During a routine artifacts check in January of 2001 at Cambridge University, two key treasures were found to be missing – Charles Darwin’s Notebooks B and C, dating back to 1837 and documenting some of his earliest theories of evolution.
How did they get missing?
Some thought the notebooks had been stolen, while others assumed they had merely been misplaced. The university tried from time to time to find the notebooks, but it wasn’t until Jessica Gardner became head librarian in 2017 that the search really began in earnest.
They remained missing for that long?
Yes. Gardner filed a police report and began a media blitz to get the word out that the notebooks were sought after. Then, last month, a bright-pink gift bag was delivered to Gardner, and inside were the two notebooks. The bag came with a simple note – “Librarian, Happy Easter, X.”
Gardner contacted police, and had to wait for permission to open them. She said the notebooks are in “incredibly good condition” and had been cared for properly – her particular favorite page contains Darwin’s Tree of Life. The notebooks will be displayed in July at the “Darwin in Conversation” exhibit, and a police investigation is ongoing.