Faculty Support

Digitizing the lifetime record of an ‘everyday scientist’

"…I suppose I’m a person that saves things."

"…I suppose I’m a person that saves things."

“When you are doing science you have to keep a good record of what you do, and I suppose I’m a person that saves things. I think the reason to digitize them was not for any personal vanity or anything, but because they have a record of what an everyday scientist is doing for a lifetime.”

The work of Oliver Smithies, world-renowned geneticist and Nobel laureate, was hardly an everyday matter. But the Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor at the UNC School of Medicine took daily notes in his journals since he was a biochemistry graduate student at Oxford University in the 1940s. Smithies dedicated his life to the study of science, and his notebooks contain not only his groundbreaking research, but also details of his day-to-day life.

Now, those 150-plus notebooks are open to the world on the Oliver Smithies Research ArchiveOpens in new window website, containing digitized scans done by Wilson Library with support from the Office of the Provost.

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