GT Corley Smith Library, Archives & Museum

The CDF Library, Archive & Museum area includes three different spaces respectively dedicated to the management of text and audiovisual documents, archival materials, and artifacts of historical and institutional value. Located in the heart of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), the objectives of the area are aligned with the institutional mission: "to provide knowledge and assistance through scientific research and complementary action to ensure the conservation of the environment and biodiversity in the Galapagos Archipelago".

To protect and to guarantee the conservation of the valuable cultural heritage managed by the CDF through this area, and due to the prevailing environmental conditions in the Galapagos Islands in general and in the CDRS in particular, all the collections are currently organized in spaces with controlled temperature and humidity as well as restricted access.

The Library, Archive & Museum team is available for any questions through the official contact channels.

Opening Hours

Monday through Friday, from 7:45 am to 12:30 pm, and from 2:00 pm to 5:15 pm.
    (593) 5 2526-146, extension 118

You can also access our collections digitally through our online catalog.

The librarian space

The "G. T. Corley Smith" Library (recognized by IFLA in its Library Map of the World ) houses the CDF's bibliographic collections. The fund includes a general collection, consisting of textbooks and specialized reference texts on exact and natural sciences, with a special emphasis on ecology, conservation and biology. In addition, it includes a small specialized newspaper library (journals and articles), a reference section (dictionaries and encyclopedias), the Darwin collection (texts by and about the distinguished English scientist), and four specialized collections (theses, reports) which collect much of the scientific knowledge produced on the natural environment of Galapagos, along with the history of the CDF.

The library provides its specialized search, loan and reference services to CDRS resident and visiting scientists, volunteers and students. Likewise, it opens its doors to naturalist guides, park rangers, teachers, students of all levels, tourists and, in short, to anyone wishing to get immersed in a unique collection, specialized in natural sciences in general, and in the science carried out in Galapagos in particular.

The library collection is cataloged in a database operated by Koha software, which can be consulted online.


A place of memories

The CDF archive is divided into two sections: one purely textual and the other for audiovisual and special materials. The first contains the old newspaper library (academic journals from the period 1930-2000), architectural plans, the map library, research, historical and educational documents, and CDF administrative files. The second includes, as its name suggests, photographs and slides, films, sound recordings, illustrations, posters, brochures, maps, diskettes, CDs, DVDs, and other documents and objects.

Between them they comprise tens of thousands of images, drawings, maps, administrative papers, field notebooks, and unique manuscript copies, produced by some of the many researchers who have worked at the CDRS.

Access to the archive is restricted to researchers, and is limited to certain materials.

Stories from the past

The CDF museum is a space for the recovery and conservation of archaeological artifacts and pieces of historical value, related to the cultural heritage and the social and scientific memory of the Galapagos Islands.

The current museum space picks up a tradition cultivated at the CDRS for much of its history – although lost for the last two decades: reserving a corner for Galapagos cultural remains. In parallel, a "media archeology" program has been launched that seeks to recover and safeguard old information management technologies, such as tape recorders, cameras, storage media, furniture and catalogues, etc.

As with the archive, access to the museum's collections is restricted to researchers, and is limited to certain materials.


Galapagueana: access and dissemination

Galapagueana is a digital and bilingual platform dedicated to the recovery, management and dissemination of the cultural heritage and the social and scientific memory of the Galapagos Islands. This is the main initiative for access, dissemination and outreach of the Library, Archive & Museum area.

As a result of a long and conscientious process of research and curatorship, Galapagueana presents fourteen articles organized into seven main sections, whose contents are updated every four months and are distributed through social networks and other communication channels. Such contents are structured around a timeline: a chronology that allows the assembly of all the elements around a common axis.

In addition to online content, the platform allows the download of unique digitized documents and outreach materials related to Galapagos social

Exhibited stories

As a complement to Galapagueana, and as one more activity of access, dissemination and outreach, the CDRS Exhibition Hall  includes a small sample (periodically renewed) of the Library, Archive & Museum materials. All of them are part of the documents presented in Galapagueana, and are linked to these digital contents through QR codes.



Another line of access, dissemination and extension developed by the Library, Archive & Museum area is the publication of a series of digital documents through which it seeks to recover, edit and disseminate manuscripts and unique and unpublished publications preserved in the CDF collections, all of them related to the history of science and the social memory in Galapagos.

All publications are available under a Creative Commons license, within the CDF-supported open access and open science policies.

Blog posts

As an accessory activity of access, dissemination and outreach, the Library, Archive & Museum area regularly publishes a series of blog entries entitled "Letters from the Library" . They are a set of notes in which fragments of some of the many anecdotes, curiosities and memories that have been stored, over 60 years, between boxes, shelves and old papers are explained and shared. All of them, even the smallest ones, are an essential part of CDF's identity and social memory, and make up one of the axes of the history of science and society in the Galapagos Islands. A story built step by step and detail by detail.


A library in a suitcase

Finally, and as an emblematic extension and community work project undertaken by the Library, Archive & Museum area, are the Traveling Libraries : a mobile library program that seeks to bring books and information inside suitcases to educational institutions on the four islands inhabited in the Galapagos archipelago.


The mission of the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station is to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action, in order to safeguard one of the world’s most important natural treasures.

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Av. Charles Darwin s/n, Puerto Ayora, Galápagos, Ecuador
(593) 5 2526-146 / 2527-013 Ext 101
Quito Office
Francisco Andrade Marín
E6-122 y Av. Eloy Alfaro
+593 (2) 2 231 174

The ‘Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands’, in French ‘Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association internationale sans but lucratif (AISBL), has its registered office at 54 Avenue Louise, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Trade Registry # 0409.359.103

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