Fascinating artifacts

Eighteen display cases feature dozens of artifacts related to Darwin’s life and work, including scientific instruments, maps, models, reviews, letters and first editions of Darwin’s major works.

Highlights include a model of HMS Beagle built by a master ship modeler based on the original British Admiralty plans, first editions by Darwin and his contemporaries such as A. R. Wallace, Charles Lyell, and James Hutton, and the original Watson-Crick paper (1953) that first announced the double-helix structure of DNA.

Cases feature the life and work of Robert Fitzroy (the captain of HMS Beagle on Darwin’s voyage), the tortoises of the Galapagos Islands and the life and work of Mary Anning.

The double case on the Origin of the Species features not only a first edition of the book (1859) but also the earlier Darwin-Wallace paper (1858) that first announced the theory of natural selection, as well as early reviews of the book.