Two of Charles Darwin’s 1837 notebooks are missing from Cambridge University Library. They’ve actually been missing since 2001, but only now has the Library decided they must have been stolen. This has been reported to the Cambridgeshire police. The University Librarian asks us all to fess up if we have any information.

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Needless to say the library continues to search for the missing books. They’ve got a lot of places in which to look. “Overall, the University Library is home to more than 210km (130 miles) of shelving, roughly the distance by road from Cambridge to Southampton.” Their Ely back office has another 65-miles-worth.

Before they went missing the two notebooks had been digitized. You can examine them here: (Notebook B and Notebook C). Thus not all is lost: nice to have the real things back though.

There’s a bit of a thematic connection here to last week’s post, E-library?

LATER: It is reported today, 5 April 2022, that the notebooks have been anonymously returned to the library. They are in good condition, so have obviously been carefully handled. The library plans to put them on display in July.