May 22, 2022

Research Tools: “Over 1,700 Book Reviews Of Charles Darwin’s Works Go Online”

From the National University of Singapore:

Source: NUS

Launched online today is the culmination of 16 years of tireless dedication: a compilation of over 1,700 contemporary book reviews of Darwin’s works, in 16 languages and spanning the years 1835 to the early 20th century. This collection of book reviews has been added to Darwin Online, the most comprehensive scholarly website on any historical scientist – and possibly for any single person in history.

Directed by Dr John van Wyhe from the NUS Department of Biological Sciences and Tembusu College, what is most impressive about Darwin Online is its comprehensiveness. It contains not only Darwin’s complete works, but also contemporary translations into 29 languages, tens of thousands of Darwin’s manuscripts, the most complete bibliography of Darwin publications, the most complete catalogue of his manuscripts around the world as well as works that he cited and promoted, obituaries of Darwin, publications of his specimens by others, the reconstructed library from the Beagle, and very many important works about Darwin and his time. In all, the site provides over 1 million pages of content. As a scholarly edition, the majority of Darwin’s writings have been edited and annotated for the first time, with more than 5,800 new editorial notes and introductions, making it even easier to navigate and understand. It is likely the most comprehensive scholarly website on any historical individual.


Commenting on the significance of this review project, Dr van Wyhe explained, “To round out the picture made possible by having Darwin’s complete work on a single website, one needs to know what his contemporaries thought and said about them. The unprecedented scale of Darwin’s scientific and cultural influence called for a comprehensive snapshot of book reviews. We have not excluded any opinions, whether positive or negative.”

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Direct to New Resource (via Darwin Online)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.