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Papers of Guido Pellegrino Arrigo Pontecorvo, career and appointments

UGC 198/2
Part of
Papers of Guido Pellegrino Arrigo Pontecorvo, geneticist, Professor of Genetics, University of Glasgow, Scotland
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About this work


Correspondence between Pontecorvo and Principal Hector Hetherington concering the Department of Genetics at the University of Glasgow, 1947-1958;

Correspondence and presscutting relating to Pontecorvo's appointment as the first Professor of Genetics at the University of Glasgow, 1955;

Research reports compiled by visitors to the Department of Genetics at the University of Glasgow, 1950-1968;

Correspondence relating to Pontecorvo's career and appointments held at the Ispettorato Compartimentale Agrario in Italy, the Institute of Animal Genetics, the University of Glasgow, and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, 1939-1975;

Correspondence relating to positions offered to Pontecorvo in academic institutions in the UK and abroad, including the University of Cambridge, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Harvard University,and Leiden University, 1946-1969.

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.



Physical description

0.3 metres (2 boxes)


Pontecorvo kept this correspondence in bundles relating to specific appointments or institutions. The University of Glasgow Department of Genetics correspondence was originally kept in a folder with other personal correspondence, and the visitors' research reports were kept separately, but a decision was made to bring this material together in one related sub-series.

Files relating to positions held and positions offered were organised into bundles of related correspondence and this order has been maintained in the catalogue.

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.

Related material

GB 0248 GEN, University of Glasgow, Institute of Genetics, including correspondence about the new building for the Institute of Genetics, student records, lectures, teaching slides, and Department guestbook.

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 Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Terms of use

Open and available at Glasgow University Archives Service.

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.


  • English
  • Italian

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