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This series deals with visits, lecture-tours, scientific congresses and symposia, 1927-1981, beginning with Darlington's first visit abroad to attend the Fifth International Congress of Genetics in Berlin. It includes a substantial record of his expedition to Persia, Feb-Jul 1929, together with J.M. Cowan of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to collect seeds of Prunus species and bulbs of Tulipa species. The visit was of great importance for his chromosome studies and for the contact it brought with different peoples and their languages, customs, behaviour and religions which played its part in stimulating his later interest in man and society. Darlington left England on 22 February travelling by sea to Port Said and then overland by way of Palestine, Syria and Iraq to Persia. He returned to England via Russia. N.I. Vavilov assisted in obtaining a visa for the Russian visit. This journey also encouraged his wider interest in the family of man - an interest stimulated by later far-flung visits to Russia in 1934, India in 1937, South and East Africa in 1963, and Australia and New Zealand in 1968 and 1971-1972. The second antipodean visit incorporated a month's stay in Papua New Guinea.

Visits important for Darlington's scientific career include his year in the USA and Japan as a Rockefeller Fellow. He was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship Cytology for study in the USA for 12 months from 1 June 1932. During the tenure of his Fellowship, Darlington visited Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin, Berkeley, Stanford and Cal Tech. He also attended the Sixth International Congress of Genetics at Cornell, 24-31 August 1932. Although the original Fellowship provided for study in the USA only, Darlington was allowed to change his place of study to the Imperial University of Kyoto for an unexpired period of the Fellowship. In his report to the Rockefeller Foundation Darlington also mentioned a visit to Coimbatore, India. See MS. Darlington g. 4/A.26, MS. Darlington g.33/A.66, MS. Darlington f.8/A.67 and MS. Darlington c. 6/A.184-190 for letters and diaries.

Another important visit was to a small conference at Klampenborg, Austria, in April 1938 which was intended to be the first of a series to bring together scientists of different disciplines to consider the physical and chemical basis of heredity. Material relating to the organization of the Seventh International Congress of Genetics at Edinburgh in 1939 and the Seventh International Botanical Congress at Stockholm in 1950 illuminates the traumas of Russian genetics during this period.

In his later career Darlington attached the greatest significance to the series of International Chromosome Conferences which he initiated in Oxford in 1964 and which he hoped would establish the basic importance of chromosome studies in biology. The second and third conferences in this series were also held in Oxford (1967 and 1970) and after a number of overseas locations the conference returned to Oxford in 1980. Darlington usually gave the opening or Presidential address.


  • Creation: 1909, 1927-1981

Language of Materials

  • English
  • French
  • Portuguese

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Darlington c. 96-105, e. 20, f. 33-36 (H.1-187)

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom