Darwin's Catalogue of the appendages and other parts of Cirripedes, mounted as microscopical slides. (1854-5). The University Museum of Zoology Cambridge, UMZC-Histories3.454

An introduction by John van Wyhe

As part of his barnacle researches, Darwin examined different parts of barnacles under his microscope. He prepared permanent slides which were labelled with a number which corresponded to a hand-written catalogue. On 20 February 1897 Darwin's son, Francis Darwin, presented the slides and the catalogue to the University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge. The following information about the catalogue is provided by the Museum and is kept with the catalogue.Darwin's barnacle slides



[in red ink:] The collection was received on Feb. 20, 1897.

Mr. Darwin's numbers have been retained on the slides, which have been arranged systematically, in accordance with the order of the species in the two volumes of the cirripede monograph published by the Ray Society."


"A note on the paper used in this catalogue

The full sheet torn in half is then folded to give a convenient page size. The handwriting is contemporary with the Cirripede work. There seems no reason to doubt the record of the slides was made at the time of their preparation. pp1-18 probably earlier than the rest- in Lady Barlow's possession are children's drawings on the backs of cirripede notes on similar paper to this.

pp.19-28 the paper closely resembles that used for the full version of the 'Origin' begun

"By Lyell's advice May 14th 1856."

The cirripedes were "packed away, began working notes for species theory" Sept. 9th 1854.

Pedunculated Cirripedes appeared 1851

The remainder 1854.

[signed] Sydney Smith

1960 [in different ink and hand, possibly written later]

The Museum's accession catalogue, pp. 187-8, states:

[February] -20 [1897] Collection of slides of appendages of Cirripedes ; made by Charles Darwin Esq. Presd by F. Darwin, M.A. Christ's

The slides had greatly deteriorated, by the drying up of the media in which they were mounted. It did not seem likely that they would deteriorate further ; and it was accordingly thought better to leave them in the condition in which they were received than to attempt to re-mount them.1 (for Mr Darwin's Catalogue, see History III, No 454)

Click here to see a photograph of the Museum's accession catalogue entry.

John van Wyhe

August 2006

View Text & images of the catalogue.


1 Many of the existing slides have been remounted at some unknown date and new labels have been added to all by the Museum. Darwin's small printed label numbers have, however, been retained. The new labels give the volume and page number in Darwin's monograph where the specimen is described.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned by The University Museum of Zoology Cambridge University 7.2003. Transcribed by Christine Chua 2.2022.

NOTE: Reproduced by permission of The University Museum of Zoology Cambridge.



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