Cambridge University Library announces public appeal to recover two notebooks written by Charles Darwin
24. November 2020: ILAB has been informed of a loss of historic significance which was made public by Cambridge University Library today.
Two notebooks by Charles Darwin have been missing since 2000 and the library has now decided to launch a public appeal for their recovery, as well as asking the rare book trade for its help.
This public appeal by the library has sparked broad media coverage.
See the full article on the BBC Website here: https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-55044129
The University of Cambridge quotes Angus O’Neill, ILAB’s Security Chair: "Cambridge University Library is to be commended on coming forward so that the international book trade can help with the notebooks’ recovery. Items like this could never be sold openly, and we fervently hope that this publicity will lead to them getting back to where they belong.”
The full article can be viewed here: https://www.cam.ac.uk/stories/DarwinAppeal
ILAB President Sally Burdon wrote: “ILAB Booksellers were shocked to learn of the theft of these two important notebooks by Charles Darwin. We commend Cambridge University Library for making this public. The selfishness of this theft and other similar crimes is obvious to all. ILAB runs an efficient and effective global security network. We will be circulating the details of this theft and will continue to make every effort possible to help locate these incredibly significant Notebooks until they are found and returned to their rightful home at Cambridge University Library. ILAB greatly values its relationship with special collections librarians all over the world, and it is good to see the trade being engaged in dialogues like this. None of us wants to be involved with stolen goods, and this climate of openness is very welcome. We will soon be relaunching our online Missing Books Register: it has helped recover a number of items over the years, and if we can update it as soon as a book is known to be missing, it will make life much more difficult for book thieves.”
Needless to say, the library or ILAB should be contacted if any trace of these items can be found in the book trade. Please email Dr. Jessica Gardner at Cambridge University Library: manuscriptappeal at lib.cam.ac.uk