Welcome to the History Portal of the ACA




The ACA History Project showcases and preserves the history of crystallography, X-ray diffraction, and structural science through online access, articles in ACA RefleXions quarterly newsletter, and archival at the Niels Bohr Library and Archives in College Park, MD. 


In celebration of the 2014 International Year of Crystallography and the international nature of structural science, here are links to other history resources.  For example, the IUCr website has links from the ACA on the history of crystallography and the Diamond Light Source (UK) has a new documentary film on the history of crystallography, focusing on the Braggs.


Latest Additions

Nadrian C. Seeman

In this lively account Nadrian Seeman describes his career in crystallography and his inventive adaptation of DNA structures to make nanodevices. 

John Helliwell

John recognized the importance of synchrotron radiation to crystallography; he received the 2014 ACA Patterson Award for his pioneering work in the field.

Jenny Glusker, "Early Crystallographic Investigations by Nobel Laureate Dorothy Hodgkin"

A personal remembrance of Dorothy by one of her former students. Jenny describes how she phased the hexacarboxylic acid of vitamin B12 with the cobalt atom.

Edgar Meyer

Edgar was drawn to crystallography because of its order and beauty; in later life he became a sculptor with a crystallographic bent.

Contribute Your Memoir and Photographs


Tell us about your career in government, industry, or academia. We are interested in all aspects of the history of structural science, crystallography, and x-ray diffraction — instrumentation, teaching, research advances, research groups and organizations. Potential authors are encouraged to contact Virginia Pett.