New Darwin discovery

Posted on July 25, 2013 | in Collections, Featured | by

This appears to be a previously-unknown collection of shells formed by Charles Darwin.  Whilst cataloguing chosen exhibits for an upcoming exhibition, myself and Gillian McCay the geology curator tipped out a small green box of what appeared at first to be some rather dirty looking gastropods. You can imagine our surprise when we found a slip lining the box which informed us the specimens were collected by Charles Darwin.

Darwin's shells

Darwin’s shells

When we considered we were looking through the collection of his close and influential friend Charles Lyell, there appeared little reason to believe otherwise. After some research I discovered that St Helena (the given location of the find) was one of the stops Darwin made on HMS Beagle, the five year voyage he made investigating geology and making natural history collections, many of which were sent back to Cambridge. Somehow these specimens have gone from the shores of St Helena, through some of the most important figures of early natural science, to delighting a couple of unsuspecting and very excited curators.

Emma Smith, Exhibitions Intern

Comments are closed.

Follow @EdUniLibraries on Twitter


Image shows Newspaper Article on Access Course Launch The History of Access to University Ash Mowat is one of our volunteers in the Civic Engagement Team. Ash has been...
Default utility Image Volunteering at the CRC: Charlotte’s experience Today we’re introducing Charlotte Holmes, a postgraduate student who is doing some volunteer work under...


Default utility Image Bearing Witness: The Pre-Digitisation Conservation Treatment of The Witness, Part 1 This week we have the first instalment of a two-part series by Projects Conservator Mhairi...
Default utility Image Glazy in Love: Rehousing the Emma Gillies Collection Today we have the first instalment of a two-part series from Collections Care Assistant, Sarah...


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.