Darwin Correspondence Project

Hot on the heels of Emma’s journals come Darwin’s letters – 5000 of them, complete and searchable, including every surviving letter from the Beagle voyage. An excellent website, easy to navigate, nicely designed and informative.

From the BBC News article:

Darwin was a prolific letter writer, exchanging correspondence with nearly 2,000 people during his lifetime…
“Letters were absolutely essential to what Darwin was doing,” said Dr Pearn. “This is how he gathered data, how he gathered ideas, how he discussed ideas.”

Not so different from a 19th century social network of science bloggers, only slower and less interactive. Yes, the man really was ahead of his time.