Part of the University of Delaware’s annual celebration of International Darwin Day, this lecture is led by Leslie K. Overstreet, curator of natural history rare books, Smithsonian Libraries. It examines the remarkable library Charles Darwin and Captain Fitzroy took with them on the famous round-the-world voyage of HMS Beagle in 1831-1836.
Overstreet earned a B.A. in English Literature in 1971 and a Master of Arts in Teaching, both from Reed College, and held jobs as a teacher and a writer/editor before joining the Smithsonian Libraries in 1980.
Initially staffing the anthropology and vertebrate zoology libraries in the National Museum of Natural History, she earned an M.L.S. degree in rare-books librarianship at the University of Maryland and has worked in the Smithsonian Libraries’ Special Collections Department since 1988. She has headed the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History since it opened in 2002.
Her own research has focused for many years on Mark Catesby’s “Natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (1731-1743).” She served as a consultant to the documentary film “The curious Mr. Catesby,” produced by the Catesby Commemorative Trust and broadcast on PBS in 2009, and presented the results of her research on the printing history of Catesby’s book at the 2012 Catesby Tercentennial Conference, which was subsequently published as a chapter in “The curious Mister Catesby” (2015).