Galapagueana's collections section


Galapagueana's collections



The collections kept in the CDF Library, Archive & Museum include a considerable part of the history and social memory of the Galapagos Islands. Books, magazines, reports, manuscripts, reports, notes, photos, slides, audios, videos and artifacts are documents that, carefully organized, tell a story. Or thousands of them.

Generally organized by material or format, the current collections are those of art, objects, index cards and slides. This section allows to discover them, and to explore their most interesting elements.

Associated sections: Highlight; Contents & pieces | Piece; Activities & projects | Social memory; Activities & projects | (In)tangible heritage



The collection of artistic works includes sketches, drawings and paintings by various creators who, while passing through the Galapagos, tried to capture in their works different aspects of the archipelago's biodiversity and landscapes. Organized by author, the collection includes curiosities such as a set of humorous drawings, unpublished sketches and original versions of illustrations used in books.

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Drawings from nature
The art collection deposited in the CDF Archive includes original pieces, donated by their authors. A good part of them are drawings and illustrations of the Galapagos fauna, made from nature.


Digital items

The collection of digital items includes documents that today's media archeology calls "dead media": outdated materials that, until the end of the last century, were popular for transferring and storing information. The collection includes floppy disks, ZIP disks, CDs and DVDs, among others.

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The old diskettes
The CDF Archive houses various collections of digital information media, used from the 1980s to the present. One of them, the 3 ½ diskettes collection, has recently been recovered.


identification cards

The collection of identification documents or cards used by the CDF within its facilities at the Charles Darwin Research Station contains, up to now, half of all the cards issued by the institution, and allows the identity of the personnel who have carried out scientific work in the Galapagos Islands over the last four decades.

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IDs at the CDF
One of the most curious collections housed in the CDF Archive is that of IDs: identification cards issued by the CDF for its scientists and workers, which allow tracking CDRS personnel since at least 1980.


Index cards

The card collection includes both library catalog cards and those describing the biological collections at the Charles Darwin Station. All of them are original documents, and many contain unique details. Organized by groups, it contains interesting classification and organization data, especially those related to the biodiversity of the Galapagos.

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Identifying flamingos
The collection of index cards kept in the CDF Archive includes both old library catalog cards and files from biological collections. Among the latter are those used in the identification of Galapagos flamingos.



The "manuscripts" collection contains a series of original documents, mostly unpublished, containing raw information about scientific work in the Galapagos Islands. They are documents in paper format, in good condition, handwritten or typed from handwritten notes. Some of them are mimeographed or photocopied copies of original documents lost due to preservation problems.

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Unpublished notes on tortoises
The collection of "manuscripts" preserved in the CDF Library is made up of a series of valuable original works, some of them handwritten, and all of them unpublished. Like Miguel Castro's notes on tortoises from 1965.



The photo collection includes paper-based and digital documents. Among the former are both old black and white photographs, in different formats (including full plates and negative proofs) and different formats of color photography. As with the rest of CDF's collections, all of them are original documents, sometimes unpublished, and many contain unique details.

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Photos of CDF's staff in b/w
CDF's collection of paper-based photographs includes b/w and color items, as well as negatives. They cover a wide range of topics, including what appear to be ID-style photos of the entire CDRS staff.



The collection of three-dimensional artifacts includes non-archaeological objects preserved in the CDF Archive. Such artifacts have direct links with other documents (generally textual and photographic), with which they form an organic unit. Organized by subject, it includes a wide variety of diverse materials, all of them related to Galapagos history.

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Old hooks
The collection of objects kept in the CDF Archive is made up of various pieces, each one with a story. Among them are several hooks that back at the time put the lives of different animals in danger.



The collection of photographs on transparent supports are part of the huge audiovisual collection of the CDF Archive. The slides document in an incomparable way the history of the Galapagos and the development of scientific activities on the islands, leaving a unique record of characters, events and landscapes. Organized by author, it includes the photographic and documentary work of many scientists, researchers and travelers.

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A little tortoise
The slide collection is one of the largest in the CDF Archive, and is made up of original images by various photographers. Among them is a snapshot of a small tortoise, placed on an adult's back.


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Publication date: 1 December 2021
Last update: 1 May 2022