The boxes you can see in the picture (well, not quite all of them!) contain the papers of geneticist C.H Waddington, and, as Project Archivist, it is my job to catalogue and preserve them and to eventually make them available online via an electronic catalogue. This is the first stage of the archival cataloguing aspect of the ‘Towards Dolly’ project – you can read more about what else is to follow in the About Us section.
Conrad Hal Waddington (1905-1975) had a vital role in shaping the course of genetics at Edinburgh University. He first joined Edinburgh in 1947, combining the position of chief geneticist at the Institute of Animal Genetics with the chair of animal genetics at the University. In the 1950s, this grew into the largest genetics department in the UK and one of the largest in the world. Waddington would go on to play a major role in the expansion of the biological faculty at the University, as well as serving on two high-profile government committees and also held positions in many foreign institutions.
Over the next few months I will be sharing some key items within the Waddington papers which hopefully illustrate his importance to genetics within Edinburgh University and beyond, as well as revealing the multi-faceted man behind the science!