Charles Darwin notebooks ‘stolen’ from Cambridge University

Charles Darwin notebooks ‘stolen’ from Cambridge University”

The tiny books recorded Darwin's thoughts after he returned to England from his famed voyage aboard H.M.S. Beagle, as he grasped toward ideas that would form the foundations of modern evolutionary biology.

The missing notebooks had previously been digitized and are available on the Cambridge Digital Library.

"Someone, somewhere, may have knowledge or insight that can help us return these notebooks to their proper place at the heart of the UK's cultural and scientific heritage", Dr. Gardner said in her appeal.

The notebooks, which include Darwin's seminal 1837 Tree of Life sketch, are likely to be worth many millions of pounds, the library said.

Staff believed that the precious Charles Darwin items had been "mis-shelved" at Cambridge University Library within the vast archives late in the year 2000 and the matter was not reported to Cambridgeshire Police until October 20 this year.

It said it had informed local police and the books had been listed on Interpol's database of stolen artworks, called Psyche.

Have you seen this man's missing notebooks? Pictured here are Darwin's Notebooks D and E, which are housed in an "identical" archive box.

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One page, reproduced around the world in museum exhibits, on schoolroom posters and on T-shirts, gives his first sketch of a "Tree of Life", mapping out how related species could diverge from a common ancestor, much like the branches of a tree diverging from a trunk.

While it is mystifying that the books could have gone missing for two decades, it is not entirely surprising. But a major search this year, the largest and most comprehensive effort of its kind ever undertaken at the Cambridge University Library, failed to produce the notebooks. After a thorough search, however, the library has concluded that the notebooks were likely stolen.

Gardner assumed the post of director of library services in 2017 and this year had launched a new search. Per the statement, the two journals are known as the Transmutation Notebooks, as Darwin used them to theorize for the first time about how a species might "transmute" from one form to another.

Naturalist Charles Darwin, famous for his theory on evolution.

"I would ask anyone who thinks they know of the notebooks" whereabouts to get in touch. I'm a fan of James Joyce and it's always struck me that it's a bit like Leopold Bloom on steroids.

"We won't stop looking", Gardner said, adding that it will take another five years to complete a full search of all the remaining shelves and storage rooms.

"W$3 e're determined to do everything possible to discover what happened and will leave no stone unturned during this process", Gardner says in the statement.

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