This object has not been digitized yet.

The image is © Ben Fry, 2009.

 

Object Timeline

2009

  • Work on this object began.

2017

  • We acquired this object.

2021

  • You found it!

Book, On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces, 2009

This is a Book. It was designed by Ben Fry. It is dated 2009 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is book. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This 6 by 9-inch book, set in Century Schoolbook 9.75-point type, is a print version of Ben Fry’s visualization project, On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces. Fry’s project traces Darwin’s revisions to his seminal text, On the Origin of Species, as it evolved over six editions. The 150,000-word text of the first English edition appears in gray. Each edition’s changes are color-coded, illustrating Darwin’s refinements and updated ideas to his treatise. New text from the second edition is red. The third edition’s changes are green, and the fourth edition’s changes are orange. Changes to the fifth edition are blue. The sixth and final edition’s changes are green and reveal a newly added chapter. By the end, Darwin’s text has grown to more than 190,000 words.

Thumbing through the color-coded book allows users to see where edits and additions were made. In this single volume, we see Darwin tweaking, refining, shifting, and clarifying his ideas over the course of six editions, which spanned fourteen years of his life and illustrates the evolution of this foundational scientific theory.

On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces was originally created as an interactive visualization and later developed into a book. The data set for Fry’s project is drawn from Dr. John Van Wyhe’s “The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online” (http://darwin-online.org.uk/). The hardcover book is printed on demand in full color.

This object was donated by Ben Fry. It is credited Gift of Ben Fry.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 22.9 × 15.2 cm (9 × 6 in.)

Cite this object as

Book, On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces, 2009; Designed by Ben Fry (American, b. 1975); book; H x W: 22.9 × 15.2 cm (9 × 6 in.); Gift of Ben Fry; 2017-11-1-b

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108830785/ |title=Book, On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces, 2009 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=5 August 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>