The Return of Darwin’s Notebooks

Photo from The Guardian.

A bit over 20 years ago, some priceless notebooks from the famous biologist Charles Darwin were stolen from the main library at Cambridge University. After the staff of the library initially thought they were put back on the wrong shelf, they soon realized that they were in fact missing.

It was back in 2001 that the notebooks, which represent some of Darwin’s first inklings of his radical theory of evolution by natural selection, were originally found to be missing. They had been removed from storage to be photographed, and work was recorded as completed in November 2000. But during a subsequent routine check made in January 2001, it was found they had not been returned to their proper place. At the time staff believed they may have been mis-shelved.

Fast forward 20+ years, and whoever clipped them, had a change of heart and dropped them off in a bright pink bag with a little note wishing them a Happy Easter.

Surprisingly, there was no closed circuit camera footage in the area where the bag was dropped. The university is scouring other footage from the day they were returned in hopes of identifying the person who returned them.

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