Following the successful digitisation of Raymond Gosling's PhD thesis, 'X-ray diffraction studies of Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid' I have added a few of the images onto the project’s Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51665752@N04/sets/72157631533614623/ .
As I have already stated in the previous posts, Gosling was a vital worker in the King's effort to solve the structure of DNA. His PhD provides an excellent record of the experimental work going on at King’s - not only in terms of x-ray diffraction crystallography on the Signer DNA but the initial diffraction studies on sperm heads; the microscope-based work occurring simultaneously on nucleic acids and descriptions of model building, theoretic analysis of data and apparatus design are also described.
The source, from an archival perspective, is ‘visually exciting’. Scientific records tend to be fairly cryptic with significance often hidden within the text or captured in a graph or table. The photographic prints within the thesis give a clear linear progression of the diffraction pattern that were being obtained at King’s. Broadly speaking, it is possible to see the improvement of images as the old x-ray equipment was discarded for the finer focus camera and x-ray tube and the presence of an expert crystallographer, in the form of Rosalind Franklin at the helm.