Report: “Darwin’s Lost Treasure, Found: A Talk With the Librarian and the Historian Who Authenticated the Return of Two of Charles Darwin’s Missing Notebooks”
From The New Yorker:
In April, 2017, Dr. Jessica Gardner became the university’s [University of Cambridge] head librarian. She soon learned about the missing notebooks, whose loss was known to only a few. Discovering their whereabouts became a priority. Gardner sought advice from the national-security adviser for the Arts Council England and an expert with the Metropolitan Police and others who have worked on high-profile cases of cultural theft around the world. The message was consistent: “Go public.” In November, 2020, the university came clean, publishing a description of the notebooks and the presentation case in which they had been kept; Interpol was informed.
Sixteen months later, on March 9th, at around eight in the morning, Gardner arrived at her office on the fourth floor of the library’s seventeen-story main tower to begin a string of Zoom meetings.
When Gardner’s personal assistant, who has chosen to remain anonymous, arrived at half past nine, she spied a bright-pink gift bag on the floor outside the librarian’s office, an area surveyed by a couple of seventeenth-century oil portraits but, at the time, no CCTV camera. There was a large brown envelope inside the gift bag and a card that read, “Librarian. Happy Easter. X.” Believing it to be a present for her boss, the assistant took the package to Gardner’s office. A little while later, she checked the parcel again and realized it was something else entirely.
See Also: Darwin Notebooks Missing for 20 Years Returned to University of Cambridge Library; Items Anonymously Left in a Pink Gift Bag, 15 Months After Launch of a Worldwide Appeal to Find Them (April 5, 2022)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.