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Charles Darwin's lost library now available to the public


To commemorate the 215th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, researchers involved in the Darwin Online project have published a 300-page catalogue, containing the 7,350 titles and 13,000 volumes that made up the British scientist's library.

For the first time since the evolutionist author's death in 1882, his extensive and varied personal library was completely rebuilt. The list, which includes 9,500 links to copies of the library's content, is the result of research that lasted more than 18 years, according to a publication by John van Wyhe, a science historian at the University of Singapore and project director.

Darwin, the author of numerous works, is known for his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, which introduced the fundamental concept of evolution.

The variety of topics that interested him is extraordinary, covering biology, geology, philosophy, psychology, religion, agriculture, art, history and travel. His library contained the most diverse publications: from an article about epileptic guinea pigs to a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell, one of his favorite books, notes The Guardian.

More than half of the works are in English and the rest in languages ??such as German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Danish.

John van Wyhe points out that the wide range of issues covered in the library reflects that Darwin did not work alone, but, on the contrary, was an expert of his time who drew on the knowledge and research of a multitude of people.

It also shows how incredibly eclectic Darwin was, Wyhe concludes. (Text and photo: RT)

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