and three contracts and receipts for hiring mules and drivers in Persia.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Robert Marsham-Townshend Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2001.

1.67 Linear Feet (4 boxes)
Related Names
Marsham-Townshend, Robert
Language of Materials