natural history

blue and white cyanotype image showing white plants on a blue background

Photography pioneer: Anna Atkins’ algae cyanotypes

British botanist and photographer, Anna Atkins was a pioneer in photography: she produced the first ever photographically illustrated book and is widely recognised to the first ever female photographer.

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The human crisis and the three Es: Environment, Equality and Endangered

In 2019, global awareness of the human impact on the environment is at an all-time high. No matter where you turn, you cannot escape it, whether it’s on social media, TV, or actually, right in front of you – we’ve all seen the schoolchildren striking and demanding governments to listen to the extreme temperatures and […]

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The nature of Turkestan – legacy of Ernst Kleiber

It was in January 2014 during our second series of Europeana 1914-1918 collection days in Berlin that a very special and unique contribution to our project was made: the richly-illustrated manuscript produced by German prisoner of war (POW) Ernst Kleiber, while he was in Russian custody in Central Asia. Page from Kleiber’s manuscript, Europeana 1914-1918, CC […]

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Five fascinating creatures now extinct

We all know that animals are becoming extinct all the time. But did you know that if you average everything out, new species come into being at about the same rate as old ones become extinct? It’s kind of like a one-in one-out policy at a nightclub. Well, that was the case until recently. Now, […]

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Charles Darwin nach einem Gemalde von John Collier

Wishing you a happy Darwin Day!

Today marks the 206th birthday of scientist Charles Darwin, an important figure in Europeana’s collections. He was only 22 years old when he set off for the Pacific aboard HMS Beagle in 1831, embarking on what would become one of the most famous scientific voyages in history. Now, February 12 has become a day to […]

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The Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe

Europe’s natural history museums and botanical gardens collectively hold the majority of the world’s published knowledge on biological diversity. You might think that biodiversity heritage and literature is only for scientists? Well, think again. Biodiversity heritage literature merges the line between art and science, assembling descriptions of species and other accounts with meticulously crafted illustrations. While […]

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Darwin’s theory of natural selection

On September 15, 1835, the ship HMS Beagle with the young naturalist Charles Darwin on board reached the Galapagos Islands. For over five weeks Darwin made observations on the geology and biology of the four islands, leading to major scientific discoveries, including the explanation of how volcanic tuff is formed. Darwin’s observations of birds that […]

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