Papers of Guido Pellegrino Arrigo Pontecorvo, personal and family papers

Scope and Content

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 Pontecorvo's 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:  

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.


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. Duplicates have been removed.

Related Material

UGC 198/10, Pontecorvo's personal and family photographs


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. Converted to Encoded Archival Description by Karyn Williamson, Project Assistant, December 2011, Michelle Kaye, Archive Assistant, January 2012, and Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing) February 2012. Amended by Sam Maddra, Assistant Archivist (cataloguing), 24 August 2016.

Geographical Names