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Description found in Archives


24 February 1847-14 October 1854

Place of creation

Various places

10 cm of textual records (pages 1-1004).

Scope and content

This small sub-sub-series contains the transcriptions from the private letters of Lord Elgin to the Colonial Secretary, prepared in support of Theodore Walrond's biography of Lord Elgin. The transcriptions, apparently the work of two copyists, illustrate Walrond's research and editorial methods, while pencil markings on Elgin's drafts (see volumes 32-35) demonstrate how Walrond selected passages of interest. Sequenced chronologically, these copies present edited selections - entire letters or extracts - with emphasis on the development of Elgin's political thoughts and the execution of his official duties. His editorial notations served to clarify the identity of correspondents, formalize references to Lady Elgin, and otherwise ensure the coherence of the extracts. Some 21 transcriptions of selections from Lord Elgin's letters to Charles Lennox Cumming-Bruce, similarly made for Theodore Walrond's biographical work, but found interleaved with the original letters (see volume 21) exhibit similar characteristics. In .... cases, only Walrond's transcripts of Elgin's private letters have survived. Physical features serve to distinguish between Elgin's originals and Walrond's transcriptions. The blue paper used for many of the transcriptions bears watermarks dated 1865 and 1866. The copyist numbered the pages within each letter, at the head of the page, wrote on only one side of the leaf, and ran a thread or cord through cleanly-punched holes to keep the pages of a letter together. Walrond inscribed two further sequences of page numbers, using red and blue inks, over the texts. By contrast, Elgin inscribed his drafts and copies on both sides of the paper and rarely numbered pages; where cords or threads hold the pages together, the hole was pierced or stabbed with a bodkin. The existence of specific transcriptions is identified in the description for the individual items from which they were drawn.

Textual records
90: Open
from 36 to 37
90: Open
Archival reference no.

Additional information

Custodial history
Examination of the bundles revealed some 21 original drafts, astray from Elgin's private letters to the Colonial Secretaries. These have been reintegrated in their proper chronological sequence with the drafts (see volumes 32-35).