Catalogue of Manuscripts

Charles Darwin at his home at Down House, Kent, 1880
Charles Darwin at his home at Down House, Kent, 1880

Catalogue of Darwin Manuscripts at Cambridge University Library

The scientific manuscripts of Charles Darwin survive largely intact at Cambridge University Library in the Charles Darwin Papers and in the Charles Darwin’s Library, both of which collections are curated by the Manuscripts Department. Cambridge is thus the central repository for one of the world’s largest and most coherent collections about the life’s work of an individual scientist of towering intellect.

The Cambridge University Library collection contains 272 volumes of scientific and personal material:

  • Scientific documents include portfolios of notes of Darwin's published and unpublished essays, books, and articles
  • Reading notes including abstracts, theoretical notes, observations and experimental data, relevant correspondence, clippings and illustrative material
  • Drafts, copies, and proofs of published and unpublished works
  • Species notebooks, diaries, specimens, albums, maps, photographs, juvenalia
  • Beagle natural history and geology materials
  • Autobiographical and biographical material, reviews, reading notebooks, abstracts of books and periodicals, correspondence of Charles Darwin


Catalogue of Darwin Manuscripts From All Other Collections

Significant collections of Darwin manuscripts are held by several major institutions and private collectors. Similarly, important elements of the Darwin papers are at Down House, Darwin’s home in Kent. For universal access into these collections select and research the collections compiled below: