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About this work
The correpondence forms a large and complex body of records, relating to all aspects of the museums activities including the accession and transfer of materials, arrangements of exhibitions, researcher and visitor correspondence, and internal administration. It falls into several distinct series, reflecting changing administrative structures as well as different functions. Detailed descriptions of the nature of each series are given in this list. There is some overlap between the series, arising from contemporary filing practices and from a later attempt to reorganise the main body of correspondence which now has the reference WA/HMM/CO/Chr. Correspondents A-C from these series were removed in the 1960s as the first stage in forming one large alphabetical series of correspondence, and are catalogued here as WA/HMM/CO/Alp. The subject series of correspondence 1931-1954 overlaps to some extent with WA/HMM/CO/Chr and Alp, but concerns more largely matters of internal administration. It also contains correspondence relating to the organisation of exhibitions and receptions, for which further material for the earlier period was filed separately [see WA/HMM/RE and EX]. Smaller series of correspondence of Saint, Underwood and Lacaille were maintained separately. Their correspondence relates to their specific work, but also overlaps to with the larger series. The small series of correspondence with Wellcome bodies [WA/HMM/CO/Wel] is an artificial series, created at the time of cataloguing, to pull together files with no discernible original archival place. The files were weeded during cataloguing, to remove correspondence of a routine nature. All correspondence relating to the accession or dispersal of objects was maintained, as well as all correspondence relating to major projects or policy developments. Much remains to illustrate the evolving everyday work of the HMM: including its use by researchers and comments from visitors.