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Charles Yanofsky Collection

Identifier: CY

Scope and Content

The Charles Yanofsky Collection at CSHL Library and Archives is composed of professional and academic related material accrued or produced by Dr. Yanofsky. As Dr. Yanofsky has spent the majority of his career at Stanford University, much of the material references his tenure as Chairman of the Microbiology Department. The collection includes publications, awards, correspondence, laboratory notebooks and photographs.


  • Creation: 1948-2010


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Some restrictions apply, see Archivist for details. Access is given only by appointment, 8:00a.m. to 4:45p.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.


Charles Yanofsky was born April 17, 1925 in New York City, New York. He received his undergraduate education at the City College of New York (1948) and obtained a Ph.D. in microbiology in 1951 from Yale University. In 1958, Dr. Yanofsky moved to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, where he remained for the rest of his career. He became the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Molecular Biology, retiring in 2010. Dr. Yanofsky’s research focused on the control of gene expression, in particular the molecular regulatory mechanisms of bacterial transcription.

Throughout his career, Charles Yanofsky received numerous awards. He shared the Lasker Foundation award for medical research with Seymour Benzer and Sydney Brenner in 1971. In 1976, he won the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize for outstanding biology research from Columbia University, again sharing the award with Sydney Brenner. In 2003, he was awarded the National Medal of Science, the country’s highest scientific honor. Dr. Yanofsky served as President of the Genetics Society of America (1970) and the American Society of Biological Chemists (1984).

Dr. Yanofsky passed away March 16,2018 at age 92.


21 Boxes (14 regular document cases; 7 irregular flat storage)


The Charles Yanofsky Collection documents the career of Dr. Charles Yanofsky through materials and ephemera relating to his academic and professional achievements. Dr. Yanofsky’s research focused on how the genetic code is read and translated into proteins.

Arrangement Note

The material has been divided in 6 series.

  1. Scientific Publications: Bound Reprints, 1949-2010
  2. Correspondence, 1953-2004
  3. Grant Applications and Reports, 1974-2006
  4. Lab Notebooks, 1954-1991
  5. Memorabilia and Ephemera, 1948-2003
  6. Audiovisual, 1950s-2010

Material arrived in an organized state and in good condition. Like documents and ephemera were grouped together by the processing archivist to assist researchers. Notably, the correspondence arrived in titled folders and was filed alphabetically. The titles refer to the subject of the correspondence and the processing archivist retained all titles. See each series for more information.


The collection was donated by Charles Yanofsky. It was received and accessioned August 2010 and processed at CSHL Library and Archives in October 2011 (Accession #2010-043).


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


The archivist processing the Yanofsky collection, wrote a short blog about the collection. See Processing the Yanofsky Collection

Charles Yanofsky Collection
Finding Aid Prepared by Amy Driscoll. Revisions by Tom Adams and Clare Clark. Updated by Kate Pigliacelli in 2023.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
This collection was processed under the grant History and Development of Molecular Biology: New Sources through the Hidden Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Collections (1890-1910), (NAS11-RB-50178-11). Funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

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