The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online ( was launched in October 2006. The site contains at least one exemplar of all of Darwin’s publications in searchable fully formatted electronic text and colour images of the original. Both can be viewed side-by-side. There are also many newly transcribed manuscripts. The site includes the largest Darwin bibliography and catalogue of his manuscripts ever published. Almost all previously published manuscript transcriptions are included. There is an extensive collection of ancillary works such as secondary references works, recollections by his children, obituaries, book reviews, scientific descriptions of Darwin’s Beagle specimens, biographies and important works for understanding Darwin and his contexts. Some of these extras include gems like the admissions books from Christ’s College, Cambridge or Darwin’s first mention in print (Grant, 1827). Almost all of the editions and works appear online here for the first time such as the 1st editions of Zoology of the Beagle, Voyage of the Beagle, Descent of Man and the classic Life and Letters and the unexpurgated Autobiography edited by Nora Barlow. Darwin’s works are also available as free (machine-read for now) audio mp3 downloads. There are also translations into Danish, Norwegian, German and Russian.

All of the contents are accessible from a single table of contents page:

A custom-made search engine integrates the catalogues and searches all the documents and can be fine-tuned to limit many fields (author, date, language etc.) Since its launch the site has received an unprecedented amount of media and public attention. The site server has recorded over 24 million hits from over 170 countries and currently there are about 25,000 mouse clicks on the site per day. And it’s completely free of charge! The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Original press release:

In case you have already seen the site, but are wondering what has been added since your last visit, see:

Don’t forget that Darwin’s invaluable correspondence is available at the website of the Darwin Correspondence Project (

— Dr John van Wyhe

Director The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online University of Cambridge CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX Fax: 01223 (7)65276