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Field notebook 'No.2, Aug. 1886', 16 Aug. - 22 Oct. 1886

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8634/A.58

Scope and Contents

The second of seven notebooks kept by William Bateson during his trip to the Aral Sea and the surrounding area. The entries are part field notes and part travel diary. They include descriptions of the Aral Sea (reached on 21 August (page [8v]) and nearby salt lakes, of shells, fossils and local wildlife, and of his travels and experiences with the Kirghiz people.

Entries include an account of a search for a group of thieves who stole a camel (pp. [2v-7r]); a description of the festival of Kormon, including an encounter with a boy bitten by a snake and descriptions of the feast, costumes, and equestrian games (page [16r-19v]); mention of water shortages and problems with mosquitoes; notes on payments made (e.g. pp. [15v-16r]); and details of contracting an illness (pp. [32v ff.]) and lice [54v-55r]. There is also a list of animals found at the Aral Sea (page [13v]), an agreement concerning camels (in Kirghiz and signed with a note by Bateson; page [18r]), and a number of sketches (pp. [22r-23r], [28r], [43r], [46r], [59v].

Entries are in pen and pencil, often in tiny handwriting. Later annotations added in pen (e.g. on page [7r]) are perhaps by Beatrice Bateson, as are the three loose pages of notes which were inserted inside the back cover.


  • Creation: 16 Aug. - 22 Oct. 1886



1 notebook(s) (1 notebook (66 pp); paper) : paper

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

There is a blank stub between pp. 23 & 24 where a page has been torn from the notebook.


Former references: MS Add.8634/A.75 and G.9.a.2

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom