On the Origin of Species: A treasure of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Did you know that the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library owns a rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life?  Published in 1859, the library’s fragile volume is a treasure. The valuable first editions with iconic green spines are in high demand for book collectors and science lovers.  The library’s copy, one of only approximately 1,250 printed, is part of a collection of antiquarian texts originally donated to the the University of Texas Health Science Center in the early 1970’s by the Bexar County Medical Society.

The Witte Museum is currently hosting the American Museum of Natural History’s Darwin exhibit Darwin: How One Man’s Theory Turned the World on its Head. It runs through September 3, 2012 and includes Darwin’s handwritten journals of his observations while on the Galapagos Islands.  For additional resources for children and families, visit the American Museum of National History’s Resources for Darwin.

Darwin’s complete works can also be read online.

To view the Health Science Center’s first edition of On the Origin of Species, or any of the other 5,000 rare and historical texts, contact Special Projects Librarian Susan Hunnicutt at (210) 567-2406 or hunnicutt@uthscsa.edu; or Mellisa DeThorne at 210-567-2470 or dethorne@uthscsa.edu.  Additional and selected materials from the Nixon Library may also be viewed online in the UTHSC Digital Archives / Historical Collection.

Melva Ramirez, MLS, Records and Information Management Intern, Special Collections

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