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. 42] Midleton-Stony Nov. 17. 1731 Honrd Sr
I had the Favour of your Letter, and give you many Thanks for examining and compareing My Notes wth Dr Smith; I profess chiefly to follow Him ni the anatomical Part, but ni the Optical I think I have added other Proofs to His. I chose to trouble you with the Papers in your Hand, on the subject Matter of them, which is fetchd from ye depths of Nature; tho at ye same time go see less of my design in This than in any other Part of my Work; The 70 and other ancient versions herein varying little or Nothing from ye original, and therefore requiring no great Pains or skill to shew their reconcilement, for which there is occassion almost ev’ry where else in this Book. It is a great Pleasure to me yt my design has your Approbation: I think in ye way I have taken, to bring the Original. S.S. and their ancient version to Agreement, one may come to set forth a just Translation of the Bible, and put an end to a world of groundless disputes about ye Genuineness of ye Letter of the Hebrew on the one Hand, & of it’s first Translation the 70 on the other. wch in stead of being set at Eternal variance will hereby be made every where to illutrate and explain each other
I did not think the whole of what I laid before you woud be proper to insert in the Transactions of the Society, but I conceive the Note on Chap. 12. of. 2. Upon Light. if yo approve of it, May. I give you Abundance of Thanks for your kind Intercession for me to the Council of the R.S. in Respect of my Payments, and am ready to submit it wholly to you, Whether I shall pay only to ye Time I sent to Dr Woodward to be dismissed the Society (wch believe was about two years after my Admission) […] whether I shall pay ye 10 Guineys, receive my Bond, & still be continu’d a Member: which, for the Honour I have to the Society, and Regard to your Friendship in this Affair, I rather incline to. and, if yo approve of ye same, in spring, when I think to come to Town, I will pay ye Money in Person. I beg yo will comunicate that specimen of my Notes to as many of your Friends of as you can think fit: and, when the Book is ready for the Press I will let yu know, hopeing your Recomendation will procure some subscribers, if, as my Friends generally persuade me, it shall appear advisable to publish it y self. I am, with the greatest Respect, Sr. Your Obedient and Obliged Humble Servant B. Holloway.

Read more- Letter 4400

Latest Statistics

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


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