The “Beagle” Collection

The 'Beagle' Collection comprises approximately 2000 rocks and a few fossils collected by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) during his voyage around the world on H.M.S. Beagle between 1831-1836. Although Darwin had studied for the clergy at Cambridge, he was friends with Adam Sedgwick and accompanied him on his 1831 field excursion to North Wales. When Darwin embarked upon the voyage of HMS Beagle he considered himself to be a geologist. Darwin's 'Beagle' specimens were given to the Museum after his death and when they arrived at the museum a manuscript catalogue was prepared by petrologist Alfred Harker (1859-1939) into which were copied the entries from Darwin’s notebooks. Later research, especially using thin sections, has also been recorded in the book. Darwin’s identifications have mostly been proven correct; the occasional errors are excusable from the nature of the relevant rocks.

 

                

Temporarily closed due to Covid-19
We are working closely with the University of Cambridge on plans to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so in line with public health guidance, and are working with our partners to revise our programme in light of the current crisis. We will announce our plans and details of reopening in due course.
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In this series of blogs our collections move volunteers will tell you all about their experiences of the ‘Moving a Mountain’ project so far. This week they tell us about the different specimens they’ve seen.



Our first online exhibition ‘Dawn of the Wonderchicken’, is now live!