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Happy Darwin Day!


On display nowImage of Charles Darwin in the Special Collections reading room are books by Charles Darwin in observance of Darwin Day. Darwin Day, the annual celebration of Darwin’s birthday on February 12, pays tribute to the naturalist’s embodiment of the principles of scientific inquiry and intellectual freedom. The display includes five of Darwin’s books showcasing his diverse work in biology, botany, zoology, and natural history and features illustrations and photos Darwin used to demonstrate domestication, sex selection, and evolution.

Darwin’s theories of natural selection and evolution were not necessarily novel—Alfred Russel Wallace independently formulated a theory of natural selection—but they were revolutionary. On the origin of species and later The descent of man inspired debate in the public and academic spheres about humankind’s origins and its evolution from apes. Though initially controversial, Darwin’s theories were quickly integrated into the prevailing scientific worldview and stand today as some of the most impactful discoveries of the modern era.

The Special Collections reading room is located on the second floor of Galter Health Sciences Library. Stop by or schedule a time to view the display by contacting Special Collections at


(Image: J. Cameron (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.)

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Updated: September 10, 2021