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International Catalog of the History of the HGP

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year initiative to sequence the billions of individual bases of human DNA. Despite the landmark nature of the project, there was never any effort to preserve, collect or organize the documentary record of scientists’ work in six countries: this historical documentation lay scattered in archives and other collections in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, and China.


In 2009, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory began working with The Wellcome Trust to change this. The International Catalog of the History of the Human Genome Project seeks to fill a large gap for historians and other scholars researching the HGP. The project will create a catalog of the original materials that came out of sequencing the human genome: correspondence, lab notes, photographs, papers, grant applications, oral history interviews, and other files.


For the first time, all the relevant materials documenting the history of the HGP will be identified, organized, and catalogued for the public. The website for the International Catalog of the History of the Human Genome Project is available at genomelegacy.org.

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