University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections


Papers of Harold Garnet Callan

Images of the papers of Harold Garnet Callan collection

In January 2002 St Andrews University Library was awarded a grant by the "Research Resources in Medical History" fund, which was launched by the British Library and the Wellcome Trust in 2001, to catalogue the papers of Harold Garnet Callan (1917-1993), Professor of Natural History at the University from 1950-1982. The fund provides support for projects that improve the preservation of or access to medically important collections.

Callan specialised in cell physiology undertaking ground-breaking research into genetics and DNA. He was the first to demonstrate the linearity of DNA along the chromosome. He used lampbrush chromosomes (found in every animal except mammals) frequently from newts and toads, to study chromosome activity during periods other than cell division (the only time other chromosomes could be studied). His importance was confirmed in 1963 when he was elected to the Royal Society in London, and other international honours followed.

The collection mainly comprises research notes and chromosome photography but also includes a lot of correspondence, both personal and professional, especially with other scientists. In addition there is material relating to Callan's teaching at the University and to his various publications. For more details, view the catalogue entry for the Papers of Harold Garnet Callan.

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