Activities and projects section


Activities and projects



The activities and projects of the CDF Library, Archive & Museum include, among others, the publication of original, unpublished or recovered materials, conserved in our collections; the Galapagos Oral History Project; the recovery of pieces belonging to the social memory of the islands based on archival documents; and the location and identification of pieces that belong to the island's cultural and historical heritage. Here we present the general lines of action, along with some outcomes.

Associated sections: Collections; Fragments for a history; The traces of the islands' memory



The Galapagueana collections include a good number of unpublished documents: reports, diaries, manuals and other manuscript or typescript elements. One of the objectives of the CDF Library, Archive & Museum is to recover, edit and publish such materials, especially in digital format, to facilitate their access and dissemination. This section describes the processes and final products of this activity, and provides the download links for the materials, distributed in accordance with the copyright policies of this site. The complete set of publications in the Library, Archive & Museum area can be reviewed in the "Digital Books" section.

Publications 001
Environmental ed
The Environmental Education Guides of the CDF were created in 1998 as a way to support the processes of the Galapagos community. Today they see the light again in digital format.  

Publications 002
A history of Galapagos in fifteen documents
A history of Galapagos in fifteen documents is a book that compiles and presents, with a simple informative purpose, textual materials that, from a heritage perspective, represent milestones in the history of Galapagos.  

Publications 003
Marine iguanas
Marine Iguanas combines a series of slides by British researcher Godfrey Merlen with texts taken from historical books on the Galapagos Islands in order to portray, from a broad and comprehensive framework, this iconic island species.  

Publications 004
Corley Smith's Galapagos
British G. T. Corley Smith was Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Ecuador and Secretary General of the CDF. During his work in the Galapagos, he produced a manuscript on the history of the islands, hitherto unpublished, which has just been recovered by the CDF.  


Oral history

A considerable part of the knowledge and memory of the human species is transmitted through orality: the spoken word. Galapagoan history is no exception: memories, anecdotes, legends, family events and intimate moments are some of the elements preserved through word of mouth that are not recorded in any document. Oral history is essential to complete the fragmentary account of island history. That is the objective of this project of the CDF Library, Archive & Museum, the results of which are partially shared in Galapagueana.

Oral history 001
The spoken word
The CDF Oral History program focuses on recovering fragments of memory that are not preserved on physical media, but through words. An introduction to the phenomenon of orality is shared here.  

Oral history 002
The importance of Galapagos' orality
Since, in many cases, there is no other documentary source available, orality has become the main repository of the social memory of Galapagos and, therefore, of its potential history. Hence the importance of CDF's Oral History program.  

Oral history 003
Recovering orality
Oral History program places a strong emphasis on the importance of the spoken word (as opposed to written documents) and highlights the urgent need for its recovery, management and dissemination.  

Oral history 004
Orality's materials
The spoken word can be preserved in a number of media. While audiovisuals have traditionally been preferred, enhancing the oral channels themselves is also a valuable option, especially in places such as the Galapagos Islands.  


Social memory

The set of memories, experiences and traditions treasured by a community, group or collective as part of their life experience makes up social memory: a series of stories and objects that allow maintaining and recovering the path traveled in the past to build present identities and design future projects. The CDF Library, Archive & Museum's social memory project aims to recover fragments of the social memory of the Galapagos, especially through archival documents.

Social memory 001
Renacer Club
The Renacer Club was an environmental education proposal developed in the late 80's in the archipelago, and led by the CDF. Part of the social memory of a whole generation of Galapagos, here we recover its history.  

Social memory 002
The slides of the Baltra base
The audiovisual collection of the CDF Archive contains at least two series of slides related to daily life at the base that the US Army established on Baltra Island between 1942 and 1946.  

Social memory 003
Forest of the Children
In the 1990s, a small forest of Scalesia cordata located in the highlands of Isabela Island became an educational project led by Mr. Jacinto Gordillo, CDF representative on the island, and the Renacer Club.  

Social memory 004
Corrientes: an educational bulletin
The Corrientes bulletin was produced between 1993 and 1995 by the CDF for Galapagos teachers as part of the institutional educational strategies. The copies preserved in the CDRS Library allow us to review its history.  


(In)tangible heritage

Documents and artifacts with historical value or significance are considered heritage pieces: cultural heritage, both tangible (three-dimensional objects, documental materials) and intangible (knowledge, oral tradition). The heritage pieces are knots in which numerous threads of knowledge and memory intersect, and represent essential moments and processes in the timeline. The Galapagueana (in)tangible heritage project focuses on the search and identification of elements that belong to the island's cultural heritage.

(In)tangible heritage 001
An inaugural plaque
The tangible heritage of the Galapagos, poorly protected, is an essential part of the history of the islands. Constructions, signs, marks and objects are its components. Including the inaugural plaque for the Charles Darwin Research Station.  

(In)tangible heritage 002
The incubator at the CDRS
Among the structures that can be considered as part of the tangible cultural heritage of the Galapagos Islands (and part of its scientific memory) is the Charles Darwin Research Station incubator, built by Rolf Sievers in 1969 and still visible near La Ratonera beach.  

(In)tangible heritage 003
Wooden signs
The Charles Darwin Research Station is strewn with wooden signs of different sizes, styles and origins: a network of elements that identifies and organizes the space, and that reflects six decades of human activity in the place.  

(In)tangible heritage 004
The seismograph's cabin
Isolated in a corner of the Charles Darwin Research Station, a now abandoned wooden cabin holds a number of stories. Among them, that of having been the space where, at the time, the CDF seismograph was located.  


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Publication date: 1 December 2021
Last update: 1 October 2023