Collecting Genomics at the Wellcome Library – new archives available to view

The Wellcome Library is pleased to announce that several new collections on the theme of genomics are now available to view on site in the Library.

For the past three years the Wellcome Library has been making a concerted effort to collect and catalogue important collections that document the development of genomics in the UK during the twentieth century. The archives cover key events from the latter half of the century including the sequencing of the first entire genome (that of the nematode worm C. elegans), the development of computational analysis to support and improve genome sequencing, and the international Human Genome Project that sequenced the first human genome and made the data freely accessible. In brief, the collections comprise the archives of:

  • Sir John Sulston: first director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who led British participation in the Human Genome Project and won a Nobel Prize for his work on C. elegans.
  • Richard Durbin: computational geneticist who played a key role in sequencing the C. elegans and human genomes.
  • Ian Dunham: led the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute project to sequence the first human chromosome, chromosome 22.
  • Carol Churcher: involved in Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute projects to sequence the genome of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis and the parasite that causes malaria.
  • Matthew Jones: assisted John Sulston with subcloning during the early years of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Work is currently underway on cataloguing the papers of Michael Ashburner, a geneticist who worked on sequencing the genome of the fly Drosophila melanogaster and played a key role in ensuring the Drosophila and human genome sequences were publically released. This collection is due to be made available in stages throughout 2015.

For more information on these collections and Library’s work in collecting genomics archives, take a look at some of the Wellcome Library’s blog posts: