Darwin notebooks reported stolen from Cambridge library
Of two of Charles Darwin's notebooks to police 20 years after they went missing. One of them contains his famous tree of life sketch, which demonstrated part of his thinking on the origin of species. Curator is now believe they were stolen. I've been speaking to Dr Jessica Gardner. She's university's library. And she told me first more about the notebooks. Well, these over really precious that the handwritten notebooks assed part of a much bigger archive. The university likely of Cambridge, holds the largest archive, the child, stolen manuscripts and books anywhere in the world. These two notebooks are part of sequence. That were written in 18 37 18 38 after Darwin had returned from Voyager's Neech, Miss people, then known as the transmutation of books, and they're part of his developing ideas, which lead 20 years later to the publication upon the origin of species on what's really significant about one of these two notebooks is that contains a seminal sketch. It's probably just about two inches tall, absolutely tiny doughnuts, The tree of life and this is the first sketch. But Darwin then went on to rework another sketches and writing as part is thinking, too. Warts on the speed on the origin of species s. So I'm looking at the picture of it s so it is just very small with the tree of life picture and then just some writing on the side, and I suppose it's also just the writing his own handwriting that is also so powerful. It really is. I mean, it's magical life. I've worked my whole career in the preservation of cultural heritage and Coming to Cambridge working the Darwin papers that was, you know, really a combination of a career for me, so I am absolutely devastated by what has happened. It's really, really special to see his handwriting. We hold over 1000 letters to and from Darwin and many other notebooks, drafts all of his of his books. But these two notebooks are very special. We have published the digital versions fully online, the Web site so anyone can see what is in contained in his own handwriting online, But we know that's not the same. Missy ritual objects, and that's what we want to cover for the world. I understand that you want your focus to be on recovering these items, but it will strike people as strange that for 20 years you were just relying on them. Not you personally, but Cambridge University was relying on them just to turn up. Well, today of you very clear. Our protocols are absolutely clear. That if anything like this happened again, and I've taken considerable measures to help ensure that it does not. We would report to the police immediately, as well as juniors wide scale searches. Left hadn't been ruled in as a possibility at the outset, and I don't want to apportion blame to my predecessors. But I do take responsibility today and that responsibility has led me to report to the police and to Move as openly as possible who his public appeal, which is wider possibles audience to reach the recovery. I mean, these note pads are worth millions of dollars, aren't they? So so that the likelihood off somebody coming forward would really be dependent on somebody being interested in restoring them to their original place? But you can argue, and you can imagine, can't you that there are going to be people who if they do have it and no now what? They're worse that it could go in a different direction. Well, there isn't No way These notebooks could be sold on the open market. And that's bean one of the ways in which we have spent time listening and gaining expertise. My colleagues in the international book Trade, So You know this is where there are examples where consciences of pricked or just some information that leads to the next bit of fact that we hope will lead to the recovery. They can't be sold on the open market there too well known their provinces to unknown. Darwin is highly collectible. We know that But I also travel hopefully, in the goodness that someone will hear this and think I know something. Let's try and return. That's the world could benefit from it in the public domain. Not Jessica Gardner, the librarian at Cambridge University.