|The Commission's correspondence on the 1851 Great Exhibition consists mainly of incoming letters. There is evidence, partly from surviving rough lists, that it was the intention of Digby Sturch, after his appointment as secretary, to number the letters and provide an index in the form of a description of each letter.
Most slips for 1850 and for January to May 1851 are contemporary (ie not written by Digby Sturch), often on the backs of envelopes from 1850 and 1851 letters, and a few include draft replies to letters received. The few missing slips may be accounted for by water damage which is clear on many of the surviving slips. From June 1851 contemporary slips decrease, with an increasing number, and from 1852-55, all, written by Digby Sturch. The numbering on each letter - in red ink - which no doubt went hand-in-hand with the formation of an index, does not continue beyond mid-August 1851, and foliation from then to the end of 1855 has been completed (in pencil) by the archivist who has also compiled the calendar, below, which supersedes the old index. The old index has been retained.
See also introductory note to Correspondence and Papers, RC/B.