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Charles Darwin’s notebooks have been returned: NPR

Two iconic notebooks, which include Darwin’s 1837 Tree of Life sketch, was returned to Cambridge University Library last month.

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Two iconic notebooks, which include Darwin’s 1837 Tree of Life sketch, was returned to Cambridge University Library last month.

Str / AP

More than two decades after they were first reported missing, an anonymous person has returned two of Charles Darwin’s historical notebooks to the Cambridge University Library.

The iconic notebooks, which include Darwin’s 1837 Tree of Life sketch, was returned to the library last month, stored in a pink gift bag and stacked together in plastic wrap, said the library. The notebooks were accompanied by three lines:

“My sense of relief over the safe return of the notebooks is deep and almost impossible to adequately express,” said librarian Dr. Jessica Gardner.

A police investigation is underway, according to the library.

The Cambridge University Library announced one public appeal to find the notebooks in November 2020. While they had disappeared long before the appeal, librarians had assumed they had just been misplaced.

The library plans to exhibit the notebooks in July as part of an upcoming exhibit called “Darwin in Conversation.” That Tree of Life sketch said to reveal elements of Darwin’s thinking before he got meat About the origin of the species more than two decades later.

“Objects like these are crucial to our understanding of not only the history of science, but also the history of mankind,” said Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge.

The library said the notebooks were first removed in 2000 from Special Collections Strong Rooms, home to the “rarest and most valuable items.” A routine check in January 2001 revealed that the small box with the notebooks was not returned to its proper place.

After a series of searches at the library over the years, the notebooks were not found. Gardner organized a more intensive search in 2020, led by experts who conducted fingertip surveys. The team searched the entire Darwin archive, which includes more than 180 boxes.

After these efforts failed, they concluded that the notebooks had been stolen.

The local police are delighted that the notebooks have finally been found.

“We share the university’s delight that these priceless notebooks are now back where they belong,” a Cambridgeshire police spokesman said. “Our investigation is still open and we are following up on some investigation lines.”

Charles Darwin’s notebooks have been returned: NPR

Source link Charles Darwin’s notebooks have been returned: NPR

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