Towards Dolly – Alexandra Melicher

Today’s talk on the Welcome trust funded project ‘Towards Dolly’ was brief, concise and visually stimulating. Organised by the Centre for Research Collections, it was open to all students. The project discussed its aims to catalogue online the vast amount of records, snapshots and glass plate slides associated with key figures throughout the history of modern genetics, namely Conrad Hal Waddington and James Cossar Ewart, thus ‘unlocking the collections’ that are currently kept stored away. The project is appealing to a vast array of disciplines including science, art, photography and anthropology. It aims to publicize the amazing works done at the Roslin Institute and Edinburgh University in the last two decades to students and enthusiasts across the world. Clare Button, the engaging project archivist, provided the small bundle of us in the room with a number of visual insights, or in her words ‘snapshots of social history’ demonstrating the huge field associated around such key thinkers. She illustrated a number of doodles, figures and annotations giving one a more personal insight into the lives of these two key figures, and fuelling our interest in research further.

She also was keen to demonstrate clearly how the project expands interest far beyond just scientists of the time. Whilst the website is not yet launched, with an expected date around March or early April this year, Clare demonstrated a skeleton example of the prospective catalogue. With the talk being only a taster of the work to come, I anticipate a huge interest in the forthcoming catalogue and am excited to see the work in progress!


For more information visit:


Alexandra Melicher:  Social Anthropology


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