Darwin sought to not only produce a new scientific truth, but also to put an end to polygenism, the current scientific discourse on human origins that gave tacit and at times explicit support for slavery: ‘... when the principle of evolution is generally accepted, as it surely will be before long, the dispute between the monogenists and polygenists will die a silent and unobserved death.’ (Charles Darwin, Descent of Man, p. 235)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Valentine Darwin Collection at the American Philosophical Society

Valentine Darwin Collection at the American Philosophical Society

The American Philosophical Society has released its newly acquired the 4800 volume collection of Darwinania, works and editions amassed over a 50 year period by Paleobiogist James W. Valentine.

For about 12 years Darwin was himself a member of the Society, as were his scientific rivals Samuel G. Morton, Josiah Nott, etc. in the years before him.

 The APS library site provides complete access as well as a collection on essays by Valentine and others.  They APS write

"This comprehensive collection of multiple editions of Darwin’s works includes titles translated into at least 23 languages, and is a compelling resource for the study of the transfer of Darwin’s ideas on evolution and natural selection across cultures.

 The Valentine/Darwin Collection, now catalogued, conserved, and accessible to researchers, provides a wealth of material on Darwin’s influence throughout the world, and the potential for many scholarly studies in the history of Darwin’s transformative ideas."
The Darwin essays that accompany the collection are:

"Collecting Darwin"
Dr. James Valentine, Faculty Curator Emeritus at the University of California’s Museum of Paleontology and Professor Emeritus of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley

"Darwinism in Popular Culture"
Dr. Janet Browne, Aramont Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

"How Texts are Read: Looking at the Introductions to the Origin of Species"
Dr. Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and Director of the History and Philosophy of Science Program, Florida State University

"Sermons and Reviews: Darwin’s The Descent of Man in America"

Dr. Keith Thomson, Emeritus professor of History, Oxford University, and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School, Yale University

"Darwin in translation"
Dr. John van Wyhe, Founder and Director of The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Onlin, and a Bye-Fellow of Christ’s College, University of Cambridge