Papers of Guido Pontecorvo, personal and family photographs and negatives

Scope and Content


  • Science photograph album, including photographs of Pontecorvo with notable scientific colleagues at conferences and lectures, at the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium in 1946, and at the Institute of Genetics at the University of Glasgow;
  • 80th birthday photograph album compiled for Pontecorvo by friends and colleagues at the Institute of Genetics at the University of Glasgow to celebrate his 80th birthday. Contains photographs of the Institute of Genetics, old friends and colleagues, Glasgow and Loch Lomond, and 80th birthday celebrations in Pisa, Italy. Copies of photographs were submitted by friends and colleagues and added to the album;
  • Loose bundles of photographs and negatives of Pontecorvo with family and friends at various occassions over the years, including photographs of Pontecorvo as a young man, photographs of Pontecorvo at his Swiss chalet in St Luc, photographs of Pontecorvo at various birthday celebrations, photographs of Pontecorvo with friends and colleagues at genetics meetings and conferences, and the opening of the new building for the Institute of Genetics at the University of Glasgow.

This description is part of the main  Guido Pontecorvo collection which has been divided into the following sections, each with its own separate description:  

Administrative / Biographical History

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.


The albums have been described as file and each page number as an item description. It was felt that this level of detail was required as the albums contain photographs of many notable scientists and colleagues and are wonderful resources for people interested in the history of genetics. The photographs and negatives that were found loose and in no particular order have been separated into a section of family photos and negatives and a work/genetics related section. Items are arranged chronologically within record series.

Conditions Governing Access


Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

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

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Related Material

GB 248 UGC 198/3, the section of Pontecorvo's genetics research correspondence contains letters from many of the people who appear in photographs in the Science photograph album and in the loose bundle of photographs relating to conferences, meetings and lectures.


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Collection catalogued by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) from February 2011 to August 2011, Michelle Kaye, Archive Assistant, February 2012, and Victoria Stobo, Archive Assistant, April 2012. Converted to Encoded Archival Description by Michelle Kaye, Archive Assistant, February 2012, and Victoria Stobo, Archive Assistant, April 2012.

Geographical Names