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Department of Zoology


The Balfour & Newton Libraries' first edition copy of Charles Darwin's On the origin of species featured on an episode of the BBC's Countryfile programme.

Filming has taken place in the University Museum of Zoology Cambridge for BBC1's Countryfile programme next Sunday. John Craven spent three days filming in the University of Cambridge and in the city for this episode to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. The Museum's exhibition Darwin: Beetles, Finches, Barnacles features the Balfour & Newton Libraries' first edition copy of Darwin's book, On the origin of species. This copy was originally owned by one of the founders of the libraries, Professor Alfred Newton. Newton was the first Professor of Zoology in the University of Cambridge, and was a contemporary and correspondent of Darwin. Newton apparently acquired his copy of the book, as he annotated on page i, just a few weeks after it was published in November 1859. Only 1250 copies of the first edition were ever published so this copy is quite rare and precious. This copy of the book has been scanned by the The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online project, see and click on Origin of species, 1st ed.