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. 191] Hon’rd Sr Though I was in hopes the Groenland and Davis Straight ships should have brought this year something, worth to be added to your Hon’rs incomparable Collection, but I am sorry that nothing of that kind is come, therefore I am only able to send you hereby The bone which is commonly called the Whales Ear, lying at the bottom of ye Whales Ear in his head, and also The whole fabrick of the Ear with the bones belonging to the same in an entire pice, taken out of the head a smaler Whale; which I hope wil be worth your acceptance, wishing that I may have oportunity for better articles for the future, who am and shall be provd to confess me self at al times Hon’rd Sr Yr Most humble Obedt Servant Henry Elking S.S.C. Dock the 10th Septemb’r 1729
Read more- Letter 3658

Latest Statistics

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