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C. David Barry and Edgar Meyer Collection of Molecular Science 16mm Films


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

C. David Barry joined Cy Levinthal's molecular biology lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1966 as a post-doc with a PhD in Physics from Manchester University. At the MIT lab, he created interactive 3D protein structures and visualization programs using MIT's new computer graphics system, Project MAC. He worked at the MIT lab for two years before it closed when Levinthal left for Columbia University. Barry was then involved in developing molecular graphics facilities at Washington and Oxford Universities. He later worked for Bolt, Beranek, and Newman (a computer research company that would later become Raytheon BBN), before he moved to AstraZeneca to work in biomedical imaging.

After obtaining a PhD in Chemistry in 1960 from the University of Texas, Edgar Meyer began working with computer generated molecular structures as a post-doc in Cy Levinthal's molecular biology laboratory at MIT in the mid-1960s. In 1967, Meyer accepted a job as a professor at Texas A&M University (TAMU) where he established the Biographics Laboratory. During the summers in the late 60s and early 70s, he created the programs DISPLAY and SEARCH for Brookhaven National Laboratory and worked on the ambitious networking project CRYSNET, which linked datasets at Brookhaven, TAMU, and Fox Chase Cancer Center. This work laid the foundation for the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, graduate students at Meyer's lab continued to make advances in molecular imaging and software, creating models that often pushed the limits of what computer memory at the time could support. Meyer retired from TAMU in 2003 and passed away in 2015.

This collection contains 38 16mm films of computer generated imaging of molecular structures created or used by C. David Barry and Edgar Meyer. Film titles are taken directly from the films when possible, but if no title card exists the title is taken from an inventory created by the donor. They are divided into two series:

  1. C. David Barry Films
  2. Edgar Meyer Films

Selected films from this collection have been digitized and are available to view online in our Digital Collections:

The C. David Barry and Edgar Meyer Collection of Molecular Science 16mm Films were donated to the Science History Institute in 2003 by C. David Barry.

The C. David Barry and Edgar Meyer Collection of Molecular Science 16mm Films was processed by Sarah Newhouse in 2022-2023.

According to an inventory from the time of donation, this collection should include a 16mm reel refered to in the inventory as "LDH some version?" and a "3-D diagram with glasses" both of which could not be located at the time of processing. It is possible, however that the "3-D diagram" refers to the Viewmaster in this collection.

Science History Institute Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid created by Sarah Newhouse.
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

This collection of fragile 16mm films cannot be viewed unless the films are digitized first. Please inquire about digitizing and/or viewing specific films by emailing

Use Restrictions

Science History Institute does not hold the copyright to these materials and cannot grant or deny usage permission. Copyright is held by the films' original creators. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Inventory

Series Description

This series contains films of computer-generated molecular models created or used by C. David Barry during his time at MIT, Washington University, and Oxford University. Films are listed in alphabetical order by title.

American Crystallographic Association 1979, Antigenic sites in Myo; Lys. Density, CY+B5, undated.
Reel 1
Biosynthesis of Steroids (Reel 9), undated.
Reel 2
Chem Gen, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford (Reel 5), undated.
Reel 3
Chem Pack, undated.
Reel 4
Computer Aided Resolution of Molecular Conformation, University of Oxford , undated.
Reel 5
Computer-driven display of molecular structures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Reel 2), undated.
Reel 6
Crystallization (5 min, BW silent), Computer Systems Laboratory, Washington University, undated.
Reel 7
Crystallization, original (II), 4 minutes, B&W, June 1974.
Reel 8
Early Version Electron Density Fitting, undated.
Reel 9
Early Version Electron Density Fitting, Original, undated.
Reel 10
EF Original, Washington University, undated.
Reel 11
Electron Density Fitting by Computer, C. D. Barry, 5-6 minutes, April 1974.
Reel 12
Electron Density Fitting by Computer, 8 minutes, B&W (Reel 11), April 1974.
Reel 13
Extra-radius (Original), March 1983.
Reel 14
Extra-radius Plots (Reel 8), undated.
Reel 15
Extra-radius Surfaces, color, 15 minutes, March 1982.
Reel 16
First modeling prog master with ACTN, Lab of Molecular Biophysics, University of Oxford (Reel 3), 1974.
Reel 17
Insulin Dimer (4-9), Washington University, 8 minutes, B&W (Reel 1), March 21, 1973.
Reel 18
LDH "original," Washington University (Reel 7), May 1974.
Reel 19
MIT Proteins (Reel 4), undated.
Reel 20
Myoglobin (Reel 10), undated.
Reel 21
Oxford NMR (Reel 6), undated.
Reel 22
Small Molecules, undated.
Reel 23
Studies on Digitalis Analogs, undated.
Reel 24
Washington University -- "No Title" [Molecular Modeling], undated.
Reel 25
Washington University -- "No Title," WIP 22673, 4 rolls, B/W, undated.
Reel 26

Series Description

This series contains films of computer generated molecular models created or used by Edgar Meyer during his time at MIT and Texas A&M University, as well as personal films of his family. Films are listed in alphabetical order by title.

Alanine, NIMA, Growing Myoglobin (<20 residues, playing with side groups and [sugl]), undated.
Box 1
American Crystallographic Association -- Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 1967, August 1967.
Reel 26
BIZ Orig, undated.
Box 1
Brookhaven Early Computer -- Cover Science Paper, Before May 1968.
Box 1
Chromosomes, DNA, undated.
Box 1
Growing MYO and All MYO, February 14, 1967.
Box 1
Growing Myoglobin, undated.
Box 1
Meyer Family, July 1978.
Box 1
MIT: Molecular Manipulations, undated.
Reel 27
Stan Swanson, Texas A&M, Exercising, Tim [Manning], undated.
Reel 28
Test Shots -- Meyer's Kids, undated.
Reel 29
Test VG Patterns: NaCL, Quartz, undated.
Box 1
Viewmaster with reel, undated.
Box 2

Print, Suggest