Institute and alumni records

Our archive contains over a century of records on genetics, plant breeding, horticultural research, and plant and microbial science.

Notable collections include the William Bateson archive, comprising 10,000 items (c. 1869-1926) documenting the life and work of Britain’s founding father of genetics.

The archive also holds the records of the Genetics Society (from 1919), and of research organisations which have been incorporated within the John Innes Centre: the Virus Research Unit (1952-79), the Plant Breeding Institute (c. 1928-1993), and the Unit of Nitrogen Fixation (1966-1987).


The collections include letters, lecture notes, notebooks, specimens, book manuscripts, photographs, press cuttings, cartoons, and oral history.

A 15 month Wellcome Trust funded project to catalogue the William Bateson and Cyril Darlington archives took place 2012-13.

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