January 20, 2022

Science: Reference: “Million-Page Story of Modern Genetics Launched Today by the Wellcome Library”

From the Wellcome Library:

Codebreakers: Makers of modern genetics, which launches today [and] contains more than one million pages of first-hand notes, letters, sketches, lectures, photographs and essays from the circle of brilliant minds responsible for uncovering the structure of DNA. The site lays bare the personal and professional thoughts, rivalries, blind alleys and breakthroughs of the scientists whose ideas transformed our understanding of the matter of life.

Drawing on five partner archives in the USA, London, Cambridge and Glasgow and the Wellcome Library’s own holdings, Codebreakers offers an unparalleled and comprehensive primary resource for researchers and curious minds across the world and is launched ahead of the 60th anniversary of Crick and Watson’s seminal ‘Nature’ paper revealing the structure of DNA. It holds the stories behind the discovery, which has shaped our genetic age, from diagnosis to drug development and from forensics to food production, and which lies at the heart of today’s biomedical research.


Codebreakers sits within an entirely redesigned Wellcome Library website, and a new media player allows the close reading, downloading and embedding of digitised files. The content is free to all, and users can log in using Library membership, Facebook or Twitter accounts. A timeline and essays on key individuals and research groups offer navigational aids through the records.


The Wellcome Library’s Codebreakers project is the first phase of a major digitisation programme that will create integrated online content, featuring digitised books, archives, films, photographs and audio covering every aspect of the history of medicine and biomedical science. A further half million pages will be added to Codebreakers over the next six months, and £5.8 million has been set aside for the next phase of the Library’s digitisation plans, which focus on material relating to neurology and mental health. The Library itself is also expanding as part of a £17.5-million development of Wellcome Collection due for completion in summer 2014.

Direct to Codebreakers Web Site

Read the Complete Announcement
Includes specifics about all of the collections digitized.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.