Library Acquires One Millionth Volume

  Dick Ross (l) and Jeffrey Kaimowitz display the library’s one millionth volume, a first edition copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

Dick Ross (l) and Jeffrey Kaimowitz display the library’s one millionth volume, a first edition copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.


Book lovers from both on campus and off gathered recently in the Joslin Family 1823 Room at the Raether Library and Information Technology Center to celebrate the addition of the one millionth volume to the collection of the Trinity College Library. The book, a first edition copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859), is on display as part of the special collections Watkinson Library’s exhibition, “The Evolution of Evolution: From the Pre-Socratics to the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis.” Prepared by Watkinson Head Librarian Jeffrey Kaimowitz, the exhibit runs through December 31 and is free and open to the public. “On the Origin of Species is especially fitting as it is perhaps the most influential scientific work of all time,” explains Kaimowitz. “The theory of evolution in its modern form has brought together all aspects of science in a way that is fruitful in itself, but also of great significance for areas outside pure science, including medicine and various aspects of social science and humanities.”

The occasion was marked with a well-attended reception and presentation that included remarks by President Jones, Interim Dean of Faculty Frank Kirkpatrick, and a keynote address by Professor of Biology Dan Blackburn. Blackburn’s talk, entitled “Trinity’s Millionth Volume: A Natural Selection,” emphasized the far-reaching influence that On the Origin of Species continues to exert in the world of science and beyond, and outlined Darwin’s life and the genesis of thinking that led to the writing of his most famous book.

During his remarks, College Librarian Richard Ross detailed some of the library’s milestones throughout the years, from its humble beginnings in Seabury Hall to the state-of-the-art Raether Center. Ross emphasized that the library’s remarkable accomplishments are the result of support and contributions from generations of devoted individuals. He also paid tribute to the librarians that preceded him, who, through their collective skill and dedication, developed the library’s facilities and collections. On hand for the celebration was former librarian Ralph Emerick, 1972 to 1990, and Associate Academic Dean Stephen L. Peterson, who served as College librarian from 1991 to 2000.

For further information about the exhibition, please go to:

Jessica Smith, Trinity’s outreach librarian, contributed to this story.


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