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Poultry Research Centre (1947-1986) (research institution)



  • Existence: 1947-1986

PRC directors

Edinburgh had established a reputation for poultry genetics research during the 1920s, chiefly through the interests of the director of the Institute of Animal Genetics, F.A.E. Crew. A keen poultry breeder since his youth, Crew published on aspects of intersexuality and reproductive physiology in the fowl, subjects which were also taken up by Alan Greenwood, who had arrived at the Institute as a doctoral student in 1923.
With Crew away on military service during the Second World War, Greenwood became Acting Director of the Institute as well as Head of the Poultry Section. In 1946, he was invited by the Agricultural Research Council to submit a programme of poultry research, as part of their investment in a number of research centres to improve Britain’s agricultural output. The ARC agreed to his proposals and in 1947 the Poultry Research Centre was created under Greenwood’s direction. The PRC's buildings were erected in 1949 on lands feued from the University of Edinburgh adjacent to the Institute of Animal Genetics, with an outstation to house larger experiments being built on the Bush Estate, south of Edinburgh. The PRC inherited as experimental material the inbred flock of Brown Leghorns which had since 1931 been maintained at the Institute of Animal Genetics without the introduction of fresh blood.
The remit of research in the PRC was wide, being concerned with scientific problems of interest to the agricultural industry as well as the science of genetics. Studies encompassed such areas as egg production, heredity, welfare, sexual characteristics and environmental factors in development and productivity. The Centre also housed a group of workers supported from the British Empire Cancer Campaign who used the Leghorn flock for research on cancer and allied conditions.
In 1971, the Outstation relocated to larger premises in Roslin, Midlothian, adjacent to the Dryden and Mountmarle farms, and the PRC itself relocated there in 1980. Six years later, part of the PRC integrated into the Edinburgh Research Station of the new Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research (IAPGR). The nutrition, biochemistry and pathology programmes of PRC were incorporated into the Institute of Grassland and Animal Production (IGAP) as the IGAP Poultry Department. This remained on the former PRC site and was incorporated into IAPGR in 1990.
PRC directors
A.W. Greenwood
T.C. Carter
D.W.F. Shannon

Found in 35 Collections and/or Records:

Correspondence with the Agricultural Research Council, 1946-1951

Identifier: Coll-41/8/2
Scope and Contents The correspondence chiefly concerns the ARC'S financial support and the establishment of the Poultry Research Centre. Also contains draft typescripts of reports written by Waddington, including 'Constitution of a Self-Contained University Department of Genetics and Re-Organisation of the Present Institute of Animal Genetics' (1946), copies of memoranda of meetings between ARC representatives, the Department of Agriculture for Scotland and the University (1946-1947).
Dates: 1946-1951

File concerning a feasibility study for the combined administration of the Animal Breeding Research Organisation, Poultry Research Centre and the Neuropathogenesis Unit, 1983

Identifier: EUA IN23/2/2/3
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Fonds: Comprises administrative, financial, personnel and estates records of the PRC, as well as reports, publications and visitors books. These files are chiefly those of the PRC Secretary, Alistair Menzies. There is a very limited amount of research material.
Dates: 1983

File concerning financial arrangements between the PRC and the Institute for Grassland and Animal Production following reorganisation, 1986-1987

Identifier: EUA IN23/2/2/9
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Fonds: Comprises administrative, financial, personnel and estates records of the PRC, as well as reports, publications and visitors books. These files are chiefly those of the PRC Secretary, Alistair Menzies. There is a very limited amount of research material.
Dates: 1986-1987

Histories of the Institute and related topics, 1932-c.1971

 File — Box: EUA-A-65, Box: data_value_missing_d444e1d5c21bc118b076f6bb64740241, Box: data_value_missing_2531f8fa794388aac231b29d0fc99ff5
Identifier: EUA IN1/ACU/A1/5/5
Scope and Contents Contains: photocopied typescript titled 'Institute of Animal Genetics at Edinburgh: The First Twenty Years' by Margaret Deacon of the Science Studies Unit (unpublished and undated, c.1971); one copy, plus one photocopy, of the Institute newsletter titled 'General News of the Institute', including personal news of present and past workers at the Institute (circa 1954); 4...
Dates: 1932-c.1971

Material relating to the history of the PRC and ABRO, 1942-1965

Identifier: EUA IN23/2/2/1
Scope and Contents Contains:'The Origin and Early History of ABGRO' by R.G. White, dated September 1965 (20 pages); two typed pages providing a summary of the PRC (undated); Bulletin of the Poultry Association of Great Britain, including 'Some Aspects of Poultry Research at Edinburgh' by Alan Greenwood, and 'Poultry Farmers and the New Income Tax Proposals' by John R. Harvey (1942); 'The Poultry Research Centre, Edinburgh' by Alan Greenwood, reprinted from the 1951 Year Book of Poultry Association of Great...
Dates: 1942-1965

Memorandum on Climatological Work at the ARC Poultry Research Centre, September 1957

Identifier: Coll-1700/2/32
Scope and Contents From the Series: Contains various lectures and articles by Greenwood, including some texts from broadcasts and public speeches.
Dates: September 1957

Papers of Alan W. Greenwood

Identifier: Coll-1057
Scope and Contents Contains: academic certificates of Alan Greenwood and Janet Alison Vera Crockett; papers relating to the Institute of Animal Genetics, including a notebook detailing various poultry experiments, a report from the Institute (1943-1944) and various historical memoranda; papers relating to the Poultry Research Centre; reprints of journal articles and research...
Dates: 19th century-1984