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Charles Darwin, six Edinburgh University class cards and one matriculation card, signed.
Darwin's medical studies at the University of Edinburgh were a formative influence on his scientific career. These class cards show the courses he signed up for in 1825. Edinburgh professors in the 1820s received little or no salary from the University. The only payment they received came directly from class fees paid by students. The more popular their courses, the higher their incomes became. As a result there were no entrance requirements and every man and his fee were welcome; some professors even allowed women to attend their classes! These class cards were presented to the University of Edinburgh by the late Sir Francis Darwin in 1909. In 2012 the University received an outstanding collection of first editions of Darwin's numerous works, including two copies of the first edition of the Origin of Species (1859). This collection was presented by the Heiskell Bibliographical Foundation. We also have a fragment of the manuscript of Origin, at E.2001.13.