Charles Darwin’s Notebooks Stolen From Cambridge University

The Cambridge University Library reported that two notebooks written by Charles Darwin have been missing for 20 years after previously thinking it was misplaced.

The Cambridge University Library reported that two notebooks written by Charles Darwin have been missing for 20 years after previously thinking it was misplaced. 

It is unknown how much the notebooks cost but it was estimated to be worth millions of pounds,

The library staff initially thought the notebooks had been “mis-shelved” late in 2000 but was not reported to Cambridgeshire police until 20 October this year.

The notebooks were known to contain Darwin’s 1837 “Tree of Life” sketch.

The notebook had reportedly been removed from the university’s special collections strong rooms, where rare and valuable items are kept, to be photographed in September 2000 and was still logged as photographed in November of the same year.

It was only during a routine check in January 2001 that the staff found that the small box containing the books had not been returned to its correct place. 

“I am heartbroken that the location of these Darwin notebooks, including Darwin’s iconic ‘Tree of Life’ drawing, is currently unknown, but we’re determined to do everything possible to discover what happened and will leave no stone unturned during this process,” Jessica Gardner, university librarian and director of library services since 2017.

The missing notebook had already been reported to Cambridgeshire police along with Interpol, and have been recorded on the national Art Loss Register for missing artifacts, as well as Interpol’s Psyche database for stolen artworks.


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