Documenting the Past - The Tomlin archive

John Read le Brockton Tomlin was one of the most highly respected shell collectors of his time. Amgueddfa Cymru holds both his extensive shell collection and his archive of correspondence.

It is an archive not only of scientific history, capturing a bygone era of collecting, but also a personal insight into the lives of some of the most famous shell collectors of the day.

The archive is estimated to contain well over a thousand documents dating from the early 1800's through to the mid 1900's. It is a collection of all of the correspondence between Tomlin and his many shell associates around the world.

Many interesting discoveries have been made whilst cataloguing this archive. It has brought into focus aspects of the lives of collectors, recounting expeditions and voyages, personal illness and hardship, war, dinner invitations and Christmas cards.

A selection of items from the archive have been made available below.

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