The OU Darwin collection: More than meets the eye

Originally posted at ouhos.org, the now-discontinued blog of the OU History of Science Collections. Neither this post nor any of its content should be taken as an official communication of the University of Oklahoma.


Darwin@the Library info | Exhibit brochure (pdf)

More than First Editions

To view all of Charles Darwin’s printed volumes in their first editions yields an unforgettable impression of the breadth and beauty of Darwin’s work. However, to support research, the Collections holds far more than just the first editions, for scholars need to see how editions of works were changed, and how translations differ. Darwinism in Germany was different than Darwinism in France or England or America, so hundreds of editions and translations have been collected. One unusual example is Darwin, Die Opshtamung fun Menschen (New York, 1926 [vol. title 1923]; The Descent of Man in Yiddish), F1139.

Darwin, Descent of Man, in Yiddish Darwin, Descent of Man, in Yiddish

Another is a Norwegian edition of Origin of Species (1890) which is not listed in the Freeman Bibliography.

Darwin, Origin of Species, in Norwegian Darwin, Origin of Species, in Norwegian Darwin, Origin of Species, in Norwegian

The Portrait collections include several depictions of Darwin, including a Darwin caricature from Vanity Fair magazine (Sept 30, 1871).

Also available in the History of Science Collections are the journals in which Darwin published his articles, the works of Darwin’s contemporaries and recent books about Darwin that support current scholarship in the history of science. With the resources of the Darwin Collection at your fingertips, the History of Science Collections of the University of Oklahoma Libraries offers an ideal place to read and study Charles Darwin.

More than Printed Works

Through making its holdings available both on-site and through various digital projects, the purpose of the History of Science Collections is to facilitate research in the University of Oklahoma Libraries and beyond.

Darwin letterThe Collections holds four handwritten Darwin letters:

  1. 1864-Feb22
  2. 1869-Jan23
  3. 1869-Oct7
  4. 1870-Feb24

OU is a major contributor to Cambridge University’s Darwin Online. Having provided digital versions of nearly 40 obscure editions, the Collections’ contribution is second only to Cambridge itself.

Darwin@the Library info | Exhibit brochure (pdf)

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