Salk scientists Francis Crick's scientific papers to be housed at UC San Diego and in London

December 11, 2001

Copies of the collected scientific papers of Nobelist Francis Crick, co-discoverer of DNA and a member of the faculty of The Salk Institute, will be housed in the special collections section of the Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego.

The collection is coming to the UCSD library as part of an agreement in which the original papers will go to the Wellcome Library in London for about $2.5 million.

That price, half coming from the Wellcome Trust Charity and the other half from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is believed to be the largest paid to a contemporary scientist for his or her archives.

"Since we do not have the facilities to accommodate all of Francis Crick's papers, we at The Salk Institute are delighted that copies will be made available to visiting scholars and others at the UCSD library," said Richard A. Murphy, president and chief executive officer of The Salk Institute. Crick, now 85, said he would donate most of the proceeds to his children and grandchildren.

"I think it's wonderful that the Wellcome Trust Charity is graciously making these papers available in the two places in the world that have been my professional homes - London and La Jolla. "I couldn't think of two better places for my papers to go."

Crick was based at Cambridge University from 1947 to 1976; as a young scientist, in 1953 he and Watson unraveled the double helical structure of DNA, the fundamental unit of heredity. The finding earned the duo the Nobel Prize in 1962. Crick subsequently left London for La Jolla and The Salk Institute, where he has worked for the last quarter century.

His papers, which fill about a dozen filing cabinets, include writings about the discovery of DNA's structure and Crick's subsequent work at Salk on neuroscience, the brain and consciousness.

Lynda Claassen, director of the Mandeville Special Collections Library at UCSD, said Crick's papers would be available for research use by scholars, scientists, and medical historians within two years.

"We're interested, of course, because this is a tremendous addition to our great science and technology collection at the university," she said.

Claassen added that the library will begin photocopying Crick's papers in January, using acid-free paper for a long shelf life. Aside from the Crick collection, other papers stored in the rare book's temperature and humidity-controlled environment include the archives of Salk scientists Jonas Salk, Leslie Orgel and Leo Szilard.

Once copies are made, Crick's papers will be boxed and shipped to the Wellcome Library.
Media Contacts: Lynda Claassen, UCSD, 858-534-2533,; Dolores Davies, UCSD, 858-534-5994,; Warren R. Froelich, The Salk Institute, 858-453-4100, Ext. 1646,

Note: Photos of Francis Crick are available online at

University of California - San Diego

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