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Marshall W. Nirenberg Papers 1937-2003 (bulk 1957-1997)
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Box | Folder Title
Series 2: Correspondence, 1953-1993 [series]:

The Correspondence Series consists of mostly professional correspondence to Nirenberg. Throughout his tenure in the LBG, office practice was to file Nirenberg's correspondence into the lab's daily log books; these volumes are located in Series 3: Laboratory Administration, within the Daily Books sub-series. The letters within the Correspondence Series either were never filed by the lab secretaries, or were removed at some point and never re-filed. The series is organized into four sub-series: General, Invitations, Employment Opportunities, and Reprint Requests. Within each sub-series, the correspondence is arranged chronologically.

The General correspondence, spanning 1953-1993, encompasses a wide variety of work-related topics such as requests for cell lines and other cultures, professional conferences, and the research of Nirenberg and his peers, although the occasional personal note or card does appear. Included among these are letters from various socially-conscious organizations such as the Committee of Concerned Scientists asking Nirenberg for his support, particularly after he received the Nobel Prize in 1968. The Invitations sub-series includes offers of speaking engagements or tours, while inquiries regarding the availability of space in Nirenberg's lab comprise the majority of the Employment Opportunities sub-series. That sub-series also includes job offers to Nirenberg from other institutions, such as the offer in March 1962 from François Jacob of the Institut Pasteur. Requests for Nirenberg and Matthaei's seminal 1961 publication on their poly-U experiments, "The Dependence of Cell-Free Protein Synthesis in E. coli upon Naturally Occurring or Synthetic Polyribonucleotides," comprise the bulk of the Reprint Requests sub-series, attesting to the widespread interest generated by their presentation at the Moscow conference. Series 5: Writings includes drafts and reprints of the article, while Series 6: Professional Activities includes Nirenberg's notes and drafts for the 1961 poly-U presentation as well as memorabilia from the conference.

4 27-45
General, 1953-1977
5 1-8
General, 1978-1993
5 9-18
Invitations, 1961-1993
Employment Opportunities, 1960-1993 [subseries]:
5 19-20
Offers to Nirenberg, 1961-1969
5 21-33
Inquiries and Recommendations, 1960-1986
6 1-2
Inquiries and Recommendations, 1987-1993
Reprint Requests, 1960-1987 [subseries]:
6 3
Letters, 1960-1987
Cards, 1960-1964