Series 12 - Notes and Notebooks: French Collection
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford


Date Rangec. 1904 - c. 1908
ProvenanceWestlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Description

This series includes handwritten notes and notebooks related to Ernest Westlake's collection of eoliths from Aurillac, Cantal region, France, formed in 1904-1906.

Most of these notes and notebooks are written by Ernest Westlake, but there are also extensive notes by W. J. Sollas generated from his study of the French collection which was housed in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History from 1923. There is also a handwritten manuscript by J. Reid Moir, who studied the French collection in the Ipswich Museum from 1937.

Also included are two picture postcards, undated and unaddressed.

Note: there are further, extensive, notes, notebooks and correspondence related to the French collection (including corresponence and papers by W. J. Sollas and J. Reid Moir) in Series 15 (and also Series 16), Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History and in Series 13, Westlake Collection Related Documents file 1934. 83-86, Pitt Rivers Museum.

For a narrative account drawn from these papers see: [WEST00349, 'Brecknell, Stella, A dubious inheritance: Ernest Westlake's 'eolith' collections', Series 1, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History]. See also: Rebe Taylor, a href="bibliography.htm">2004.

The folder and folio numbers in the 'Control' field under each item, where shown, were assigned by Rebe Taylor in 2000.


Inventory Listing

Picture postcard of a wildebeest
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Picture postcard of a wildebeest; no added text.

Creator Westlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Control Folio 17
Quantity 0.2 cm, 1 item Formats General Publications
Inventory Identifier WEST00036 Box Number 3 Location Pitt Rivers Museum: Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers Series 12
Picture postcard of Le Lot, Rocamadour
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Picture postcard of Le Lot, Rocamadour, Vue Geéneérale, with '4 Sept 06' and a mathematical equation handwritten on the reverse.

Creator Westlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Control Folio 18
Date range 4 September 1906    Quantity 0.2 cm, 1 item
Formats General Publications
Inventory Identifier WEST00037 Box Number 3 Location Pitt Rivers Museum: Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers Series 12
Notes regarding French 'eoliths' and geology
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A manila folder entitled 'Westlake Collection. Folder 1a Box 3 Folios 1-75. Notes regarding French "eoliths" and geology'. This folder was named by Rebe Taylor in 2000. It contains 56 loose leaf pages and an exercise book with rough notes by Ernest Westlake, possibly written from about 1904-1908.

These rough notes mostly include geological data, mathematical equations and descriptive prose relating to the geology of Aurillac, in the Cantal region of France where, from 1904-1906, Ernest Westlake excavated and brought back to England about 4000, or up to 7000, stone artefacts dating from the Miocene Epoch which he considered were eoliths.

Also included is a length of string, possibly once used to tie these pages together; a piece of paper with 'Tasmanian Papers' written in large letters; 2 photographs of an archaeological excavation; a letter from the Observatory of Paris of of 22 June 1907; a draft letter from Ernest Westlake to the S. S. Afric regarding his vegetarian diet, notes regarding the religious eduction of Margaret Westlake and a piece of card from which a coloured electric tram and a horse and cart might be cut out, folded and assembled.

Further notes and cross references:

There are further notes by Ernest Westlake relating to his French collection in: [WEST00416, 'Notes: French collection', Series 16, Westlake Archive, Oxford Natural History Museum and extensive correspondence relating to this collection in Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford Natural History Museum]. This collection was deaccessioned from the Pitt Rivers Museum in 1980.

Ernest Westlake travelled to Aurillac from 1904-1906 and excavated thousands of eoliths. According to a list of his collections, formed possibly before 1923 for insurance purposes, he brought back 7000 eoliths to England [image 17, WEST00356, 'Correspondence: French Collection, 1923-1993 part 2', Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History]. Several published sources, however, state that Ernest Westlake brought about 4000 to 5000 eoliths into England, including Justin B. Delair, 1981: [images 5-39, Publications by Ernest Westlake, Justin B. Delair and others, 1853-1985 part 1, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History] and Derek Edgell, 1992: 11-12.

For other accounts of Ernest Westlake's journey to Aurillac see: Jean Westlake, 1982 and 2000: 18-19.

Some of these rough geological notes may have been written while carrying out field work in the Cantal, or while Westlake was en route to Tasmania in 1908, or both. In a letter to his children, Ernest Westlake writes of his time on board the S. S. Afric to Tasmania: 'despite the heat I write my account of Aurillac geology during the daylight hours and am well on with it': [image 16, WEST00021, Letter to Margaret and Aubrey Westlake, 'Sunday Evening October 1908', 'Correspondence from Ernest Westlake: September 1908 - December 1908', Series 2, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers].

It is possible that this 'account' was later lent to J. Reid Moir, President of the Museum of Natural History, Ethnology and Archaeology in Ipswich, who studied Ernest Westlake's eolith collection from 1937. The only copy of Westlake's original paper was apparently lost when J. Reid Moir suffered shell shock following the bombing of his house during the Second World War.

J. Reid Moir wrote a manuscript on the Westlake eolith collection. The handwritten version is held in: [WEST00414, 'The Eoliths from the Upper Miocene the Cantal. Central France', Series 12, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers]. A typed copy is held in: [WEST00364, 'The Eoliths from the Upper Miocene deposits of the Cantal, Central France', Series 16, Westlake Archive, Oxford University of Natural History].

See Aubrey Westlake's correspondence with G. Maynard concerned, in part, with a search for Ernest Westlake's missing Aurillac paper: [images 35-49, WEST00355, 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 1', Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History].

See also: [WEST00012, 'Aubrey Westlake Correspondence: Tasmanian Collection, 1923-1976', Series 2, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers].

Creator Westlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Control Folder 1a, Folios 1-75
Date range c. 1904 - c. 1908    Quantity 2 cm, 1 folder
Formats General Correspondence, Diagrams, Notebooks and Loose Notes
Inventory Identifier WEST00040 Box Number 3 Location Pitt Rivers Museum: Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers Series 12
Notebook: Aurillac
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A brown paper envelope entitled 'Dr. Westlake's Aurillac Notebook' and including a note, dated 1952, explaining where the notebook was found in Ipswich. The inscription on the first page of the notebook reads: 'E. Westlake, Maison Henry, Rue Lescure, Aurillac'. It includes notes from his field collecting, and a pocket at the back with loose pages of corresponence and notes by Ernest Westlake.

Further notes and cross references:

Despite the title given on the envelope, Ernest Westlake never earned the title of 'Dr.'

It is probable that this note was written by G. Maynard, Curator of the Museum of Natural History, Ethnology and Archaeology in Ipswich, where Ernest Westlake's French collection was housed from 1937 until 1953. G. Maynard's correspondence with Aubrey Westlake relating to this collection is in: [images 35-49, WEST00356, Series 15, 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 2', Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History].

Creator Westlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Quantity 3 cm, 1 file Inventory Identifier WEST00412 Box Number 6 Series 12
Notebooks: French Collection
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A large brown paper envelope titled '(JRM) Westlake - Collection Papers' in black ink on the front and 'papers excavating and Westlake Collection [?]' in blue pencil on the back. It contains two black A4 notebooks with drawings, or traced outlines, of stone artefacts, most likely by Ernest Westlake. One book has written '922 drawings in this book' on the first page; the other notebook has written '1032 drawings in this book' on the first page.

Creator Westlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Quantity 3 cm, 1 file Inventory Identifier WEST00413 Box Number 6 Series 12
The Eoliths from the Upper Miocene deposits of the Cantal, Central France By J. Reid Moir (hand-written manuscript)
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A large brown paper envelope stamped and addressed to G. Maynard, Curator and Director, The Museum, High Street, Ipswich and, along the side, the words 'J. Reid Moir MSS Eoliths of Upper Miocene of Cantal France'. This contains a handwritten manuscript with the title: 'The Eoliths from the Upper Miocene deposits of the Cantal, Central France, by J. Reid Moir F.R.S'.

Further notes and cross references:

A typed manuscript of this paper is held in: [WEST00364, Series 12, 'The Eoliths from the Upper Miocene deposits of the Cantal,. Central France' by J. Reid Moir, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers].

J. Reid Moir requested to Aubrey Westlake that Ernest Westlake's collection of eoliths be moved to the Museum of Natural History, Ethnology and Archaeology in Ipswich, of which he was President, in 1937. Moir studied the collection closely and completed this manuscript in 1939. See: [images 81-131, WEST00355, 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 1', Series 15, Westlake Papes, Oxford University Museum of Natural History].

See also Aubrey Westlake's correspondence with G. Maynard realted to Reid Moir's research and manuscript in: [images 35-49, WEST00355, Series 15, 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 1', Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History].

Creator Westlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Quantity 1 cm, 1 file Inventory Identifier WEST00414 Box Number 6 Series 12
Notes by W.J. Sollas
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A large brown paper envelope from Tohoku Imperial University, Sendai Japan, addressed to Prof. W. J. Sollas, (University) Oxford England on which is also handwritten in black ink 'Puy Boudieu' and contains another brown paper envelope titled 'Notes by W. J. Sollas'. This includes many loose leaf pages with handwritten notes in ink and sketches of stone implements in ink and also coloured pencil. There are also photographs of stone implements, some of which are labelled 'Puy Boudieu'. Many of the pages are numbered, by W. J. Sollas, but they are are not organised in their proper numerical order here. Some of the pages have the letter head 'University Museum Oxford'.

Includes a letter from Aubrey Westlake to W. J. Sollas [image 376] dated 22 January 1923 that gives biographcial information about Ernest Westlake.

Further notes and cross references:

The Westlake Collection of eoliths was sent to W. J. Sollas, of the Oxford Natural History Museum in 1923 at the same time the Westlake Collection of Tasmanian implements went to Henry Balfour in the Pitt Rivers Museum. After careful consideration, Sollas published his conclusion that Westlake's French eoliths 'are the work of an intelligent being'. [Sollas, 1925: 98] However, Westlake's French collection was de-accessioned in 1980.

For a more detailed description of W. J. Sollas' research on the Westlake French collection see his entry in the 'People and Museums' section here.

Further correspondence bewteen W. J. Sollas and Margaret Westlake (here named 'Mrs Charman') and with Aubrey Westlake is in: [images 28-45, WEST00355, 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 1', Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History].

Further correspondence regarding the deaccessioning of the Westlake French collection is in: [images 40-76, WEST00357, 'Correspondence: French Collection 1923-1993 part 3', Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History.]

There is another handwritten memoir of Ernest Westlake by Aubrey Westlake in: [images 54-57, WEST00012, 'Aubrey Westlake Correspondence: Tasmanian Collection, 1923-1976', Series 2, Pitt Rivers Museum Manuscript Collections, Westlake Papers and WEST00354, Series 15, Westlake Archive, Oxford University Museum of Natural History]. [See also: Aubrey Westlake, 1923].

Creator Westlake, Ernest (1855-1922)
Quantity 3.5 cm, 1 file Inventory Identifier WEST00415 Box Number 6 Series 12

Published by the The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre and the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, August 2010
Listed by Rebe Taylor, with Michael Jones and Gavan McCarthy
HTML edition
Updated 14 February 2017
http://web.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/WEST/WESS12.htm

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