The former President’s papers are open!

Bacterial Flagella Model


Bacterial Flagella Model. KLUG 9/1/1.

Following a generous ‘Research Resources’ grant from the Wellcome Trust, and after almost three years of arranging, repackaging and cataloguing, work on the Sir Aaron Klug papers has been successfully concluded.

There are 348 boxes in total in the collection, ranging from correspondence with friends and family, to models and awards, subject files and laboratory notebooks.

Sir Aaron Klug was born in Lithuania in 1926. When he was two his family moved to South Africa. Sir Aaron excelled at school and achieved a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Witwatersrand, he studied for his Masters of Science at the University of Cape Town and then moved to the UK to study for his PhD at the University of Cambridge. Sir Aaron has had an incredibly illustrious career: receiving the Nobel Prize in 1982 for his work on crystallographic electron microscopy; he was knighted in 1988; appointed the Order of Merit in 1995; served as Director of the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (1986–1996) and as President of the Royal Society (1995–2000.)

Klug's letter on his American visa


Sir Aaron Klug’s letter to his wife Liebe Klug regarding his difficulty in obtaining a visa to visit the USA. KLUG 1/1/17.

The Sir Aaron Klug catalogue reads like a who’s who in the scientific field. The open material includes correspondence with: Reginald James, (Ernest Shackleton’s physicist on the Endurance expedition); Rosalind Franklin who worked with Klug at Birkbeck College; Francis Crick; James Watson; John Kendrew; Donald Caspar; Max Perutz and Sydney Brenner.

For those interested in the history of electron microscopy and virus structure the Klug collection will be an incredibly rich resource. However, the Klug archive also provides a glimpse at both social and political history, for example the collection includes material on the ‘Refuseniks’. References and nominations for individuals, some business records and some correspondence will remain closed, however, the vast majority of the collection is open for viewing.

If you would like to view the collection, please do email the Archives Centre to reserve a desk in our Reading Rooms.

— Louise Watling, Archivist (Klug Papers)

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