About this Collection

American biochemist Paul Berg (b. 1926) has been making outstanding contributions to biochemistry and molecular biology for over fifty years. As a young researcher he resolved several key problems in metabolic chemistry, and went on to discover the mechanisms by which DNA and RNA direct the synthesis of proteins in living systems. In 1972, he and his colleagues at Stanford University synthesized the first recombinant DNA (rDNA), and he subsequently led the international community of rDNA researchers in their efforts to address the potential physical and ethical hazards posed by that revolutionary technology. He received the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his protein synthesis and rDNA work.

The Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives in Stanford, California is the repository for the Paul Berg Papers, which range from 1953 to 1986. The collection contains correspondence, lab notebooks, administrative files, grant files, departmental records, student files, lectures, reprints, illustrations, videotapes, and audiotapes.

As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has made available online, in collaboration with Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives, a digitized selection of the Paul Berg Papers. This website provides access to the portions of the Paul Berg Papers that are now publicly available. Individuals interested in conducting research using the full collection of Paul Berg Papers should contact the Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections and University Archives.

This Profile is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Berg's scientific career and professional life. Narrative sections available from the navigation bar under "The Story" focus on Berg's life and major scientific contributions.

Researchers can search the digitized items using the Search box or browse all Documents and Visuals in the collection by selecting "Collection Items" from the navigation bar.