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Man in charge of Cambridge University Library when two of Charles Darwin’s notepads were ‘stolen’

  • Peter Fox was head of Cambridge University Library when books, worth millions, were lost in November 2000
  • When their absence was realised in January 2001, it was ‘assumed’ they had been put back on the wrong shelf
  • One of books contained the Darwin’s Tree of Life sketch, exploring evolutionary relationship between species
  • Following an ‘extensive search’, curators have now concluded that the famous books have likely been stolen
  • Do YOU know what happened to the books? Email [email protected]

This is the librarian in charge of Cambridge University Library when two priceless notebooks belonging to scientist Charles Darwin went missing 20 years ago.

Peter Fox was head of the library when the books, worth ‘many millions’, went missing on his watch in November 2000.

When their absence was discovered in January 2001, it was ‘assumed’ they had been put back on the wrong shelf, and police were never alerted.

One of

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Precious Darwin notebooks reported stolen from university library

Charles Darwin

Two Charles Darwin manuscripts have been reported as stolen from Cambridge University Library two decades after they were last seen.

Staff believed that the precious items had been “mis-shelved” within the vast archives late in the year 2000 and the matter was not reported to Cambridgeshire Police until October 20 this year.

The force said it has launched an investigation and notified Interpol.

It is difficult to estimate the value of the notebooks given their unique nature but it would probably run into many millions of pounds, the library said.

Charles Darwin’s seminal 1837 ‘Tree of Life’ sketch has been reported as stolen from Cambridge University Library (Cambridge University Library/ PA)
Charles Darwin’s seminal 1837 Tree of Life sketch has been reported as stolen from Cambridge University Library (Cambridge University Library/PA)

The two notebooks, including Darwin’s seminal 1837 Tree of Life sketch, were removed from storage to be photographed at the library’s photographic unit, where the work was recorded as completed in November 2000.

During a subsequent routine check

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Retired dentistry professor helps fund University of Alberta’s new health sciences library

A large donation from a retired dentistry professor and his wife will help the University of Alberta build a new health sciences library at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy.

Geoffrey Sperber and his wife, Robyn, donated to the school more than a year ago. Their contributions were recognized Wednesday in a private, physically distanced reception at the university.

At his request, the donation amount is not being disclosed publicly, but according to the university it is one of the largest donations ever made to the school’s library system.

The gift comes at an opportune time as the university proceeds with restructuring plans to reduce its overall expenses by $120 million over the next three years.

“It does relieve my tax bill,” Sperber told CBC News. “But the money is devoted to what I wish it to be: enlarging the student capabilities, education and research facilities of the university.”

In a

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