The intricate pencil drawings and watercolours in the sketchbooks were made by Conrad Martens, shipmate to Charles Darwin as they travelled around South America on the voyage of HMS Beagle.
Now, for the first time, all of Martens’ Beagle sketches have been made freely available online through Cambridge University Library’s Digital Library and can also be seen in the photo film below.
Martens made the drawings between the summer of 1833 and the early months of 1835. Cambridge University Library owns his two sketchbooks from this period and has made the above audio slideshow to celebrate their addition to the Digital Library.
“These drawings were made almost two centuries ago but even now, they still really vividly bring to life one of the most famous voyages in the world and arguably the most famous in the history of science,” said Dr Alison Pearn, Associate Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project.
“Each of these pages is only 14cm by 20cm. It’s wonderful that everyone now has the opportunity to flick through these sketchbooks in their virtual representation and to follow the journey as Martens and Darwin saw it unfold.”
New Online: HMS Beagle Sketchbooks Added to Cambridge Digital Library
Filed by January 6, 2015on