In 1831 Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) embarked on a five-year voyage aboard HMS Beagle (1831-1836).
Darwin, who had been recommended by one of his Cambridge professors, had a joint role as naturalist and companion to the ship's captain, Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865).
HMS Beagle sailed to South America to carry out surveying work. Darwin explored remote regions collecting plants, animals and fossils, and taking copious notes.
These collections and records fed into his emerging ideas about evolution by natural selection, and helped form the basis of On the Origin of Species.
The Darwin collection is the premier collection worldwide of published material by Charles Darwin. It provides contextual, secondary resources for researchers studying Darwin and evolution. The mixed collection includes books, pamphlets, newsprint, illustrated, cartographic and manuscript material.