© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Missouri Botanical Garden helps digitize Darwin's library

Charles Darwin.
(via Wikimedia Commons/Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin)
Charles Darwin.

The Missouri Botanical Garden has helped put Charles Darwin’s personal library online for the first time.

While Darwin’s manuscripts have been available online for years, now everyone can read the texts that may have influenced those manuscripts. Readers can see Darwin’s notes scribbled in the margins of the science and humanities books he read. They are available for you to see on the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a digital library of more than 90,000 texts.

Chris Freeland, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Center for Biodiversity Informatics, worked with a team of programmers to build the technology needed to handle the vast amount of material.

The Missouri Botanical Garden collaborated on the project with the Biodiversity Heritage Library consortium, the Cambridge University Library, the Darwin Manuscripts Project at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Natural History Museum in London.