Skip to main content

Tour of Central Asia, 1886-1887, 1886-1935

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8634/A.57-A.73

Scope and Contents

Bateson, on behalf of both the Royal Society and the University of Cambridge, undertook a tour of part of western central Asia to study various biological questions arising from the gradual desiccation of 'the Steppe'. He left London on 4 May 1886 for St Petersburg, Russia, returning to Cambridge in the Autumn of 1887. The Aral Sea and the surrounding area he studied particularly closely. After Bateson's death, his widow Beatrice published the letters that he sent to his family during the tour, with excerpts from his field notebooks, as 'Letters from the Steppe', written in the years 1886-1887 (London, 1928). The 'Steppe' was the name by which the tour was generally known among the Bateson family.

For a catalogue of Bateson's scientific collections, 1888, including samples collected during his Central Asian tour, see [MS Add.8634/A.84].


  • Creation: 1886-1935


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (


1 collection (46 folders; paper & photographs)

Language of Materials



Former reference: MS Add.8634/A.74-A.120

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom