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Darwin and Museums
A Galapagos Warbler Finch (Certhidea olivacea) collected by Charles Darwin in September 1835, now in the Manchester Museum, University of Manchester

Sam Alberti

Tuesday, February 7th, 7:30pm
C-106 Holmes Hall
Michigan State University

Presentation video

Before he was the Father of Evolution®, Charles Darwin was a collector. He voraciously gathered stories and objects: from Galapagos Finches to pigeon fanciers’ tales, his reputation was built on a mass of data. It was this credibility that lead other scientists to take him seriously; his was a theory built upon a wealth of material. The first part of this talk addresses the Victorian museum collections, the great temples of science, that he both contributed to and used. We then consider Darwin’s posthumous relationship with their successor institutions – the ways museums in the 21st-century commemorate Darwin with programs, displays and collections. How have we collected the collector?