skip to content


Darwin's Beetle Box

Collected by Charles Darwin himself
Rarely attending lectures when he studied at Cambridge, Darwin was more likely to be out beetling!
Darwin's Beetles Box


Darwin was an enthusiastic beetle collector and amassed a considerable collection during his time as an undergraduate in Cambridge.

Charles Darwin arrived in Cambridge to study in 1828. Here he was introduced to beetling by his close friend and cousin William Darwin Fox. The friends rarely attended lectures, as they were far more likely to be out beetling. This box contains some of the beetles that Darwin himself collected.  It includes a wide range of species, including many ground beetles. Some of the species that Darwin collected can still be found around Cambridge, particularly in local wetland reserves. However, others have become rare or have disappeared.

The beetle box can be found on the lower ground floor of the museum.