Welcome to The Sloane Letters Project

sloaneA pilot of this project, Sir Hans Sloane’s Correspondence Online, was first launched at the University of Saskatchewan in 2010 to coincide with the 350th anniversary of Sir Hans Sloane’s birth. The project was renamed The Sloane Letters Project when it moved to this site in 2016.

The correspondence of Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753) consists of thirty-eight volumes held at the British Library, London: MSS 4036-4069, 4075-4078.  The letters are a rich source of information about topics such as scientific discourse, collections of antiquities, curiosities and books, patients’ illnesses, medical treatments and family history. Most of the letters were addressed to Sloane, but a few volumes were addressed to others (MSS 4063-4067) or written by Sloane (MSS 4068-4069).

So far, we have entered descriptions and metadata for Sloane MSS 4036-4053 and 4075, as well as several letters from each of the following: Sloane MSS 4054-4055, 4066, 4068-4069 and 4076. Several of these entries also include transcriptions. Further entries and transcriptions are being made available gradually.

Please, explore the website and database. You can search through the letters, learn about Sir Hans Sloane or the letters written to him, and peruse blog posts about interesting letters!

Random Letter


[fol. 22] York 7r. 27. 1731. Sr. It may seem a piece of great presumption in a stranger, & at this vast distance, to address a Person of Your figure in life, but tho’ I am unknown to you both in Character & person, you must forgive the impertinence of a Brother Antiquarian, who has heard enough of your last that was to expect it. Enclos’d is an exact draught of an Antique Gold Ring found lately in these parts, with an inscription round the verge, the letters in size & shape are exactly drawn, & by an alphabet in Dr. Hicks’s Thesaurus that I have met with, I take them to be Runick; but the interpretation I leave to better Judgments. The Ring weighs 5 guineas within a trifle, & is soe cumbersome that I cannot suppose it ever work on finger or thumb; I rather conjecture it to have been some amulet or charm which possibly the inscription may discover. The three strokes four times repeated as you see on one side are exactly the same on the other. The letters have been left rais’d in the casting & are fill’d up in the interstices, smooth, with a kind of Enamel. This is the best description I can give of it, & sho’d be glad you wo’d please to send your sentiments about it to Sr. your most obedient humble servant F. Drake. surgeon in York.
Read more- Letter 4389

Latest Statistics

Pages digitised
4,545 Document summaries
Documents transcribed
1,527 Medical Cases