Nobel Laureates and Laurel Hollow Mayor participate in Groundbreaking Ceremony for Expanded Library and Archives

Three Nobel Laureates and the Mayor of Laurel Hollow, NY joined Dr. Bruce Stillman, President of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) at the groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the CSHL Library, Friday, October 12, 2007. The completed facility will house an unparalleled scientific research collection, Archives, and the Genentech Center for the History of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Dr. Stillman welcomed nearly 100 CSHL friends and guests to the ceremony, “Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has a very important place in the history of genetics and continues to be at the leading edge of molecular genetics research. The expansion of the Library and use of modern technology will provide us with even more opportunities to share our knowledge and experience with scientists and students around the world.”
Dr. Bruce Stillman (at right), President of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), welcomes guests to the ceremonial groundbreaking. Participants in the groundbreaking included (from left to right), Mila Pollock, Executive Director, CSHL Library and Archives, Dr. Waclaw Szybalski, CSHL alumni scientist, Dr. James D. Watson, CSHL Chancellor, and Harry Anand, mayor of Laurel Hollow, NY.

Among those participating in the event included three Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine: Dr. James D. Watson, CSHL Chancellor, who won the 1962 Nobel Prize; Dr. Richard Roberts, the 1993 Nobel Prize winner, and Dr. Sydney Brenner, the 2002 Nobel Prize winner.

Also in attendance was the Honorable Harry Anand, mayor of Laurel Hollow, NY, “A strong relationship exists between the village of Laurel Hollow and the Laboratory, and I have a great appreciation for what happens here,” Anand said. “As neighbors and partners, we are committed to opening the doors for future scientists and being allies working for the betterment of the village.”

The Carnegie Building was originally established in 1904 as a genetics laboratory, and served as the CSHL Library since 1953. For more than a half century it has provided students, scientists, and scholars with a full range of research services and housed manuscripts, correspondence, oral history resources, photos, and scientific reprints, documenting the history of molecular biology and genetics.

When completed, the expanded and renovated facility will provide worldwide access to CSHL’s unique and expanding collection of materials available for studying of the history of molecular biology, genetics, genomics, and biotechnology.

“This is a very happy occasion for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and for me personally,” Dr. Watson said. “We are witnessing the beginning of the restoration of this historic building. This provides the means for key documents that witnessed the historic transformation of genetics research into molecular genetics to be accessible world-wide.”

Watson’s extensive scientific and personal materials will have an honored place in the new facility, along with those of Dr. Brenner, and Barbara McClintock, Alfred D. Hershey, and other future acquisitions that document the revolution in molecular biology.

Participants in the groundbreaking included (from left to right), Mila Pollock, Executive Director, CSHL Library and Archives, Dr. Waclaw Szybalski, CSHL alumni scientist, Dr. James D. Watson, CSHL Chancellor, Harry Anand, mayor of Laurel Hollow, NY, and Dr. Bruce Stillman, CSHL President.
The expansion is made possible with the generous support of CSHL donors, especially the vision and commitment of CSHL alumni scientist Waclaw Szybalski, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Oncology, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and corporate sponsor, Genentech, Inc.

Szybalski recounted growing up in Poland, always finding himself in libraries, and those experiences continued during his time at CSHL in the early 1950’s, “I have always had a fondness for libraries, and firmly believe in the expansion of CSHL’s Library so others may benefit from the work being done here.”

Mila Pollock, Executive Director, CSHL Library and Archives said, “The Library plays an important role in the student’s learning process. One hundred years ago, scientists conducted research in this building. When this expansion is completed, tomorrow’s researchers will be able to rediscover those early days to help them in their research for future discoveries.”

The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is a private, non-profit research and education institution dedicated to exploring molecular biology and genetics in order to advance the understanding and ability to diagnose and treat cancers, neurological diseases, and other causes of human suffering.  For more information, visit