DH projects analysis

The Charles Darwin Library Project


The Charles Darwin Library project seeks to answer the question: what did Charles Darwin have in his library and personal collection? Through a focus on the books and manuscripts containing his annotations, researchers hope to provide readers with insights into Darwin’s mind. What was he thinking about and inferring from the texts that he read? What sorts of books did he value?

The Charles Darwin Library project uses scanned images of heavily annotated books, pamphlets, notes, and periodicals from Charles Darwin’s personal collection.  His notes, manuscripts and readings lists are also components of the project. The researchers go about obtaining these documents by asking museums, libraries, universities, and persons who are in possession of pieces from Darwin’s library for permission to either collect previously scanned documents or if they themselves can scan the original documents (with a high-fidelity scanner, most likely).  As a result, the  bulk of the files for this project are images and digitized text files.

The CDL project has thoroughly indexed Charles Darwin’s annotations, allowing anyone to parse through this database through  relevant keywords.  In order to make these documents accessible to the public, indexes and transcriptions of Darwin’s annotations have been made searchable on the site.


Nick Chkonia, Dylan Thies