For decades available only to scholars at Cambridge University Library, the private papers of Charles Darwin, one of the most influential scientists in history, can now be seen by anyone online and free of charge. This is the largest ever publication of Darwin papers and manuscripts, totalling about 20,000 items in nearly 90,000 electronic images.Here is a news story about the release from the BBC:
This vast and varied collection of papers includes the first draft of his theory of evolution, notes from the voyage of the Beagle and Emma Darwin's recipe book.
While we are on the topic of evolution, check out this list of common misconceptions and myths associated with evolution, as compiled by New Scientist.
The online archive about Charles Darwin is so vast it would take someone two months to view it all if they downloaded one image per minute.
"His papers reveal how immensely detailed his researches were. The family has always wanted Darwin's papers and manuscripts to be available to anyone who wants to read them," said Dr van Wyhe.
"The fact that everyone around the world can now see them on the web is simply fantastic.
"Charles Darwin is one of the most influential scientists in history. The collection of his papers now online is extremely important and therefore very exciting."This release makes his private papers, mountains of notes, experiments and research behind his world-changing publications available to the world for free."