Darwin Manuscripts Project

The American Museum of Natural History's Darwin Manuscripts Project is a historical and textual edition of Charles Darwin's scientific manuscripts, designed from its inception as an online project. Digital access to Charles Darwin's work includes over 96,000 pages of Darwin's scientific manuscripts as high-resolution digital images, nearly 10,000 of which have been transcribed and are publicly accessible.

The aim of the Darwin Manuscript Project is to produce professional quality scholarly editions of Darwin's manuscripts. The project provides high-quality scanned images of Darwin's manuscripts and transcriptions indicating physical qualities of the text and instruments Darwin used to create them. The transcriptions also show the layering effect created by Darwin's revisions of his manuscripts (e.g. what he crossed out, wrote between lines, marginal notes, lettering and numbering intended to organize his manuscripts). Through these revisions reader can reconstruct the history of a manuscript's creation by Darwin. The transcriptions are represented in a custom XML scheme. With this markup, text can be tagged to indicate the physical qualities of the manuscript and Darwin's writing, and by other content-oriented categories.

David Kohn, Director, American Museum of Natural History (darwin@amnh.org)
Adam Goldstein, Associate Editor, Iona College (agoldstein@iona.edu)
Niles Eldredge, Curator, American Museum of Natural History