Tuesday, October 24, 2006

History goes online

In yet another giant leap for research in the history of science (and small slap to soulless projects like Google Print), a consortium of British institutions recently unveiled The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online, or, for those with less time on their hands, The Major Works of Charles Darwin. The site even includes audio clips of the works for the visually impaired. While some of the images require a fairly robust Internet connection, and while the site design leaves a little to be desired, it cannot be denied that the ability to search free text keywords across the entire Darwinian corpus is incredibly cool.

We have been criticized on more than one occasion for not have our own copy of the first edition of the Origin of Species here in the History of Medicine Collection. Since acquiring such a volume would run the university upwards of $80,000, it's highly unlikely that we'll be getting one anytime soon. Until then, what better substitute than the online version--text, images, and each of the succeeding five editions, all comparable with a mouse click. Actually, that's almost better than the physical book (but only almost!)

If you are curious to hold some Darwiniana in your own two hands, come by the History of Medicine Room to see our humble volumes.

No comments: