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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Anthony Carlisle   [19 December 1836]

[Cambridge]

[Read a Letter of the 19th Instant from Mr Charles Darwin of Christs College, Cambridge stating that understanding from the Conservators that a Series of fossil Bones collected during the voyage of H:M: Surveying Vessel Beagle possesses a peculiar Interest as connected with Specimens already in the Museum of this College that it had always been his intention to present such Bones to some public collection on the condition that Casts thereof should be given to the leading Public Bodies for the sake of making them more generally useful, specifying the British Museum the Geological Society and the Univer- sities of Cambridge and Oxford, and one set for himself: and that under such Conditions he should be most happy to present the entire series to the Museum of this College.]1

Footnotes

The minute continues: ‘And Mr Owen stating that such fossil remains (which were found in the Pampas to the Southward of Rio de la Plata) are highly desirable for the Collection more especially the Cranium of a hitherto unknown gigantic rodent Animal and parts of the skeleton of a Gigantic Armadillo which would be a most important addition to the Series of Osteology which already enriches the Museum of this College. Resolved: That this Board recommend to the Council the acceptance of Mr Darwin’s liberal offer upon the conditions proposed.’ CD’s specimens remained at the Royal College of Surgeons until it was damaged by bombing in World War II. Specimens that survived were later removed to the British Museum (Natural History).

Summary

"Read a letter [to AC] of the 19th Instant from Mr Charles Darwin of Christs College, Cambridge stating that understanding from the Conservators that a Series of fossil Bones collected during the voyage of H: M: Surveying Vessel Beagle possesses a peculiar Interest as connected with Specimens already in the Museum of this College that it had always been his intention to present such Bones to some public collection on the condition that Casts thereof should be given to the leading Public Bodies for the sake of making them more generally useful, specifying the British Museum the Geological Society and the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, and one set for himself: and that under such Conditions he should be most happy to present the entire series to the Museum of this College."

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 330,” accessed on 7 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-330

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