Charles Darwin's Beagle library
August 4, 2014 11:19 AM   Subscribe

Charles Darwin's Beagle library "As a research vessel HMS Beagle may not have had the internet, but she did have an impressive state-of-the-art library of about 400 volumes. " (via)
posted by dhruva (11 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Makes me wonder what 400 volumes the library of the USS Metafilter would have on it's Alpha Centauri colonization mission.
posted by fairmettle at 11:23 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

His beagle had a library? That's evolution.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:42 AM on August 4, 2014 [4 favorites]

I love stuff like this, thanks.
posted by marxchivist at 11:46 AM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

So much for packing light, huh? Diva.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:53 AM on August 4, 2014

Serious question: wouldn't the sea air and humidity damage the tomes?
posted by Renoroc at 11:58 AM on August 4, 2014

Oh, there's links to scanned copies of the books as well!
posted by Harald74 at 1:04 PM on August 4, 2014

Renoroc - well, it certainly wouldn't be ideal for the books, but shouldn't be any (or much) worse than most coastal areas, or even inland areas which typically have high temperatures and humidity.

(I'm a book conservator by profession.)
posted by Shadan7 at 3:36 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not a conservator (although I know a few), but I'd also point out that books spend most of their time closed, so the air can only attack around the edges (and many of these may have had gilt edges, too). Plus, this being a ship, I'd wager the books weren't just sitting on open shelves but in a cabinet of some kind, which would probably help a bit.
Anyway, I appreciate your concern for the books, but this was Darwin, after all. If the dude had insisted on no brown M&Ms in his quarters, it would have been worth the effort. Not that anyone knew that at the time, of course.
posted by uosuaq at 5:22 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

meta (kinda)
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:09 PM on August 4, 2014

Funny to think all these titles could be zipped for a single download, and that download would probably take as much time as getting some coffee.
posted by crapmatic at 9:55 AM on August 5, 2014

LibraryThing has 'legacy libraries' for Darwin and for Beagle itself, though both are apparently incomplete.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:32 PM on August 5, 2014

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