The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives is a one-of-a-kind repository for the past, present and future of molecular biology, neuroscience, and biotechnology located in historic Cold Spring Harbor, New York. For the last ten years the Library and Archives has been steadily expanding. With the debut of our Library and Archives Newsletter, we hope to bring the history of science to life.

When I worked in Russia, it was extremely difficult to gain access to original documents. In coming to Cold Spring Harbor, my wish was to provide access to as many original documents as possible through the process of digitization.

The Library and Archives has made important acquisitions in recent years that include the papers of three Nobel Laureates - James D. Watson, Sydney Brenner, and Alfred Hershey - and much more. 2008 promises to be an exciting year for our institution, as the collections of Norton Zinder and Charles Weissman are made part of our growing collection. The generous gift from the Genentech has allowed us to undergo a critical expansion that will be completed this year. The support of Genentech has allowed us to recognize this important chapter in the history of science, and bring our many digitized collections into the public sphere.

Our new Library and Archives blog aims to allow our talented archivists to familiarize the non-Cold Spring Harbor community with the breadth and quality of our archives. It's wonderful that those interested in the history of science can visit us electronically as well as here on Long Island. Our contributors will include academics, scientists, and historians from outside our walls, each with their own story to tell.

Together we'll give you a sense of the compelling intellectual environment that is the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. We'll talk to scientists, administrators, and students to give you an idea of what life and work is like on the CSHL campus. This site also provides a window into our many virtual exhibitions. It will be a place where you can find more information about our one-of-a-kind Oral History Project. In addition, you'll be able to access more information on our latest exhibitions, including Honest Jim: James D. Watson, The Writer and Max Delbruck 100: Celebrating His Life and Work.

In our first edition, we tell you about the life of Hermann Muller. We sit down with honored scientist and author Partha Mitra. And we chronicle Jim Watson's fundraising efforts with Playboy magazine. This is the beginning of what will be a regular space where the history of science comes alive.

We want to hear from you. Please send us your feedback on any aspect of our online experience. The continued expansion of the Library and Archives is essential to cementing Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's prominence as place to document achievement - past, present, and future - in the fields of molecular biology, neuroscience, biotechnology, and genetics. As Jim Watson wrote in our signature book on the day of the Library’s historic groundbreaking, “Forward always.”

Mila Pollock

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