Perspectives on the HGP: Discovering hidden personal collections documenting the origins and development of the Human Genome Project in the U.S.


This project involves 27 personal collections, comprising some 185 lf of physical material and ~15GB of electronic material related to HGP. Among the individuals who created these collections are the developers of many methods/devices that were critical to the HGP; key leaders of the HGP; those instrumental in formulating genome policy and disseminating knowledge about the HGP; and specialists in the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genome research. The creators of the collections are life scientists: Norman G. Anderson, David Botstein, Patrick O. Brown, Charles Cantor, George Church, Helen Donis-Keller, Russell Doolittle, Dick McCombie, David L. Nelson, Harry Noller, Maynard Olson, Gerry Rubin, David C. Schwartz, Jim Sikela, Lloyd Smith, Ignacio Tinoco, and James Weber; computer scientists David Haussler and Jim Kent; and government administrators: Elbert Branscomb, Charles DeLisi, and Ari Patrinos; ELSI specialists: Reid Adler and Thomas Murray; and authors/journalists: Daniel Kevles and Nicholas Wade. The materials include: correspondence about the HGP, such as letters, memos, and emails; meeting materials, such as presentations, notes, and hand-outs; workshop materials, such as research materials, notes, and transcripts; scientific research materials, such as lab notebooks, raw data, and grant applications; public relations material, such as press releases and videos; and book materials, such as notes from interviews.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


  • Ludmila Pollock

Collection Size

185 linear feet

Date Range

1980 - 2003

Geographic Scope

The collections are from 7 areas: Seattle; NY Metro; Boston; CA; Houston; Denver; and Wisconsin. Most of the collections' owners will consider donating.