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The archives record the history of the John Innes Centre, capturing the careers of the gardeners and scientists employed and encompassing the wide range of activities undertaken since its foundation in 1910 as the John Innes Horticultural Institution at Merton Park, through the move to Bayfordbury and finally its current location in Norwich. The records also relate to the research organisations incorporated within the John Innes Centre over time (the Virus Research Unit, Plant Breeding Institute and Unit of Nitrogen Fixation) as well as the subjects of genetics, plant breeding, horticultural research, and plant and microbial science more generally.

Historical material including letters, lecture notes, notebooks, specimens, book manuscripts, photographs, press cuttings, cartoons, and oral history recordings help to tell the story of the important scientific work which has been undertaken over the years, while photograph albums, cricket-scoring books, pantomime scripts, tape recordings, memoirs, and film recall the atmosphere and communal life of the John Innes Centre.

Adding information to the online catalogue is an ongoing project and currently only a limited proportion of the archive is searchable in this way. Of those collections that have been described in detail, some of the most notable include the William Bateson archive, Britain's founding father of genetics, the Cyril Darlington archive, a former Director of John Innes and the Genetics Society archive (formerly the Genetical Society)..

For more information about the archive collection as a whole, please contact Sarah Wilmot, Outreach Curator

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