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WILKINS, Maurice Hugh Frederick (1916-2004)

K/PP178/5/1-32: Papers, 1950-2003, relating to history of discovery of DNA structure

References on this page: K/PP178/5/1-32


K/PP178/5/1

1950-1992

Papers of M H F Wilkins: collected papers relating to the history of DNA research

Correspondence, notes, photographs and photocopied background information relating to the history of DNA research at King’s College London, including: notes made by Wilkins at a 1950 conference on protein structure, Cambridge; group photograph of attendees at an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference, New Hampshire, 1951, including Wilkins and Erwin Chargaff; photocopies of a graph of the Bessel wave function of DNA, created by Alexander Rawson (‘Alec’) Stokes [1951]; article by Francis Crick, The packing of a-helices: simple coiled-coils’, offprint from Acta Crystallographica, Sep 1953; photographs relating to DNA research, including graphs, microscopic images, and x-ray diffraction images of DNA from herring sperm, calf thymus and sepia sperm; letter from the Medical Research Council to Max Perutz, 27 Apr 1954, concerning the disbanding of the Biophysics Committee; copy pages from Erwin Chargaff, Heraclitean Fire: sketches from a life before nature (Rockefeller University Press, New York, 1978), including his first impressions of Francis Crick and James Watson, 1952, with brief covering letter to Wilkins from Stanford Moore, Rockefeller University, Nov 1978

3 files


K/PP178/5/2

1951-1953, 1976, 1992

Papers of M H F Wilkins: annotated copies of Rosalind Franklin’s DNA notebooks

Incomplete photocopies of Rosalind Elsie Franklin’s laboratory notebooks concerning her DNA research, Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit, King’s College London, 1951-1953, with additional later annotations by Wilkins. Also covering letter from Jennifer Ashton, secretary to Aaron Klug, Laboratory of Molecular Biology,Cambridge, May 1976, and photocopied background information on crystallography, with brief covering note, 1992

1 file


K/PP178/5/3

1951-1955, 1975

Papers of M H F Wilkins: copies of articles and notes by Rosalind Franklin relating to her DNA research

Photocopies of articles and notes by Rosalind Elsie Franklin concerning her work in DNA research in the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit, King’s College London, 1951-1953, with later annotations by Wilkins, comprising: manuscript notes, ‘Colloquium Nov 1951’, and typescript ‘Interim annual reports’ for Jan 1951 – Jan 1952 and for Jan 1952 – Jan 1953, by Franklin, with later annotations by Aaron Klug and Wilkins, and a covering letter from Klug to Wilkins, Nov 1975; draft article by Franklin, ‘Notes on aspects of the structure of calf thymus DNA as revealed by its interaction with water’, 3 Dec 1951; joke death notice for the DNA helix, by Franklin and Raymond Gosling, 18 Jul 1952; draft article, ‘X-ray studies of calf thymus DNA’ by Franklin and Gosling, 3 Sep 1952; extract from a report to Medical Research Council, 15 Dec 1952, on recent research in the Biophysics Unit, King’s College Unit, including the text of Franklin and Gosling’s 3 Sep 1952 article on calf thymus DNA; draft article, ‘A note on molecular configuration in sodium thymonucleate’ by Franklin and Gosling, 17 Mar 1953

1 file


K/PP178/5/4

1953-1966

Papers of M H F Wilkins: press cuttings relating to DNA research

Press cuttings relating to news reports on the progress of DNA research, 1953-1960, and to the award of the Nobel Prize to Wilkins, Francis Crick and James Watson, 1962, including; ‘Nearer secret of life’, News Chronicle, [1953], reporting on the recent work at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, and at King’s College London; ‘Hopes of way to understanding of cancer’, Manchester Guardian, 1955; ‘Deoxyribonucleic acid – twenty ordinary letters but together they spell out the ultimate secret’, News Chronicle, 1957; ‘A Nobel Winner’s Regret: Helped Build Atom Bomb’, New York News, 1962; ‘Biology’s ‘Rosetta Stone’’, Newsweek, 1962; ‘Importance of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA is Examined’, New York Times, 1962; ‘He probed life’s secrets’, New York Herald Tribune, 1962; ‘Nobel Prize Awarded to Harvard Chemist’, New York Journal American, 1962. Also ‘Nucleic acids: master molecules’, in issue 118, Understanding science, 1964, and parts 1-3 of a factual strip cartoon, ‘Man-made viruses’, in the ‘Frontiers of science’ series, published in The Sun, c 1966

2 files


K/PP178/5/5

1953-2003

Papers of M H F Wilkins: papers relating to Aaron Klug’s research into DNA history

Articles and correspondence relating to research into DNA History by Aaron Klug, including: Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Gosling, ‘Evidence for 2-chain helix in crystalline structure of sodium deoxyribonucleate’, offprint from Nature, 25 Jul 1953; photocopy x-ray diffraction pictures from Nature, 14 May 1955; Klug, ‘Rosalind Franklin and the discovery of the structure of DNA’, published in Nature, 24 Aug 1968, with related correspondence, including comment and corrections by Wilkins; article by E F Flint on Rosalind Franklin’s PhD work on coal, with covering letter to Wilkins, 1969; correspondence, 1968-1976 and 1997, relating to Klug’s research on DNA; x-ray diffraction images of DNA. Original file title ‘Klug’

1 file


K/PP178/5/6

1954-1999

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence with Raymond Gosling, and related papers, concerning the history of DNA research at King’s College London

Correspondence between Wilkins and Raymond Gosling relating to the history of DNA research in the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit, King’s College London, with: note by Wilkins, 1972, on Gosling’s first impressions of Rosalind Franklin; copy correspondence, 1976, with additional comment on Wilkins’ recollection of the DNA research in the early 1950s; copy extracts from Gosling’s thesis, 1954, with later comments by Wilkins

1 file


K/PP178/5/7

1957-1959

Papers of M H F Wilkins: scripts for a BBC television documentary about DNA, with related correspondence

Draft and revised scripts for a BBC television documentary, ‘DNA the secret of life’, including a contribution from Wilkins, broadcast 4 February 1958, with related correspondence between Wilkins and the production staff

1 file


K/PP178/5/8

1967-1976

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence with Robert Olby relating to Olby’s book The path to the double helix

Typescript correspondence with Robert Olby relating to Olby’s book The path to the double helix (Macmillan, London, 1974), including a detailed account by Wilkins, May 1968, of his own and Rosalind Franklin’s work with x-ray diffraction images of A and B forms of DNA. Also Olby’s article, ‘Before the double helix’, published in New Scientist Jun 1968, and a copy of the Times Literary Supplement review of Olby’s book, Sep 1976. Original file title ‘Olby’

1 file


K/PP178/5/9

1968-1999

Papers of M H F Wilkins: papers relating to Meyer Friedman’s research for Medicine’s 10 greatest discoveries

Typescript draft chapter on the discovery of the structure of DNA, subsequently published in Meyer Friedman and Gerald Friedland, Medicine’s 10 greatest discoveries (Yale University Press, 1998), with annotated corrections and comments by Wilkins, and related correspondence between Friedman and Wilkins

1 file


K/PP178/5/10

1969-2003

Papers of M H F Wilkins: papers relating to the history of King’s College London and DNA research

Correspondence and notes relating chiefly to the history of King’s College London and DNA research, including manuscript chart in Wilkins’ handwriting, entitled ‘Roots of double helix’ laying out chronologically the developments, 1900-1950, in physics, physical chemistry, chemistry, biochemistry and biology, that led to the discovery of the structure of DNA. Also copy letter from Sydney Evans, Dean of King’s College London, to the editor, The Listener magazine, 15 Jan 1976, refuting statements by Aaron Klug concerning the history of King’s College London

1 file


K/PP178/5/11

1969-1994

Papers of M H F Wilkins: press cuttings chiefly relating to Wilkins and DNA history

Newspaper cuttings relating chiefly relating to Wilkins, including: ‘Genetic ‘bomb’ fears grow’, Evening Standard, 24 Nov 1969; ‘From molecules to man’, interview with Wilkins, New Scientist, 9 Aug 1973, with additional photocopies; ‘Third man of peace, The Times, 1987; Interview with Maurice and Emily Wilkins (daughter) in ‘Relative Values’, The Sunday Times Magazine, [1987]; ‘Fortunate failures I don’t regret’ by Wilkins, The Scientist, 8 Feb 1988; ‘Gas bomb killed 20000’, Morning Star, 25 Mar 1988; ‘Science Fact, Science Fiction’, Science for People, Spring 1989; ‘Great minds on the burning questions’, The Daily Telegraph, 11 Sep 1989; ‘Science, the Gulf war and the WTSW’, Scientific World, Jan 1991; ‘Cracking the code’, Sunday Express, 19 Dec 1993; ‘Forty years of the Double Helix’, The News (King’s College London Newsletter), Jan 1994; letters by Wilkins published in The Times, 8 Jul 1981 and 1 May 1986, and The Guardian, Apr 1987. Also miscellaneous press cuttings, 1989-1991, chiefly from The Guardian and Observer, relating to topics including world peace and broadly cultural issues

1 file


K/PP178/5/12

1969-2003

Papers of M H F Wilkins: published articles about DNA history

Published articles and press cuttings relating chiefly to DNA history, including: photocopied chapter, ‘Processing arterial Doppler signals for clinical data’ by Raymond Gosling and D H King, published in Handbook of Clinical Ultrasound, 1978; Mansel Davies, ‘Notes and discussion: W T Ashbury, Rosie Franklin and DNA’, published in Annals of Science, 1990; John Maddox, ‘Watson, Crick and the future of DNA’, published in Nature, 11 Mar 1993. Also press cuttings, including: Max Perutz’ New Scientist review, Mar 1981, of The double helix, edited by Gunther Stent (Weidenfeld, London, 1981) (outlining the history of the discovery of the structure of DNA, but omitting Wilkins’ name); Sunday Times review of In search of the double helix by John Gribbin (Wildwood, London, 1985), Nov 1985; Charles Siebert, ‘The DNA we’ve been dealt’, Guardian, Nov 1995; interview with Wilkins, ‘Telling the story of life’, printed in King’s College London Report, 2000; Tim Radford, ‘Nobel Prize for cancer pioneers’, Guardian, Oct 2001; reviews of Rosalind Franklin: the dark lady of DNA (Harper Collins, 2002), published in The New Yorker, and New Scientist; Roger Highfield and Matt Ridley, ‘DNA: three letters that spell out a discovery made 50 years ago today’, The Telegraph, 2003, with earlier draft text, annotated by Wilkins

1 file


K/PP178/5/13

1971-1972

Papers of M H F Wilkins: papers relating to film, The DNA Story

Correspondence, chiefly with Ronald Fouracre, producer, relating to educational film The DNA Story (VSM Productions, 1972), and script of the final film. Original file title: ‘Films’

1 file


K/PP178/5/14

1972-1976

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence with Jack Cohen relating to DNA history

Correspondence between Wilkins and Jack Cohen, relating to Cohen’s research for Franklin Portugal and Jack Cohen’s book, A century of DNA: a history of the discovery of the structure and function of the genetic substance (MIT Press, 1980). Also typescript draft text extracts, a typed transcript interview by Cohen of Wilkins, relating to DNA history, and an article by Leonard Hamilton, ‘DNA: models and reality’, offprint from Nature, Vol 218 No 5142, May 1968. Original file titles ‘Cohen etc’ and ‘Cohen’

2 files


K/PP178/5/15

1972, 1976-1978

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence with Robert Cormack relating to tRNA research at King’s College London

Correspondence between Wilkins and Robert Cormack, lecturer in Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast, including a transcript of an interview with Wilkins, 1973, and a subsequent draft article by Cormack on the history of research at King’s College London, 1963-1968, into the structure of transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA)

1 file


K/PP178/5/16

1974-1995

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence relating to DNA history

Letters to Wilkins relating to aspects of the history of DNA research in the Medical Research Council (MRC) Biophysics Unit, King’s College London, from Alec Stokes, Leonard Hamilton, Herbert Wilson and playwright David Halliwell. File includes personal data, CLOSED for review 2075

1 file


K/PP178/5/17

1975-1999

Papers of M H F Wilkins: papers relating to Anne Sayre’s book Rosalind Franklin and DNA

Articles, correspondence and reviews relating to Anne Sayre’s book, Rosalind Franklin and DNA (Norton, New York, 1975), including: a letter from Brigid Hogan and Anne Cooke, Nov 1975 (members of the Women and Science Collective), with critical comments on Wilkins’ draft article in response to Sayre; printed reviews, including Newsweek, New York Review, Sunday Times, and New York Times, 1975; letter from Struther Arnott to Wilkins, Nov 1975, concerning the critical reception of Sayre’s book; letter from Hilary Rose to Wilkins, Mar 1977, commenting on Sayre’s attitude towards Wilkins; letter from Anthony North, Leeds University, to Wilkins, Apr 1978, given his opinion of Sayre’s book and his recollections of Franklin; letter from Anne Sayre to Joan (possibly Joan Mason), Sep 1981, on the possibility of a film based on James Watson, The double helix: a personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA (Atheneum, New York, 1968). Also letter to Wilkins from David Sayre, Mar 1998, apologising for the wording of the New York Times obituary for his wife, Anne Sayre (in which Wilkins’ was referred to as ‘an unscrupulous associate’ of Rosalind Franklin), and photocopy of the New York Times Sayre obituary, by Robert Thomas, with covering letter, May 2000, to Wilkins from Leonard (Hamilton)

1 file


K/PP178/5/18

1975-1976

Papers of M H F Wilkins: draft article, ‘What can be learnt from the history of the DNA double helix?’

Typescript drafts for an article, ‘What can be learnt from the history of the DNA double helix?’, examining the broader lessons of the DNA research concerning scientific cooperation, with copies of covering letters to scientific colleagues, 1975, including Sir John Randall, explaining that the article is in response to the recently published Anne Sayre, Rosalind Franklin & DNA (Norton, New York, 1975) and James Watson, The double helix: a personal account of the discover of the structure of DNA (Athanaeum, New York, 1968). Also draft notes, ‘X-ray diffraction studies of DNA in King’s College from 1950 onwards’, typescript with manuscript emendations and additions, detailing the stages of the DNA X-ray research undertaken in the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit, King’s College London

9 files


K/PP178/5/19

1975-1980

Papers of M H F Wilkins: draft extracts and correspondence relating to Horace Judson’s book, The eighth day of creation

Typescript draft extracts, 1976, from Horace Freeland Judson’s book The eighth day of creation: makers of the revolution in biology, subsequently published by Simon & Schuster, 1978, with related correspondence, 1976-1979, between Wilkins and correspondents including The New Yorker magazine, Patrick Coulson, solicitor, and Horace and Penelope Judson. Also a typescript draft review of Judson’s book by Walter Gratzer, Professor of Biophysical Chemistry, King’s College London

4 files


K/PP178/5/20

1975-1995

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence relating to research by David Halliwell and Horace Judson into DNA history

Correspondence with playwright David Halliwell and scientific journalist and historian Horace Freeland Judson, relating to the history of the discovery of the structure of DNA, including typescript extracts from draft articles, with comment by Wilkins. Also copies of article by Horace Freeland Judson, ‘The annals of science: the legend of Rosalind Franklin: was the only woman in the race to discover DNA cheated out of a Nobel Prize?’, published in Science Digest, 1986

1 file


K/PP178/5/21

[1975]

Papers of M H F Wilkins: notes by Colin McClare on Wilkins’ draft account of the history of DNA research at King’s College London

Copies of Wilkins’ draft article, ‘X-ray diffraction studies of DNA in King’s College from 1950 onwards’, one with annotated comments by Colin William Fraser McClare (1937-1977), Lecturer in Biophysics, King's College, London, 1963-1977. Also manuscript notes by McClare, commenting on Anne Sayre, Rosalind Franklin & DNA (Norton, New York, 1975)

1 file


K/PP178/5/22

1976-2002

Papers of M H F Wilkins: papers relating to research on Rosalind Franklin and her DNA work

Articles, notes and correspondence relating to research by Wilkins and others on Rosalind Franklin and her work in DNA, including: manuscript notes by Wilkins, 1976-1999, on Franklin and on James Watson; correspondence, 1976, between Wilkins and Vittorio Luzzati, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, concerning Luzzati’s recollections of Franklin’s DNA research, with related press cuttings; typescript text of ‘Reflections on the story of the double helix’, by Ruth Hubbard (subsequently published in Women’s Studies International Quarterly, 1979), with covering note from Hilary Rose, 1978; correspondence between Wilkins and Lynne Elkin, 1999, 2002, relating to her research on Rosalind Franklin; photocopy article, ‘The gender equation’ by Sue Rossier, published in The Sciences, Sep/Oct 1992, concerning the historical role of women in scientific research, with brief reference to Franklin; letter to Wilkins from Meyer Friedman, Jan 1993, concerning the progress of Friedman’s work and enclosing a photograph of Franklin aged 10; drafts of a talk, ‘Light on a dark lady’, by Anne Piper, on her recollections of Franklin as a friend from schooldays onwards, given to the Wimbledon Literary and Scientific Society, Oct 1995, with related letters to Wilkins, 1995-1996, including personal data CLOSED for review, 2076; photocopy undated account of Franklin’s childhood and schooldays, entitled ‘Rosalind’, possibly written by her mother, Muriel Frances Franklin, née Waley. Also letter from Maddox to Wilkins, Oct 1999, relating to a possible link between the Wilkins family and James Joyce’s novel Ulysses

1 file


K/PP178/5/23

1976-1995

Papers of M H F Wilkins: draft text and related articles on the discovery of the structure of DNA

Draft text by Wilkins on the discovery of the structure of DNA, with extensive annotations. Also: letter from Leonard Hamilton to Wilkins, Mar 1976, with comment on Wilkins’ draft article ‘X-ray diffraction studies of DNA in King’s College, 1950 onwards’; brief notes by Wilkins on John Gribbin, In search of the double helix (Wildwood House, Aldershot, 1985); photocopy text, ‘Origins of DNA research at King’s College London’, extracts from DNA Structure: Genesis of a Discovery, edited by Seweryn Chomet (Newman-Hemisphere, 1995); X-ray diffraction image of the B form of NaDNA (sodium DNA)

1 file


K/PP178/5/24

1976

Papers of M H F Wilkins: notes by Raymond Gosling and Alec Stokes on Wilkins’ draft account of the discovery of the structure of DNA

Photocopy notes by Raymond Gosling on Wilkins’ draft account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, with Gosling’s draft article, ‘Some recollections of DNA Studies in the Biophysics Laboratories at King’s College’. Photocopy notes by Alexander Stokes, commenting on Wilkins’ draft, and Stokes’ own draft, ‘A note on the history of the determination of the structure of DNA’

1 file


K/PP178/5/25

1976

Papers of M H F Wilkins: letters from John Edsall concerning the preservation of material relating to the history of DNA

Letters to Wilkins from John Edsall,HarvardUniversityandAmericanAcademyof Arts and Sciences, relating to the deposit and preservation of material relating to DNA history in US institutions, including Robert Olby’s taped interviews with key personnel. Also comment on the lack of funding for historical research, and a copy survey of resources in the history of science. Original file title ‘Edsall’

1 file


K/PP178/5/26

1978-1987

Papers of M H F Wilkins: notes for a lecture on the history of DNA research

Manuscript notes for talks and lectures on the history of DNA research, including lectures given at King’s College London Nov 1979, Wichita University, 1982, Royal Holloway College, 1984, the Biology Society, 1986, and Cambridge University, 1987. Also a report of the 5th meeting of the European Molecular Biology Conference advisory committee on recombinant DNA,London, 1978. Original file title ‘DNA lecture’

1 file


K/PP178/5/27

1984-1987

Papers of M H F Wilkins: papers relating to BBC television drama, Life Story, on the discovery of the structure of DNA

Correspondence, notes and press cuttings relating to the BBC dramatisation of the discovery of the structure of DNA, Life Story (retitled Race for the double helix for broadcast in the USA), broadcast 1987 in the Horizon science documentary series, including detailed notes by Wilkins on early drafts of the script by William Nicholson, correspondence, and a detailed chronology of DNA research, 1950-1953

2 files


K/PP178/5/28

1987

Papers of M H F Wilkins: transcript of BBC radio documentary, ‘The dark lady of DNA’, on Rosalind Franklin

Typescript transcript of BBC Radio Four documentary, ‘The dark lady of DNA’, on the contribution of Rosalind Franklin to the discovery of the structure of DNA, recorded 23 Sep 1986 and broadcast 22 Feb 1987. Presented by Lewis Wolpert and produced by Stuart Kerr, with contributions from Francis Crick, Raymond Gosling, Aaron Klug, Charlotte Franklin and Wilkins. Not to be quoted in publication without permission from the BBC

1 file


K/PP178/5/29

1995-1997

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence with David Halliwell and others relating to DNA history

Manuscript correspondence with David Halliwell relating to Wilkins’ possible use of Franklinfamily recollections about Rosalind Franklin in his autobiography, The third man of the double helix (Oxford University Press, 2003). Also copy letters to former colleagues requesting information on DNA research at King’s College London in the 1950s. Original file title ‘DNA correspondence recent/Fraser’

1 file


K/PP178/5/30

1999

Papers of M H F Wilkins: lecture on ‘History of DNA and the discovery of the double helix’

Typescript notes, illustrations and overhead projector transparencies for a lecture on ‘History of DNA and the discovery of the double helix’, given to an audience of sixth formers and teachers, University College London, Dec 1999. Also enlarged copy of a hand drawn sketch showing the basic atomic arrangements of a unit cell of DNA, possibly used in teaching. Original file title ‘Dec 3 Lecture’

1 file


K/PP178/5/31

1998 Sep

Papers of M H F Wilkins: letters from Bruno Battaglio concerning his recollections of King’s College London in the early 1950s

Two manuscript letters from Bruno Battaglio, Università degliStudi di Padova, Italy, to Wilkins, concerning Battaglio’s work in the Medical Research Council (MRC) Biophysics Unit, King’s College London, and Wilkins’ visit to Naples, early 1950s

2 items


K/PP178/5/32 Box 7 File 1

1999-2001

Papers of M H F Wilkins: correspondence between Brenda Maddox and Maurice Wilkins concerning the DNA story and Maddox’s research for her book, Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA

Correspondence between Brenda Maddox and Maurice Wilkins relating to Maddox’s research for her book, Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA (Harper Collins, London, 2002). Includes Wilkins’ perspective on Rosalind Wilkins’ time at King’s College London, 1951-1953 and Maddox’s research for her book, Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA; photocopy of article, ‘The dark lady of DNA?’ by Brenda Maddox, The Observer, 5 Mar 2000; portrait photograph of Maurice Wilkins, Oct 1962. Personal data in the file is CLOSED during the lifetime of Brenda Maddox

1 file


K/PP178/5/33

2003

Papers of M H F Wilkins: article by Watson Fuller, ‘Who said helix?’, with related papers

Article by Watson Fuller, former member of the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit, King’s College London, ‘Who said helix?’, Nature, Aug 2003, with earlier drafts entitled ‘For and against the helix’. Also print-out of email correspondence between Fuller and David Blow concerning the writing of a biographical memoir on Max Perutz for the Royal Society, with reference to Perutz’s role in passing information on the work of the Medical Research Council Biophysics Unit, King’s College London to Francis Crick and James Watson, Cavendish Laboratory, and correspondence, 2003, between Blow and Wilkins concerning Blow’s memoir on Perutz. Correspondence contains personal data, CLOSED for review 2083

1 file

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