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Charles Darwin’s Stolen Notebooks Mysteriously Reappear After Two Decades – With Cryptic Message

April 11, 2022

Two decades ago, two notebooks that once belonged to British naturalist Charles Darwin were discovered missing in January 2001. On March 9-15, months after the launch of a worldwide campaign to find the missing documents, the notebooks were safely returned.

The notebooks — one of which contained the scientist’s “Tree of Life” sketch — came back to Cambridge University Libraries in plastic wrap along with the notebooks’ archive box. There was also a note printed on the brown envelope that contained the items:

"Librarian Happy Easter X"

The package was found on the floor in a public area of the library — in a pink gift bag.

“My sense of relief at the notebooks’ safe return is profound and almost impossible to adequately express. Along with so many others all across the world, I was heartbroken to learn of their loss and my joy at their return is immense,” Cambridge University librarian Jessica Gardner said in a statement. “They may be tiny, just the size of postcards, but the notebooks’ impact on the history of science, and their importance to our world-class collections here, cannot be overstated.”

In November 2020, Gardner worked with the Cambridgeshire Police and the International Criminal Police Organization to issue a “public appeal” for help with locating the documents.

“The sole aim of our public appeal was to have the manuscripts safely returned to our safekeeping and I am delighted to have had such a successful outcome in such a relatively short space of time,” she continued. “The notebooks can now retake their rightful place alongside the rest of the Darwin Archive at Cambridge, at the heart of the nation’s cultural and scientific heritage, alongside the archives of Sir Isaac Newton and Professor Stephen Hawking.”

Gardner added that Cambridge University will place the notebooks on public display during the summer — “to give everyone the opportunity to see these remarkable notebooks in the flesh.”

Born in 1809, Charles Darwin was a British naturalist best known for his books “On the Origin of Species” and “The Descent of Man,” which argue that all creatures — including humans — emerged from a common ancestor. His works set off global controversy that endure to the present day.

This is an excerpt from The Daily Wire.


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