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The Francis Crick Papers

[Francis Crick lecturing at Cambridge University]. [ca. 1950-1960].
Wellcome Library
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The name of Nobel laureate Francis Crick (1916-2004) is inextricably tied to the discovery of the double helix of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in 1953, considered the most significant advance in the understanding of biology since Darwin's theory of evolution. Yet, during a research career spanning more than fifty years, theoretical biologist Crick also made fundamental contributions to structural studies of other important biological molecules through X-ray analysis; to the understanding of protein synthesis; to the deciphering of the genetic code by which hereditary information is stored and transcribed in the cell; and to our conception of consciousness. Through force of personality and intellect, readily apparent in this online selection from his papers, the Briton served as a one-man clearinghouse of criticism, ideas, and information for scientists the world over.

The Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine in London is the repository for the scientific papers of Francis Crick (collection reference PP/CRI). The archive contains correspondence, lecture notes, photographs, laboratory notebooks, and published and unpublished articles, which range from 1938 to ca. 2002. The section of the papers containing Crick's work in molecular biology (1938-1998) is catalogued and available for study in the Wellcome Library. The section of his papers on consciousness research is currently being catalogued and will be available in the future. Individuals or institutions wishing to reproduce or request copies of the documents should contact the Wellcome Trust Medical Photographic Library.

As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has collaborated with the Wellcome Library to digitize and make available over the World Wide Web a selection of the Francis Crick Papers for use by educators and researchers. This site provides access to the portions of the Francis Crick Papers of the Wellcome Library that have been selected for digitization. Individuals interested in conducting research in the Francis Crick Papers are invited to contact the Wellcome Library.

This online Exhibit is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Crick's scientific career and professional life. It is divided into sections that focus on Crick's life and major scientific contributions. We suggest that new visitors begin with this exhibit, which includes a small selection of documents and visuals, organized within these sections. Each section begins with a "Background Narrative," which leads to "Documents" and "Visuals."

Visitors may access additional materials through Search on the navigation bar. They may also view the materials alphabetically or chronologically by choosing Browse on the navigation bar. Documents and visuals in these lists are arranged by format and then either alphabetically by title or chronologically.

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