unique cultural assets

As somewhat of an enthusiast of [an evangelist for? – Ed] online archives, especially historically significant ones, I couldn’t let this one go by without noting it – Darwin Online – “more than 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images of both publications and handwritten manuscripts” including audio files and Charles Darwin’s, never before published, Beagle field notebooks. The BBC and the Guardian report. Now if only some of the £22million earmarked for the new home of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland [and their 54 km of records – Ed] could be used to redesign and expand their online archive.. we might get a look at that 13th Century Papal Bull..

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  • mickhall


    I saw one of the drawing in the paper today, do you know if Darwin made them or was an artist along on the voyage.

    All the best

  • Miss Fitz

    I always assumed he did his own, but the question was interesting so I looked it up. It appears Darwin always regretted not learning to draw but took ‘dense and vivid’ notes from which illustrations were made

  • Pete Baker


    The image, in the Guardian, is from one of the volumes of the Zoology of The Voyages of the HMS Beagle – which was “edited and superintended” by Darwin, although actually written by others.

    The image would have probably been produced specifically for the volume.. but not by Darwin – there’s a signature on the finches image that isn’t his.

    I don’t think there was an artist as such on board.. it would have been a bit of a luxury.

    Darwin, and the Beagle’s crew, collected specimens during the voyages which, after unpacking, formed the basis of those Zoology volumes along with his notes.

  • I am wading through The God Delusion right now. I can’t see anyone wading through that huge Darwin virtual collection.