The Bodleian recently acquired a small but significant addition to the Dorothy Hodgkin papers from her daughter, Liz. They give a unique insight into the excitement surrounding the award of the prize. At the time Liz was teaching at a school in Zambia and as letters could take a week or longer to arrive, her parents sent a telegram with the good news. To keep costs down, they sent the shortest possible message, 'Dorothy nobel chemistry'!
|MS. Eng. c. 8262, fol. 134|
|MS. Eng. c. 8262, fol. 133|
The first cable came in from John Kendrew, Francis Crick & Fred Sanger - and then the girl at the other end said "There are too many here for us to telephone them all - they will block our lines. Come & fetch them, please". So we picked them up the next morning - & found a lovely one from the lab saying "Thrilled to have telephone call from Stockholm".
The most eminent men in science were lining up to congratulate her, and of course the telephone call from Stockholm was from the Nobel Prize committee, where Dorothy would go later that year to collect her prize.
This collection of letters has now been catalogued and is available to researchers in the Special Collections Reading Room at the Bodleian Library.