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George E. Fox Papers

Identifier: 2018-033

The collection covers the Fox-Woese collaboration from its beginnings in 1973 until 1985 and contains approximately 5 linear feet of records, including correspondence, manuscripts for articles, research, data analysis, and photographs of laboratory equipment.The highlight of the collection are multiple draft versions of each of the major manuscripts, which provide insight to what they were thinking at the time.

This collection is not yet fully processed. For questions about materials in this collection or to request access, contact curator Mary Manning at


  • approximately 1974-1984


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is not yet processed. Contact the curator to request access.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


5 linear feet

Biographical Information

As a postdoctoral scientist with Dr. Carl R. Woese, Dr. Fox was the co-discover of the Archaea in 1977. In doing so, Woese & Fox were the first to use 16S ribosomal RNA, (16S rRNA), sequence information to elucidate evolutionary relationships between different types of bacteria. Fox joined the University of Houston in 1977 as an Assistant Professor shortly before the Archaeal discovery was published. Fox continued to collaborate with Woese and together in 1980 they used 16S rRNA sequence data to construct the first “tree of life” that encompassed procaryotes. The use of 16S rRNA sequence data to identify bacteria and characterize populations revolutionized microbiology and continues to be widely used today. Underlying much of this work is a long standing interest in the origins of life as revealed by studies of the ribosome, which houses the 16S rRNA.

Related Materials

Carl Woese Papers, 1911-2013, University of Illinois Archives

Guide to the George E. Fox Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA