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Sol Spiegelman Papers 1929-1983
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Collection Scope and Content Note


Biographical material, correspondence, laboratory notebooks, published and unpublished writings, academic course material, subject files, memoranda, and photographic media (113.5 linear feet; 1929-1983) document Sol Spiegelman's professional career as a microbiologist.

Spiegelman collected publicity material generated by his experiments. Much of this information can be found in Series 1: Personal and Biographical, which contains a wealth of news articles about his achievements. It also provides biographical notes, manuscripts and extensive obituaries collected shortly after his death. His many awards and honors are documented in Series 5: Professional Activities in the Awards and Honors sub-series. A significant component of the collection is Spiegelman's professional correspondence files, dating from the 1940s until his death in 1983 (Series 2). Much of this correspondence illustrates Spiegelman's active involvement in the scientific community, as well as the close personal relationships he developed with many of his colleagues.

Laboratory Notes and Notebooks comprise nearly fifty percent of the collection, which are located in Series 3. The series contains multi-volume laboratory notebooks from 1937 to 1976 and are authored by Spiegelman and his laboratory colleagues. The notebooks consist of the protocols, raw data, and conclusions drawn from experiments in enzyme synthesis, DNA-RNA hybridization, viral RNA, and cancerous tumors. The most extensive group of notebooks belonged to Spiegelman and covers a variety of experiments from the first two decades of his career. The second largest group of notebooks was kept by Dr. Ichiro Haruna as he worked with Spiegelman from 1962 to 1966 in the discovery of the RNA-replicating enzyme in viruses.

Copies of Spiegelman's reprints encompassing his entire career can be found in Series 4: Writings. The series contains articles about some of his most renowned experiments including RNA-DNA hybridization and explorations in the causes of human breast cancer. The majority of these articles appear in eight bound volumes entitled "Spiegelman's Collected Reprints."

Documents concerning Spiegelman's role as an educator can be found in Series 6: Academic Career. The series includes teaching materials in several subjects dating primarily from his time at the University of Illinois. Records of the many curricula and educational issues committees with which Spiegelman was involved can be found in the Committees sub-series of Series 5: Professional Activities.

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