Advertisement

Darwin Goes Digital

Much of Charles Darwin’s personal library–both his books and what he wrote within them--is now available online.

By | June 24, 2011

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, LIN KRISTENSEN

For the first time in history, Charles Darwin’s scribbled notes contained within the pages of books from his library are available—online and free—to the general public.

At the time of his death in 1882, Darwin’s home held nearly 1,500 books, periodicals, and pamphlets, a collection now known as Darwin’s Library. In half of these, he diligently scribbled notes, crossed out lines, and appended notes on slips of paper. “The chief interest of the Darwin books lies in the pencil notes scribbled on their pages, or written on scraps of paper and pinned to the last page,” Darwin’s son Francis said in 1908.

In April, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) digitized and published online 330 of the most heavily annotated resources in Darwin’s library, ScienceNOW reports. Every annotation, including underlines and crossed-out passages, has been painstakingly transcribed and catalogued and are searchable by keyword.

“Reading was a major tool in Darwin’s scientific practice,” the BHL writes on its site. “Thus what our digital reconstruction of the Darwin Library delivers is the ability to retrace and reduplicate Darwin’s reading of a wealth of materials.” This marks the first of two releases. The second, which is yet to be scheduled, will include all remaining items in the library, 413 of which also include his annotations.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: Rich Patrock

Rich Patrock

Posts: 1457

June 24, 2011

Cool.  Project Gutenberg has free digital copies of all of his published writings as well.  Anyone with interest can now be a Darwin scholar.  Uncle Charles would love today's wealth of free exchange of information and ideas. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

June 24, 2011

Cool.  Project Gutenberg has free digital copies of all of his published writings as well.  Anyone with interest can now be a Darwin scholar.  Uncle Charles would love today's wealth of free exchange of information and ideas. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

June 24, 2011

Cool.  Project Gutenberg has free digital copies of all of his published writings as well.  Anyone with interest can now be a Darwin scholar.  Uncle Charles would love today's wealth of free exchange of information and ideas. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

June 27, 2011

I wonder if there are any scribbles in the works of William Charles Wells and Patrick Matthew, who, by Darwin and Wallace's own admission, originated the idea of natural selection before thy did.Search Google for "wainwrightscience" Prof.Milton Wainwright

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

June 27, 2011

I wonder if there are any scribbles in the works of William Charles Wells and Patrick Matthew, who, by Darwin and Wallace's own admission, originated the idea of natural selection before thy did.Search Google for "wainwrightscience" Prof.Milton Wainwright

Avatar of: M Wainwright

Anonymous

June 27, 2011

I wonder if there are any scribbles in the works of William Charles Wells and Patrick Matthew, who, by Darwin and Wallace's own admission, originated the idea of natural selection before thy did.Search Google for "wainwrightscience" Prof.Milton Wainwright

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
New England BioLabs
New England BioLabs
Advertisement
NeuroScientistNews
NeuroScientistNews