As someone more familiar with explorers from this side of the pond, my encounters with David Livingtone, British missionary and African explorer, have been mediated by others: biographers, Henry Morton Stanley, or the press reports of the New York Herald. No longer is this the case. Professor Christopher Lawrence of the Wellcome Trust Centre of the History of Medicine has established Livingstone Online, a place where you can read Livingstone’s own words, primarily letters from the holdings of Wellcome and other archives in the UK. Livingstone Online also offers good contextual background on science and medicine in 19th century British society. Taken together with Google Book’s collection of full text Livingstone works (including Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa), we now have the key sources to uncover the man (if not, alas, the Nile).
On Science, History, and Exploration