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The Project Archives

The four archives coming under the current project are outlined below:

John H Edwards (for Birmingham University Library)

John Hilton Edwards (1928-2007) was appointed Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Birmingham in 1971. In 1979 he became Professor of Genetics at the University of Oxford. Edwards worked on many aspects of human genetics including multifactorial disorders, the application of microtechniques to chromosomal analysis, and the implications and long-term consequences of applied human genetics. He is credited with the first description, in 1960, of Edwardsÿ syndrome or trisomy 18.

This is a significant archive which spans the 1950s to the early 1990s. It includes research material relating to genetic medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes and tuberous sclerosis, and to later studies of the incidence of genetic diseases in the population of Iceland. The archive will be placed in the University of Birmingham.

Peter S Harper (for Cardiff University Library)

Peter Stanley Harper (b. 1939) worked under the distinguished geneticists Cyril Clarke and Liverpool and Victor McKusick at Baltimore, before making his career as a clinical geneticist at the University of Wales College of Medicine at Cardiff, in 1984 being made Professor of Medical Genetics.

Since 2000 Harper has focused on documenting the history of human and medical genetics and his archive is dominated by correspondence (nearly all in the form of emails) and research for this pioneering work. The archive will be placed in Cardiff University Library.

George Fraser (for the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine)

George Robert Fraser (b. 1932) worked at the Galton Laboratory at UCL 1957-1959, studying under Lionel Penrose. He went on to hold a number of posts including appointments in the USA, Australia, The Netherlands and Canada. For 1984-1997 he was Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Cancer Genetic Clinic, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Genetics to the Oxfordshire Health Authority.

Fraser's archive includes correspondence, publications material and research data relating to his studies on inherited blindness and deafness undertaken from the 1960s and 1970s. It will be placed in the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine.

The Medical Research Council Unit of Human Biochemical Genetics (including papers of Peter Cook, D.A Hopkinson and E.B Robson) (for University College London Special Collections)

The Medical Research Council Unit of Human Biochemical Genetics was established by Professor Harry Harris at King's College London in 1962 to investigate the extent of genetic variation in healthy humans using family and population studies and simple screening techniques. The Unit moved with him to University College in 1965 and continued, under his successors, to 2000. The staff of the Unit identified over 30 new enzyme polymorphisms and made important contributions to linkage studies. The archive will be placed in University College London Library.

There is an exceptionally complete record of this Unit. The bulk of the material is the family files relating to genetic conditions, compiled from the beginning of the Unit to its closure, with full indexes.