24 June 2011

Darwin's personal library goes online

Charles Darwin's personal scientific library is now viewable online.

His library of 1,480 books includes 730 with notes and comments scribbled in their margins. These are now being digitised, and 330 of the most heavily annotated books can now be viewed online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Transcriptions accompany each page and permit you a fascinating insight into those passages which Darwin found relevant to his work, those which stimulated his thought processes - and those which he disagreed with.

For example, his friend, Charles Lyell, wrote in his Principles of Geology that there were definite limits to the variation of species.  Darwin wrote alongside this: 'If this were true, adios theory'.

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