Two of Charles Darwin’s notebooks containing his pioneering suggestions on evolution and his popular “Tree of Life” sketch are missing, believed stolen, the Cambridge University Library mentioned on Tuesday.
The British scientist filled the leather notebooks in 1837 immediately after returning from his voyage on the HMS Beagle. The library mentioned they had been worth millions of pounds.
In 1 book, he drew a diagram displaying a number of possibilities for the evolution of a species and later published a a lot more created illustration in his 1859 book “On the Origin of Species”.
The University of Cambridge’s vast library initially listed the notebooks as missing in 2001 immediately after they had been moved out of the Special Collections Strong Rooms for photography to be carried out there.
They had been extended believed to have been incorrectly filed inside the constructing, which consists of about ten million books, maps and manuscripts and has 1 of the world’s most substantial Darwin archives.
However a important search this year — the biggest in the library’s history — failed to turn up the notebooks.
“Curators have concluded the notebooks… have likely been stolen,” the library mentioned in a statement.
It mentioned it had informed neighborhood police and the books had been listed on Interpol’s database of stolen artworks, referred to as Psyche.
The University Librarian, Jessica Gardner, released a video statement attractive to the public to support.
“It is deeply regretful to me that these notebooks remain missing despite numerous wide-scale searches over the last 20 years,” she mentioned, adding that the library has because massively enhanced its safety systems.
The librarian recommended that former or present library employees, these operating in the book trade or researchers could have data.
“I would ask anyone who thinks they know of the notebooks’ whereabouts to get in touch. Please help,” she mentioned.
The appeal was launched on November 24, recognized as Evolution Day because it marks the date of the publication of “On the Origin of Species”.