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Papers of Guido Pontecorvo, personal and family papers

20th century
UGC 198/9
Part of
Papers of Guido Pellegrino Arrigo Pontecorvo, geneticist, Professor of Genetics, University of Glasgow, Scotland
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About this work


This section contains material relating to Pontecorvo's personal and family life as well as some records created by his wife, Leni, which were deposited along with his collection:

Personal correspondence and papers, including letters from students and friends, and correspondence relating to Pontecorvo's 80th birthday celebrations;

Pontecorvo family guestbook. This guest book was kept in the Pontecorvo household and was signed by friends and colleagues who visited the Pontecorvos or stayed in their house;

Household account books, detailing daily purchases. A valuable resource for social historians interested in Glasgow in the 1950s-1960s;

Leni Pontecorvo's papers including her memoirs, diaries, notebooks and correspondence.

This description is part of the main Guido Pontecorvo collection which has been divided into the following sections, each with its own separate description:
UGC 198/1, biographical material;
UGC 198/2, career and appointments;
UGC 198/3, genetics research correspondence;
UGC 198/4, alpine research correspondence;
UGC 198/5, material relating to research trips abroad;
UGC 198/6, research slides;
UGC 198/7, publications;
UGC 198/8, lectures and broadcasts;
UGC 198/9, personal and family material;
UGC 198/10, personal photographs and slides.

The Wellcome Library does not hold a digitised copy of UGC 198/3 as part of Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics. Only UGC 198/9/1 and UGC 198/9/2 have been digitised. Items from UGC 198/9/3 can be viewed in the searchroom at Archive Services, University of Glasgow. Please visit the Glasgow University Archive Services website or see the complete catalogue for full details.


20th century

Physical description

0.6 metres


Arranged chronologically within record series.

Biographical note

Guido Pellegrino Arrigo Pontecorvo (1907-1999), who liked to be known by his nickname, Ponte, was an Italian geneticist who became the University of Glasgow's first Professor of Genetics in 1955, and has been described as "one of the founding fathers of modern genetics". He endowed prizes and scholarships for students at the University and the Genetics Building was named for him in 1995. Born and educated in Pisa, Pontecorvo was forced to leave Italy in 1938 and settled in Scotland. He was appointed a lecturer in Genetics at the University's Zoology Department in 1945, and a new department was set up in the Anatomy laboratories of the Anderson College building soon afterwards. He became a Reader in 1952, three years before his appointment to the new Chair. He left Glasgow in 1968 to take a post at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund's laboratories in London. Pontecorvo was one of the leading figures of his day in the study of of cell genetics. For a more detailed biography see the full Pontecorvo collection description.

Copyright note

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to: Duty Archivist, Archive Services, University of Glasgow, 13 Thurso Street, Glasgow, G11 6PE, or email

Terms of use

Some of the material in this collection has restricted access conditions.

Appraisal note

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures. Duplicates have been removed.

Location of duplicates

A digitised copy is held by the Wellcome Library as part of Codebreakers: Makers of Modern Genetics. Not all items in this section have been digitised.


  • English
  • Italian
  • German


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