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Notebooks belonging to Darwin’s mentor ‘not for export’

The government has prevented the sale of notebooks belonging to a Scottish geologist who influenced English naturalist Charles Darwin, in order to keep the archive in the UK.

Valued at £1.4 million, the 294 notebooks and manuscripts contain conversations between Charles Lyell and fellow scientists, including his transcribed correspondence with Darwin, who is best known for his contributions to the science of evolution.

The archive also contains Lyell’s notes for his printed works and includes early ideas on climate change, extinction and biodiversity.
In a statement on 16 April, the government said arts minister Michael Ellis had stepped in following a recommendation from the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, which is administered by the Arts Council.

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