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The collections of the Library, Archive & Museum of the Charles Darwin Foundation contain a plethora of different documentary formats and materials: a rich and complex info-diversity, made up of large and small fragments of knowledge and memory.

Some of those fragments stand out: those having remarkable characteristics, or telling unique stories, or representing important moments or events. While they are part of a larger and wider story, they shine through, and that is why they have been chosen to be featured in this section.

Associated sections: Collections; Contents & pieces | Piece


Highlight 001
Georgina Taylor's manuscript
In 1938-9, accompanying her husband, chemist T.W.J. Taylor, on the "Lack-Venables Expedition" to the Galapagos Islands, British Rosamond Georgina Lloyd Taylor spent several months in the archipelago, especially in Santa Cruz, in the location that would later become Puerto Ayora. Her travel diary, handwritten in a small notebook, contains valuable information about life on the island at the beginning of the 20th century, and about the daily experiences of those first scientific expeditions.  

Highlight 002
The Grants' bands for ringing finches
In 1973, British biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant began their scientific activities with Galapagos finches on Daphne Major islet. Their research would lead them to show, among other things, that natural selection can be seen within a single lifetime. One of the elements used in their field work was a series of colored plastic rings used to identify birds. A unique sample of those rings is preserved in the collections of the CDF Archive.  

Highlight 003
Impressions of a journey (to Galapagos)
Between 1906 and 1907, the Ecuadorian Nicolás Guillermo Martínez lived for a time in the Galapagos Islands. The result of his visit and his experiences in the archipelago were a series of notes that he initially published in a newspaper in Ambato and that in 1915 would see the light of day as a book: Impresiones de un viaje. This is one of the first texts on the islands produced in Ecuador. A first edition of the book is preserved in the special collections of the CDF Library.  

Highlight 004
Galapagos in Life magazine
In 1957, UNESCO sent an expedition led by Austrian ethologist Iräneus Eibl-Eibesfeldt to the Galapagos Islands to assess the status of local biodiversity and search for a location for a potential biological station. The team that traveled to the archipelago included a photographer and an illustrator from Life magazine, whose work ended up being published in the September 5, 1958 issue. It was one of the first texts on Galapagos and its fauna to be published in a renowned magazine with international scope. The CDF Library is fortunate to have a copy of this issue in good condition. 


Text & picture: (edgardo.civallero@fcdarwin.org.ec).
Publication date: 1 December 2021
Last update: 1 October 2023