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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Collection

Identifier: CSHL

Scope and Content

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Collection at CSHL Library and Archives is composed of material that were created, amassed and maintained by various individuals connected to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The papers cover the time span from 1962-2010. The materials provide some insight into the administrative, financial and fundraising practices of CSHL and LIBA. The collection includes correspondence, meeting minutes, fundraising ideas, and financial materials.


  • Creation: 1923-1962


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Some restrictions apply, see Archivist for details. Access is given only by appointment, 9 a.m. to 4 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

In 1962 the Carnegie Institute of Washington, a collaborating organization with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories decided to discontinue its Genetics department at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Concurrently, the Long Island Biological Association gave up its management duties of the Biological Laboratory. As a result of these changes, a new organization was formed called The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of Quantitative Biology (CSHLQB). Its control and sponsorship were governed by various universities and other scientific institutions. LIBA still had a significant role in fund raising for the Laboratory; however, new practices for acquiring additional funding were employed, notably grant application. John Cairns (Director, 1963-68) and James Watson (Director, 1968-1994) were instrumental in garnering significant grants that transformed CSHL. CSHLQB formally changed its name to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 1968.


10 Boxes


The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Collection contains papers of the members of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and The Long Island Biological Association from the years 1962-2010. The materials consist of correspondence, meeting notes, financial papers, fundraising papers and development plans. The collection is divided into 5 series: Series 1: Administration; Series 2: Development; Series 3: Financials; Series 4: Fundraising; Series 5: Science and Research.

Arrangement Note

Materials for this collection were found generally unorganized. The boxes were largely unlabeled. They were not from the creator of these records. Many of these papers were intermingled with LIBA papers. Further, any materials that preceded 1923 (BIAS) and 1962 (LIBA) were weeded out during processing and placed in their respective collections. A logical arrangement was imposed upon the collection by the archivist.

The records were arranged in 5 series. All materials in these series were arranged alphabetically.


The material in this collection was created and housed at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from the years 1962-2010. The records have been collected, transferred, or otherwise acquired by the CSHL Library and Archives during that time span. Materials from related institutions has been weeded and placed their respective collections (see Arrangement Note for details). The collection was processed in June 2012.

Related Materials

Related collections include the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences – The Biological Laboratory (BIAS) Collection, the Long Island Biological Association (LIBA) Collection, the James D. Watson Collection, and various institutional collections held by the CSHL Library and Archives.


This collection was processed with funding provided by the New York State Archives’ Documentary Heritage Program.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Collection
Finding Aid Prepared by Mona Ramonetti.
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