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Robert Cook-Deegan Collection on the Human Genome Project

 Collection
Identifier: BRL-0006
The collection consists of research materials on the Human Genome Project (HGP) collected by Robert Cook-Deegan. It includes correspondence, reports, meeting materials, and oral histories that document the early stages of the HGP. These materials were assembled while Cook-Deegan was authoring his book The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome. Select portions of the collection have been digitized and are available via DigitalGeorgetown and the BRL website. Detailed inventories to the collection are available online: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3]

The collection includes oral history interviews (recordings and transcripts) with a number of individuals who were involved with the HGP, including: Walter Gilbert, Robert Sinsheimer, Renato Dulbecco, Nancy Wexler, Mark Pearson, LeRoy Hood, Ken-ichi Matsubara, James Wyngaarden, James D. Watson, Bernadine Healy, Bradie Metheny, John Burris, Bruce Albert, Charles Cantor, Charles DeLisi, Eric Lander, and Jack McConnell.

Dates

  • 1958 - 1998
  • Majority of material found within 1984 - 1994

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Extent

22 Cubic Feet (in 44 manuscript boxes)

Overview

The collection consists of research materials on the Human Genome Project (HGP) collected by Robert Cook-Deegan. It includes correspondence, reports, meeting materials, and oral histories that document the early stages of the HGP. These materials were assembled while Cook-Deegan was authoring his book The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome. Select portions of the collection have been digitized and are available via DigitalGeorgetown and the BRL website.

Historical Note

According to the NIH Human Genome Research Institute, “The Human Genome Project (HGP) was the international, collaborative research program whose goal was the complete mapping and understanding of all the genes of human beings.” The project ran from 1990 to 2003, when the full sequence was completed and published. Robert Cook-Deegan published The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome in 1994, which documents the early history of the HGP.

Source: NIH Human Genome Research Institute "What is the Human Genome Project?"

Arrangement

The collection is divided into three sets of accruals. Each set corresponds to a distinct addition to the collection in the order in which they were received.

Physical Location

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Robert Cook-Deegan in approximately 1994. The accession numbers associated with this collection is BRL-2001-0001.

Accruals

In July 2013 four boxes of materials were added to the collection. In February 2014, five additional boxes were added to the collection.

Existence and Location of Copies

Select portions of the collection have been digitized and are available online via DigitalGeorgetown. These include oral history interview transcripts, reports, and correspondence. The full text of The Gene Wars: Science, Politics, and the Human Genome and its bibliography are also available. Audio recordings of oral history interviews are available online via the BRL website. A recording from the Cold Spring Harbor Human Genome Symposium (June 1986) is also available.

Processing Information

The collection was received by Anita Nolen around 1994. It was processed by Charles N. Norton in 2014. Three sets of inventories were assembled, with supplementary information, by Norton and Dr. Laura Ruth Barry. They were assisted by Georgetown University students Jennifer Young, Joseph Wiedemer, Jade Walsh, Rebecca Kruser, Ta-Chueh Melody Hsu, Mary Laura Scalise, Rachel Cox, and John Sperry Nickerson. Portions of the collection, including reports and oral histories (recording and transcripts), were digitized at this time and made available via DigitalGeorgetown. John Zarrillo updated the guide to the collection for DACS-compliance in July 2020.
Title
Guide to the Robert Cook-Deegan Collection on the Human Genome Project
Status
completed
Author
Charles N. Norton, Laura Ruth Barry, and John Zarrillo
Date
July 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English
Sponsor
Funding to process this collection was provided as part of the Duke University’s Center for Excellence in ELSI Research (CEER) project.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-07: John Zarrillo updated the guide to the collection for DACS-compliance.

Repository Details

Part of the Bioethics Research Library Archives Repository

Contact:
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