Skip to main content

Cambridge University Libraries are providing a blend of online and controlled in-person services. Please see our website for more details.

Darwin, Charles Robert, 1809-1882 (naturalist)

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1809-1882

Charles Robert Darwin (1809-82), naturalist and writer, was born in Shrewsbury and died at Down House, Downe in Kent in. The most celebrated naturalist of the nineteenth century, he graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1831. A grandson of Erasmus Darwin of Lichfied and of Josiah Wedgwood, he early in life showed an interest in collecting and natural history but it was to read medicine that he entered the University of Edinburgh in 1825, intending to follow his father Robert's career as a doctor. However, Darwin found himself uninspired and in some areas repelled by his studies, including that of geology, and left Edinburgh without graduating in 1827. With the intention of entering the church, Darwin came up to Cambridge in 1828, and though not finding the formal studies any more to his taste than those at Edinburgh he formed a friendship with the Professor of Botany, John Stevens Henslow, and enthusiastically began to study the subject. Having graduated, Darwin was recommended by Henslow to Robert Fitzroy, commander of HM Sloop 'Beagle', as a naturalist to sail on a circumnavigational voyage Fitzroy was planning. Returning from the Beagle voyage in 1836, Darwin enjoyed a publishing success with his volume "Journal of Researches" drawn from his collecting and observations undertaken during the Voyage of HMS Beagle. He married his cousin Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and in 1842 moved to the Kent village of Down, where he spent the rest of his life. It was at Down House that Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection", 1859, and a series of monographs in botany, entomology and anthropology of the greatest importance.

The catalogue to the Charles Darwin Papers: http://darwin.amnh.org/browse.php?mode=uc&pid=72001

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

 Fonds

Charles Robert Darwin: Correspondence to J. Gould, Lucy Wedgwood, and Sophia Wedgwood

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/329-336
Scope and Contents From the Fonds: Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Class

Charles Robert Darwin: juvenilia and Darwin family letters, c.1818-1959

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS DAR 271
Scope and Contents A collection of juvenilia and Darwin family letters. Includes early letters and school notes from a young Charles Darwin, letters from Charles and Emma Darwin to their son, Francis Darwin, letters to Francis from his first wife, Amy Ruck, and family letters and drawings from Bernard Darwin.
Dates: c.1818-1959
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Some material in the Darwin archive is not available because it is unfit for production and access to some very fragile material may only be possible with support from specialist conservation staff. Please see descriptions for further details.
 Fonds

Charles Robert Darwin: Letter to unidentified correspondent

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4251/337
Scope and Contents From the Fonds: Artificial collection of single item or small collection accessions. Mainly correspondence but includes other papers.
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Christ's College Fellows' Papers

Reference Code: GBR/1849/FP
Dates: Accumulation: Majority of material found within 1990
Conditions Governing Access: Anyone with a genuine research need is welcome to consult the Collection. There may be some restrictions on publishing, or quoting from, some of the material, however. Consult library staff in cases of doubt.
 Fonds

Correspondence of James Dixon (1813-1896), 1849-1884

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.6604
Scope and Contents Correspondence, in various hands. The letters deal for the most part with printers' and other errors discovered by James Dixon in the published works of the various correspondents. The correspondents include J. Dixon; T.B. Macaulay, Lord Macaulay; J.B. Marsden; R. Martineau; Mrs Gaskell; W. Whewell; J. Hutchison; F.O. Morris; W.E.H. Lecky; J. Bigelow; J. Morley, Viscount Morley; M. Pattison; C.R. Darwin; M. Arnold; E. Dowden; A. Austin; G.A. Sala; J.A. Froude; M. Napier; and H.Anstey.
Dates: 1849-1884
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Edward John Bowlby: Papers on Charles Darwin

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8884
Scope and Contents Typescript of 'Charles Darwin: a biography', 1990; with notes and supporting material, papers on Darwin's ill-health, copies of Darwin correspondence, and biographies of Darwin's family, related families and contemporaries; newspaper cuttings on Darwin related topics; letters of congratulations to Bowlby on his Darwin book.
Dates: 1980-1990 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Elizabeth Anne Wheler: Reminiscences of my early life

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8691
Scope and Contents A manuscript copy of the reminiscences of Elizabeth Wheler, originally written between 1895 and 1904. The account, which was based at least partly on a diary, describes Wheler's life up to 1865, after which she states that her children will remember events better than she can. The reminiscences are mostly discursive, and are filled with anecdotes, although towards the end they become more like diary entries. The Galtons were very well connected: there are numerous references not only to...
Dates: 1905
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Sydney Smith: Papers on Charles Darwin

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8895
Scope and Contents Letters and papers relating to Smith's work on Charles Darwin and the establishment of the Darwin Letters Project: correspondence with Frederick Burkhardt, joint editor, and others; correspondence with Nora Barlow and Robin Darwin about Darwin Papers; and lectures, including the Sandars Lectures, 1967, and Wilkins Lecture, 1982.
Dates: 1956-1988 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

The Expression of the Emotions

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.4449
Dates: 1872
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.