Two of Charles Darwin’s notebook which contains his pioneer ideas about the evolution and his famous “life tree” sketch are missing, believed to be stolen, said the Cambridge University Library on Tuesday.
British scientists filled the leather notebook in 1837 after returning from his trip at HMS Beagle. The library said they were worth millions of pounds.
In one book, he draw a diagram that shows several possibilities for the evolution of a species and then publishes a more advanced illustration in the book 1859 “at the origin of the species”.
The Vast University of Cambridge library first registered a missing notebook in 2001 after they were transferred from a special collection of strong rooms for photography to be carried out there. They have long been believed to be misused in the building, which contains around 10 million books, maps and manuscripts and has one of the world’s most significant Darwin archives.
But the main search this year – the biggest in the history of the library – failed to raise the notebook.
“The curator has concluded a notebook … the possibility is stolen,” said the library in a statement.
It said it had informed local police and the books had been listed on Interpol’s database of stolen artworks, called Psyche.
Universitas Librarian, Jessica Gardner, released an interesting video statement for the public to help.
“It is deeply regretful on me that this notebook remains lost despite a lot of wide-scale searches for the past 20 years,” she said, adding that the library has since massively improved its security systems. Librarians suggest that former or current library staff, those who work in book trading or researchers can have information.
“I would ask anyone who thinks they know of the notebooks’ whereabouts to get in touch. Please help,” she said.
The appeal was launched on November 24, known as Evolution Day because it marked the publication date “at the origin of the species”.