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Darwin Manuscripts Project

The Scientific Papers of Charles Darwin

On this site, you will find the world's first & only large collection of full colour, high-resolution images of faithfully transcribed Darwin manuscripts. These manuscripts record Charles Darwin's work as a practicing scientist. Whether you are a student or a researcher, our goal is to offer you digital access to the primary evidence for the birth and maturation of Darwin's attempts to explore and explain the natural world. 

In these documents, you can trace the development of Darwin as a thinker and you will meet Darwin as a keen-eyed collector, an inspired observer, and a determined experimenter. You will also find Darwin the shrewd reader, attuned to his cultural context, and the strategic writer, ever reconsidering and revising.

BTS Darwin
Charles Darwin by George Richmond, pencil 1839 Cambridge University Library

The AMNH Darwin Manuscripts Project is a historical and textual edition of Charles Darwin's scientific manuscripts, designed from its inception as an online project. The database at its core—DARBASE—catalogues some 96,000 pages of Darwin scientific manuscripts. These are currently represented by 28,390 high resolution digital images. Thus far 17,660 manuscript pages have been transcribed to exacting standards and all are presented in easy to read format.

Opening the Archive: The DMP edition mirrors the underlying structure of the Charles Darwin Papers in Cambridge University Library, as Darwin himself left his papers upon his death in April 1882. The key to understanding the very large part of the collection explicitly devoted to science is that his work as a naturalist was organized by Darwin into large thematic units that correspond to his published books. 

We will constantly be adding new material. So we would like you to think of us as an open workshop, where you'll be able to watch us at work. We are happy to train volunteers and interns at our office in the Research Library of the American Museum of Natural History.

David Kohn