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American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY 10024-5193)
David Kohn (Project Director: March 2009 to August 2011)
Digitizing Darwin's Library

The digital reconstruction of Charles Darwin's working library as it stood at the end of his life, to include the presentation of the complex array of annotations throughout his working texts.

This project which aims to reconstruct, digitally, Charles Darwin's working library as it stood at the end of his life's journey, will open up and make accessible to students of the humanities and the sciences whole new dimensions of Darwin's thinking. Over 700 of Darwin's most heavily annotated books are held at Cambridge University Library. The abundant hand-written notes on these books were painstakingly transcribed in the late 1980s. Now, thanks to high-resolution digital imagery, and an international partnership of Cambridge, the Natural History Museum in London, the Biodiversity Heritage Library-a consortium of natural history libraries, and the Darwin Digital Library of Evolution-an online scholarly edition of Darwin's manuscripts based at the American Museum of Natural History, Darwin's transcribed marginalia will be digitally married with scanned books from his own library and with scanned surrogate volumes of the exact editions Darwin owned from the partnership's libraries.

[White paper]

Project fields:
History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine

JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grants

Preservation and Access

$119,999 (approved)
$119,999 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2009 – 1/31/2011