Skip to main content

The Cronshaw Archive of Early Technology

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-1943

Scope and Contents

Research papers of Andrew Cronshaw, who worked for the University of Edinburgh as a biochemist from c. 1982, alongside Prof. Michael Gardner, Prof. Richard Ambler, Prof. Alastair Aitken and others. It includes textbook, instrumental booklets, instrument promotion documents, correspondence, and instrument data outputs. These items were rescued from several clear outs and laboratory moves, were curated and deemed important for future generations.


  1. Instrumental promotion documents 1960s - 2017 (several)
  2. Textbook (1), instrument booklets (several)
  3. Outdated correspondence and documents relating to difficulties in obtaining funding for the Edman protein sequencer in the 1980s
  4. Instrument data outputs, representative standard and sample runs 1980s – 2017 (several)


There were a series of major changes in the analysis of proteins that occurred between the 1960s and 2017. Analyses in the 1960s relied on fairly basic, now perhaps considered primitive techniques. These were principally, paper chromatography, thin layer chromatography (TLC) and automated amino acid analysis (AAA). In the early1980s most researchers worked in laboratories without very high cost instrumental analysers. Separate distinct processes were linked but often the different stages were carried out manually.

The advent of computing and later, the sequencing of the DNA from the human and multi-species genomes enabled rapid technological advances. In the mid-1980s HPLC with Edman sequencing was the dominant process of protein identification but the by 1990s mass spectrometry emerged as the replacement and remains the dominant technique today.

Click here to see the full contextual information provided by Andrew Cronshaw, including a list of Protein Analyser instruments used at the University of Edinburgh.


  • Creation: 1960s-2017


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Mostly open, although a small number of documents may be subject to Data Protection legislation . Please contact the repository in advance.

Biographical / Historical

Andrew Cronshaw worked for the University of Edinburgh as a biochemist from c. 1982, alongside Prof. Michael Gardner, Prof. Richard Ambler, Prof. Alastair Aitken and others.


0.5 linear metre

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Andrew Cronshaw in November 2018. Accession no SC-Acc-2018-0211.


The following book has been appraised (already available in the Main Library): Blackburn, S., Amino Acid Determination: Methods and Techniques (New York: M. Dekker, 1968)

Processing Information

Top-level description created by Aline Brodin in January 2019, using information provided by Andrew Cronshaw.

The Cronshaw Archive of Early Technology, 1960s-2017
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379