The Conrad Martens sketchbooks - illustrations of the voyage

Conrad Martens  was the official artist on board the Beagle from July 1833 to July 1834.  This virtual sketchbook has been created from the watercolours and pencil drawings in two of Martens's original sketchbooks, now in Cambridge University Library.  The accompanying text relates these contemporary sketches to Darwin's own experiences during the voyage, and in particular to accounts written in his letters.

The complete texts of all the letters Darwin wrote and received during the voyage are available through the website of the Darwin Correspondence Project. Individual letters can easily be found by searching for the "calendar", or serial, number of each letter; these follow the description and are preceded by an "S" (eg. "176" in "letter to Catherine Darwin, 5 July [1832], S176"). They have also been published in Charles Darwin: the Beagle Letters (F. Burkhardt ed., Cambridge University Press 2008).

All the images from the sketchbooks are also available in searchable form, together with full descriptions.

Conrad Martens sketchbook cover

Conrad Martens Sketchbooks

The virtual book is best viewed on screen resolution 1024 * 768 or over with Flash Player installed.  It will take a few seconds to load the page depending on your Internet connection.