Darwin by Post, or “What if Darwin had a Facebook© Page?”

Lloyd Library and Museum’s on-line exhibit is Cool Site for July!
Lloyd Library and Museum’s contribution to the 2009 worldwide celebration of Charles Darwin’s bicentennial birthday and the sesquicentennial of the publication of his book “On the Origin of Species,” Darwin by Post, is a new dynamic on-line exhibit, which is a showcase of the Lloyd’s comprehensive collection of Darwin’s publications and the multitude of books by written by his contemporaries in natural science. It is also a tribute to the history of correspondence, communication, and letter writing. Designed with modern-day on-line social networking and media sites in mind, Darwin by Post offers a glimpse into the life of Darwin and his vast network of friends, colleagues, and even a few adversaries. Visitors to this exhibit will be able to read excerpts of letters, view images of plants, animals, landscapes, and maps, and peruse inventories of titles in the Lloyd collection.
Visit Darwin By Post here

Darwin by Post began as the brain-child of Lloyd staff member, Heather Snyder. A creative writer at heart, Snyder imagined the Lloyd stacks coming to life after hours, with the authors of the many books stepping off the shelves and spending the twilight hours conversing with one another. Around the same time, the Lloyd joined the social media world by creating a Facebook© page. One thought led to another and the question arose: “What if Darwin had a Facebook© page?” Well, Darwin is everywhere you look this year and already has several Facebook© pages devoted to him. So, “What would Darwin’s Facebook© page look like if it had been around in Darwin’s day?” became the working question along with “How can we feature the Lloyd’s collection while celebrating the year of Darwin in a way that hasn’t already been done?”
Heather Snyder consulted with Anna Heran, Lloyd’s IT Specialist who designed a portal for the on-line exhibit. Brainstorming sessions with other staff and board member, Nik Money, professor of biology at Miami University (Ohio) finally led to the name Darwin by Post. Darwin sent and received letters by post; today we post comments to Facebook© entries and blogs. Darwin sat at a table with paper and pen; today we sit in front of our computer monitors with keyboard and mouse. The vehicle for the correspondence may be different, but the essence of the communication is the same.
A feature of social media sites is that posts are continually made and friends regularly added. Darwin by Post will also operate in this manner. The list of Darwin’s correspondents is very long, so Snyder and Heran will continue to gather information, construct profiles, and add them throughout the year. Visitors will be able to check back often to meet more and more of Darwin’s friends.
Visit Darwin By Post here