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Undergraduate Research Program Collection

Identifier: URP

Scope and Content

The Undergraduate Research Program Collection is comprised of photographs, administrative records, participant applications, student presentations, and memorabilia from the inception of the program in 1959 until 2010. There are no records for the years 1965-1966 – the program was not held due to lack of funding; nor for 1998. The brochures created for the 1999 40th Anniversary Celebration contain a cumulative list of all the participants, their University, their Advisor and their Research Project.


  • Creation: 1959-2011

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Some restrictions apply, see Archivist for details. Access is given only by appointment, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Use Restriction

Archival materials must remain in the archival reading area. Item duplication is to be done by archivists. Fees are applied to copies made. Digital photography is permitted by users. Due to the very fragile nature of some materials in this collection, some are available through photocopies; others must be used under the supervision of an archivist.

Historical Note

The summer Undergraduate Research Program (URP) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was established in 1959 to inspire and develop burgeoning scientists by giving college students the opportunity to conduct supervised research in a professional facility. URP was initially sponsored by the National Science Foundation (until 1972) and the Long Island Biological Association. The program later was funded through private grants such as the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation and the CSHL Endowment Fund. The students were mentored by full time staff and special lectures were taught by a combination of Biological Lab senior staff, its sibling organization the Carnegie Institute of Washington, as well as guest investigators such as Max Delbruck, Seymour Benzer and Salvador Luria.

As URP grew, so did the diversity of the students. The program initially was comprised of 10 American students and now has grown to 25 students from all over the world. Notable alumni include David Baltimore (1959) who along with Renato Dulbecco and Howard Martin Temin won the 1975 Nobel Prize for "for their discoveries concerning the interaction between tumor viruses and the genetic material of the cell,” Alfred Goldberg (1961) professor at Harvard Medical School, Charles Gilbert (1969,1970) professor at Rockefeller University, Gerry Rubin (1970) Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and Geraldine Seydoux professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Johns Hopkins.


13 boxes (5.4 linear feet)


The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Undergraduate Research Program (URP) was established in 1959 to give undergraduate students an opportunity to conduct research in a professional environment. The collection consists of administrative records, photographs and applications of the participants in the program from its inception in 1959 until 2010.

Arrangement Note

  1. Box 1: 1959-1975
  2. Box 2: 1976-1979
  3. Box 3: 1980-1982
  4. Box 4: 1983-1984
  5. Box 5: 1985-1988
  6. Box 6: 1989-1991
  7. Box 7: 1992-1995
  8. Box 8: 1996-1998
  9. Box 9: 1999
  10. Box 10: 2000-2003
  11. Box 11: 2004
  12. Box 12: 2005-2008
  13. Box 13: 2009-2011

The Collection was received in an organized state. Material was organized by the previous processing archivist into folders in chronological order. Material is organized by date, rather than by type. Folder level date ranges are generally reflective of the material within.


The bulk of the collection was received circa 1999. A preliminary processing was done in 1999 and a more in-depth processing was completed in December 2011.


This collection was processed with funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Basic Processing Grant.

Undergraduate Research Program Collection
Finding Aid Prepared by Amy Driscoll.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA