Dolly stars in genetics exhibition

Dolly the sheep is starring in an exhibition chronicling a century of genetics research in Edinburgh.

The world’s most famous sheep is on display alongside rare books, archive documents, pictures, sound and film clips from the University of Edinburgh’s Special Collections.


Towards Dolly

Opening times: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pmAdmission is free

Friday 31 July 2015, 12.00am

Saturday 31 October 2015, 1.00am

Exhibition Gallery, Main University Library, 30 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ

Find the Main University Library on the campus map

Exhibition information

Celebrating science

Also on show is a microscope from the University’s Roslin Institute that was used to create the cloned embryo that led to Dolly’s birth.

The exhibition - entitled ‘Towards Dolly’ - celebrates Edinburgh’s contributions to the field of genetic science, from animal breeding research in the early 1900s, to the cutting-edge stem cell techniques employed today.


Breeding studies

It includes photographs of early breeding studies involving zebras and horses.

These helped scientists to understand how physical characteristics - such as coat markings and colour - could be passed from one generation to the next.

Dolly is the most famous chapter in Edinburgh’s long genetics history. This exhibition tells the wider story of the many pioneering discoveries which have taken place here, taking our visitors ‘towards Dolly’ and beyond.

Clare ButtonExhibition Curator and Project Archivist

Gene research

Items from the archives of Professor Charlotte Auerbach - who pioneered research into genetic mutations - are also on display.

Her research, carried out at Edinburgh’s Institute of Animal Genetics from the 1930s onwards, paved the way for using mutations to study how genes work.

Dolly the sheep

Dolly the sheep appears in the exhibition on exclusive loan from National Museums Scotland.

As the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, her birth proved that it is possible to take cells from anywhere in the body and make them behave like a newly fertilised egg.

The discovery paved the way for the field of regenerative medicine and the use of stem cells to investigate fundamental human and animal biology.