On November 10-13, 1946, a conference on tissue culture was held in Hershey, Pennsylvania
and sponsored jointly by the panels on cellular physiology, cytochemistry, and nutrition
of the Committee on Growth and was paid for by the American Cancer Society. After
the final session of the conference a group of sixteen interested persons met to establish
an informal organization of investigators who use tissue culture techniques. Primary
objectives were discussed and a slate of temporary officers were elected. Keith Porter
was elected Chairman, Margaret Murray, secretary, George O. Gey, Duncan Heatherington
and C.M. Pomerat, Executives and Honor Fell, European Member at Large.
It was decided that the initial aims of the new Tissue Culture Commission (TCC) would
be twofold. The first was to look at kinds of media needed by workers in the field
and to examine the possibility of preparing these ingredients at a central lab for
distribution at a moderate cost. The second aim was to prepare a bibliography of published
research in tissue culture since its inception and cross-index it for publication.
In addition it was decided that membership would be open to any investigator using
tissue culture methods in research.
The first meeting of the Executive Committee was held in March 1, 1947 at the Rockefeller
Institute. At that time, much of the discussion was centered around the subject of
media production. It was determined that the TCC should certify the products it offered.
In addition, methods for developing the proposed publication of a Bibliography were
In October of 1948, a testing laboratory, where media could be certified for distribution,
was set up by Keith Porter at the Sloane-Kettering Institute and was supervised by
the Executive Committee. In addition, 1948 saw the first in a series of annual tissue
culture courses taught. This first course was held at the University of Toronto, and
thereafter at different institutions around the country.
In 1948 and 1949, meetings were held in conjunction with those of the American Association
of Anatomists. At the 1949 meeting the first slate of officers was elected with George
Gey becoming the first president. At that time the commission adopted a constitution
and officially became the Tissue Culture Association (TCA). By this time Dr. Margaret
Murray had begun the process of directing the work on the Tissue Culture Bibliography
and the initial results of that effort were published in 1952.
By 1958, due to changing conditions, some within the Executive Committee began to
feel that it was time to move away from a methods based society and evolve into a
new form. To this end a committee was formed to look into the possibility of reorganizing
TCA. Discussions centered around the notion that the reorganization would bring into
being essentially a new society with a new name but have a continuity of officers
and TCA activities. The focus of this new society would be cell biology or cytology.
It was determined that a referendum of the membership should be held to determine
their views. The results of the letter sent to the entire membership showed that they
were generally favorable toward the idea of reorganization. It was decided that one
of the first steps should be a change to the TCA constitution and possible names for
the newly reorganized society were proposed.
By April 1959 discussions and planning had progressed to the point where an organizing
committee was formed, with Keith Porter as chair, to begin the process. On January
9, 1960 this committee met in New York and essentially drew up the blueprint for what
would become the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). There were some among the
membership however, including former officers, who felt that TCA was being railroaded
out of existence and that the proposed new society would not adequately represent
the interests of all current members. Further, there had been no vote to authorize
changes to the TCA constitution and no vote of the membership had been taken. As a
result, by the time that the organizing group again met in May of 1960, it had been
decided that the two ‘entities’ would run concurrently for a period and they would
let nature take its course. Ultimately both TCA and ASCB continued independently and
the reorganization of TCA never materialized and in 1964 TCA was incorporated as a
non-profit organization in the District of Columbia.
That same year TCA began looking for a more permanent place for their education programs.
To this end Dr. Gey met with Mrs. W. Alton Jones, mother of Patricia Edgerton, a scientist
at Johns Hopkins Lab. She donated land in Lake Placid, N. Y. as a permanent home for
the Society’s education programs. In 1969, a board was formed to manage the new science
center with Donald Merchant as Director. In June 1971 the new W. Alton Jones Cell
Science Center (WAJCSC) was dedicated.
For some years thereafter the Society was effectively managed out of offices at the
WAJCSC though it had no official office on site. Then in 1978 the first Executive
Director William Momberger was hired and subsequently the first Executive Office was
opened in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Under the auspices of the national organization, many individual branches were created
to meet the needs of specific geographical areas. They were: California, Central States,
Michigan, Midwestern, Montreal, National Capitol Area, New York, Northeast, Rocky
Mountain, Texas. In addition, there were specific divisions within the organization
such as the Honor Fell Division, the Invertebrate Division, the Organic Culture Division,
and the Plant Division.
Over the years, TCA has put out a number of publications the first of which was the
bibliography titled Index of Tissue Culture, initially published in 1952. Other publications
followed such as the official TCA journal In Vitro, the Bulletin, and the TCA Newsletter
along with many ‘special’ publications.
At the Annual Meeting in June of 1994 the Society voted to change the name to the
Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB). The SIVB offices are currently in Largo, Maryland.
Organized into nine series:
Series I. President
Series II. Secretary
Series III. Treasurer
Series IV. Business Office
Series V. Committees
Series VI. Branches and Divisions
Series VII. Meetings
Series VIII. Publications
Series IX. W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center (WAJCSC) [Unprocessed.]
Series I contains the files of the Tissue Culture Association’s (TCA) presidents.
Included are correspondence, constitutions and by-laws, reports and a variety of administrative
files including administrative calendars, handbooks, and rosters of officers and committee
members. Correspondence dates from the early years, beginning in 1940 when TCA was
the Tissue Culture Commission and continues until 1985. Correspondence covers a wide
range of topics illustrating the breadth of interests and activities of the Association
including the education program, publications, committees, such as public affairs,
terminology, placement and nomenclature and the special committee on litigation. Of
interest is the series of correspondence concerning the proposed reorganization of
the Association that never in fact materialized but resulted in the creation of the
American Society for Cell Biology. Copies of the constitutions and by-laws and their
revisions begin with the 1949 constitution and are extant through 1984. In addition
there are copies of the documents of incorporation and the president’s annual reports
for the years 1969 to 1977.
The second series comprises the records of the secretary of the society and are divided
into two sub-series: correspondence and membership. There is a significant amount
of correspondence, beginning in 1946 with that of the first secretary, Margaret Murray
and continuing through the late 1970s. Membership files include a substantial number
of membership application files dating from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s as well
as member files which include correspondence, invoices and memos, and member rosters
beginning in 1947 and continuing until 1982.
Treasurer’s records make up the third series and include correspondence, the annual
reports of the Secretary-Treasurer, audits, budgets, expense reports, financial statements,
and tax forms. Series IV contains records of the business office. Records date from
1978–1984 and primarily consist of the correspondence of the Executive Director, William
Momberger. Also included are disbursement and receipt records for 1982–1984, and miscellaneous
files on taxes, unemployment insurance and a surety bond.
Series V, Committees, is comprised of files from a variety of TCA committees. Files
for both standing committees and ad hoc committees provide a view of the varied interests
and activities of the organization. Files span the years 1951–1985 and include correspondence,
reports, memos, and minutes and rosters.
Series VI is made up of files pertaining to the societies Branches and Divisions for
the years 1963-1997. Those Branches and Divisions for which documents are extant are:
California, Central States, Michigan, Midwestern, Montreal, National Capitol Area,
New York, Northeast, Rocky Mountain, Texas, Honor Fell Division, Invertebrate Division,
Organic Culture Division, Plant Division. These contain constitutions and by-laws,
reports, and correspondence. Also included in this series are files on proposed clubs
and sets of rosters.
The seventh series, Meetings, is divided into four sub-series: Executive Council,
Annual Meetings, Decennial Review Conference, and Miscellaneous Conferences and Audio
Tapes. Files for the first sub-series, Executive Council, contains agendas, minutes
and supporting documents for the meetings of the Executive Council for the years 1947–1985.
The next sub-series, Annual Meetings, is comprised of files for the annual meetings
from 1946–1986. Included are organizational materials including files of the program
committees, local committees and exhibits committees along with printed programs,
abstracts, reports, minutes, correspondence, and catalogues. The third sub-series,
Decennial Review Conference contains the planning documents for three conferences,
1956, 1966, and 1976, along with the minutes, reports, budgets, correspondence, abstracts,
directories, and session papers of the actual events. The final sub-series contains
files of individual conferences and meetings. Included are document files and audiotapes.
The eighth series, Publications, is made up of three sub-series: Bibliography & Index,
Bulletins, Manual, Newsletter, and Miscellaneous Publications, and In Vitro. The first
sub-series contains correspondence files with October House, the publisher, as well
as general correspondence and printed bibliographies. Included is the first bibliography
published in 1953 and continuing until 1966. Also included are correspondence files
for the Index of Tissue Culture for the years 1965–1977. The second sub-series contains
published copies of the bulletin dating from 1947–1967, correspondence, minutes, manuscripts,
and questionnaires pertaining to the TCA Manual, and miscellaneous publications. Also
included are copies of the TCA Newsletter beginning in 1968 along with correspondence,
memos, and reports connected with that publication. The third sub-series, In Vitro,
contains documents relating to the TCA journal, In Vitro. Along with copies of the
publication are copies of individual articles, correspondence, subscription ledgers,
budgets, page proofs, and sales figures.
SARCV 1990-01, SARCV 1990-02, SARCV 1991-01, SARCV 1992-02, SARCV 1992-03, SARCV 1998-06,
SARCV 2000-09, SARCV 2000-12, SARCV 2004-05, SARCV 2008-04, SARCV 2009-05, SARCV 2010-003,
SARCV 2010-005, SARCV 2011-06, SARCV 2012-01; The Tissue Culture Association Archives
was donated in multiple accessions and sent from the TCA offices in Columbia, Maryland
by William Momberger, the then Executive Director. The first accession arrived in
August 1990 and contained 39 boxes. In December 1990 a second accession was received
containing audiotapes of TCA meetings for the years 1975–1984. Additionally, in October
1991, 19 boxes of records and several microfilms were sent. A later accession of TCA
materials arrived in January 1992 and contained a run of the Index of Tissue Culture
from 1966–1979. Ten further accessions arrived between 1998 and 2012.
This collection is partially processed. Initially the bulk of the materials sent were
inventoried, re-foldered, and boxed in the order in which they had arrived. The folder
titles were then entered into a Dbase III database for easy access. The remaining
materials, mostly tapes and ephemera were left as they arrived. No attempt was made
at the time to determine the order in which they would have been created or to put
them into series.
In 2002 we began the process of arranging and describing the collection according
to current archival standards and practices. Documents have been organized along the
lines of the institutional structure as set out in the TCA Handbook of Policies and
Procedures, with series arranged to preserve the original order. Materials having
no permanent value such as old cancelled checks, invoices, receipts, time sheets and
the like have been removed from the collection and destroyed.
The present finding aid represents about two-thirds of the collection. The materials
pertaining to the early education program and the WAJCSC are in process and will be
added to the finding aid when processing is complete. In addition there are boxes
of audio, print and ephemeral materials yet to be processed and those will also be
added as they are completed.
Processing completed by: Marcia Peri and Sharon Knecht, March 2003. Finding aid written
by: Marcia Peri, Archivist, April 2003.
Describing Archives: a Content Standard (DACS)
Archives Processing Manual: Description (2015): The processing manual used in Special Collections for all descriptive platforms, including
Finding aid available.
Finding Aid: http://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/findingaids/coll016.php
Reproductions allowed for research purposes. Copyright maintained by the creator.
Tissue Culture Association
Society for In Vitro Biology
Tissue Culture Association -- Archives
Tissue culture -- Societies, etc.
Society for In Vitro Biology -- Archives
Date: 1940-1985; bulk 1960-1984
Extent: 8960 items (13.5 linear feet)
Series I contains correspondence, constitutions and bylaws, reports and miscellaneous
administrative material arranged into two sub-series: Correspondence and Administrative
Extent: 7,600 items (11.25 linear feet)
Correspondence files are arranged in date order by President, beginning with general
correspondence, followed by subject files in alphabetical order.
Extent: 1,360 items (2.25 linear feet)
Bylaws and constitution revisions are in date order and report files are in alpha
order by type and in date order. Miscellaneous files are in alphabetical order.
Extent: 4540 items (6.75 linear feet)
Series contains correspondence files, applications, reports, member lists, and
rosters organized into two sub-series: Correspondence and Membership.
Extent: 1,040 items (1.5 linear feet)
Correspondence is arranged in the order of the Secretary that held office with
general correspondence first, followed by subject files in alphabetical order.
Extent: 3,500 items (5.25 linear feet)
Application forms, correspondence files, election ballots, member files, and rosters
are arranged in alpha order by type of document.
Extent: 1300 items (2 linear feet)
The Treasurer series contains correspondence, annual reports, audits, budgets,
financial reports, general subject files and tax information. The series begins with
correspondence followed by subject files arranged in alphabetical order by type of
document and then date order.
Extent: 1000 items (1.5 linear feet)
This series contains correspondence reports, expense sheets, tax forms, and applications
and legal documents in alphabetical order by type of document followed by date order.
Date: 1951-1985; bulk 1969-1978
Files containing correspondence, minutes, reports and memos are arranged in alphabetical
order by committee title and then in date order.
Date: 1963-1997; bulk 1968-1977
Extent: 600 items (1 linear foot)
Files containing constitutions, by-laws, reports and correspondence are arranged
in alphabetical order by section name and then in date order.
Date: 1946-1986; bulk 1947-1980
Extent: 6200 items (9.75 linear feet)
Size: 6200 items (9.75 linear feet Files contain minutes and related materials
from Executive Council and annual meetings of TCA, and materials of TCA affiliated
conferences and meetings. The Series is arranged into five sub-series and then in
date order by meeting date: Executive Council, Annual, Decennial Review Conference,
related conferences, and audiotapes.
Extent: 2,250 items (3.5 linear feet)
Files containing minutes, reports, agendas, memos and correspondence are arranged
by meeting date and then in alphabetical order by subject.
Extent: 2,000 items (3 linear feet)
Files containing correspondence, memos, reports, minutes, abstracts, programs,
rosters, arranged by date of meeting and then in alphabetical order by subject.
Extent: 1,900 items (2.75 linear feet)
Organizational files and meeting records containing correspondence, memos, reports,
budgets, ledgers, minutes, agendas, proceedings, session papers, programs, and directories
are arranged by conference date, then in alphabetical order by subject and then in
Extent: 50 items (.5 linear feet)
Date: 1950-1986; bulk 1960-1979
Extent: 2400 items (3.5 linear feet)
The series contains correspondence, reports, minutes, forms manuscripts, questionnaires,
and printed matter. They are arranged into three sub-series: Bibliography & Index,
Bulletins, Manual, Newsletter, and Miscellaneous Publications, and In Vitro. Each
sub-series is arranged alphabetically by subject and then in date order.
Extent: 200 items (.25 linear feet)
Correspondence, reports, and printed materials arranged alphabetically by subject
and then in date order.
Extent: 600 items (.75 linear feet)
Correspondence, forms, manuscripts, questionnaire arranged in alphabetical order
by subject and title, printed materials arranged in date order.
Extent: 1,600 items (2.5 linear feet)
Files containing articles, correspondence, reports, ledgers, page proofs, and
copies of the journal are arranged in alphabetical order by type of document and then
in date order. Articles are sub-divided by author and files arranged in alphabetical
order by subject.
Center for Biological Sciences Archives. Accessed November 18, 2015. http://library.umbc.edu/speccoll/cbsa.php.
Society for In Vitro Biology (formerly the Tissue Culture Association) Homepage. Accessed
November 18, 2015. http://www.sivb.org/.