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The material is presented in an alphabetical sequence and covers both British and overseas organizations.

Many entries are relatively trivial and deal with membership, invitations to meetings and the like but there is interesting material, under British Empire Cancer Campaign, relating to Darlington's inspection of the Strangeways Research Laboratory in Cambridge and substantial folders relating to the Genetical Society, including the journal Heredity, and to the Royal Society.

The files at MSS. Darlington c. 92-93/G.24-G.65 deal with his work on Heredity: An International Journal of Genetics which was founded in 1947 by Darlington and R.A. Fisher, with the intention, according to the prospectus, of introducing genetics to a wider audience 'indeed to the whole world of Biology since the whole world of Biology needs it'. It was published by Oliver & Boyd and appeared three times a year, with articles in the fields of 'experimental breeding, cytology, statistical and biochemical genetics and evolutionary theory. New research, history, review and criticism are accepted'. (MS. Darlington c. 92/G.32). In justifying a new journal to the publisher Darlington referred to the expected revival of genetics with the end of the war, the demise of three important German and Japanese journals in the field and the 'traditional policy' of the Journal of Genetics 'of keeping within the narrow limits established thirty years ago, which both Professor Fisher and I regard as dangerously restrictive' (MS. Darlington c. 92/G.28). Darlington's 1970 note for the archives of Heredity (MS. Darlington c. 93/G.53) details the difficulties he experienced in getting his papers published in the 1930s and 1940s, which encouraged him to found the new journal. See also the memoir by D. Lewis (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 29, 145).

For the first ten years all the editing and book reviews were the responsibility of Darlington; Fisher contented himself with publishing the papers of his department in the journal. Subsequently, while Darlington continued to handle the reviews, a succession of colleagues undertook editorial responsibilities: K. Mather, 1957-1964, K.R. Lewis, 1965-1967 and J.L. Jinks, 1967-1970. In 1962 on the death of Fisher, Darlington became the sole owner of Heredity. The journal's connection with the Genetical Society was always strong and it had from its foundation carried abstracts of papers presented at the society's conferences. It was therefore a logical step for Darlington to transfer ownership of the journal to the society in 1970. As his memorialist notes, all Darlington asked in return for this profitable gift was to receive copies of each part and supplement during his lifetime (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 29, 145).

For Darlington's honours and awards see MS. Darlington c. 91/G.1-2, G.9; MS. Darlington c. 94/G.66-67, G.73-81; MS. Darlington c. 95/G.103.


  • 1919-1980

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Darlington c. 91-95/G.1-110

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom