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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Natural and Applied Sciences Archives: Chemical Sciences

These topic guides provide a starting point for finding source materials related to the history of science and technology at the University of Illinois. Please note that these guides are not definitive or comprehensive and are periodically updated.
Black-and-white photo of students in a chemistry lab, circa 1910

Students in a chemistry lab, ca. 1910

About Chemical Sciences

The development of instruction and research in chemistry at the University of Illinois paralleled the evolution of knowledge in chemistry and the growth of chemical industries. On May 8, 1867, the Trustees' Committee on Courses of Study recommended the appointment of a professor of chemistry. Ambrose P.S. Stuart was appointed in 1868. The early science faculty recognized the fundamental importance of chemistry in the sciences, agriculture, and engineering. While taxonomy, measurement, and microscopy dominated the curriculum, the original faculty were well aware of the importance of a basic knowledge of chemistry. When the Illinois Industrial University was ten years old, the second major building to be built was a chemistry laboratory. Most records from the School of Chemical Science can be through the Archives Database, though specific records relating to administration, faculty, and alumni are listed below.

Chemical Sciences Archival Holdings

A complete list of School of Chemical Sciences record series is available in the Archives database.

College and Departmental Archives

Faculty and Staff Papers

  • Arthur Palmer Papers (Record Series 15/5/20): Contains correspondence letterbooks concerning early development of the department, analyses of chemical compounds, applications for academic positions, instruction in chemistry, pharmaceutical education and training, and Illinois water surveys.
  • William A. Noyes Papers (Record Series 15/5/21): Includes materials from Noyes's student years; manuscripts of published and unpublished scientific papers; personal and professional correspondence, papers, lab notes, and other materials concerning domestic and international affairs, economics, religion, research in valence and electron theory, research into camphoric acid and the camphor series; and materials relating to Noyes's editorship of the Journal of the American Chemical Society and other scholarly periodicals. Contains valuable information on the growth of the department and essays on the role of scientists as agents of peace.
  • B. Smith Hopkins Papers (Record Series 15/5/22): Includes correspondence relating to research on rare earths, element 61 or "Illinium," x-ray equipment, chemical manufacturing, and genealogy; graduate students' work; textbooks and revisions; a list and copies of publications, including an edition of Essentials of Chemistry (1946); and spectrography plates from Illinium analyses. Also includes the correspondence of Mrs. Hopkins concerning the analysis of Illinium samples by the Bureau of Standards, efforts to locate samples lost by Argonne National Laboratories, and F. Weigel's attempts to secure a sample for analysis.
  • John C. Bailar Papers (Record Series 15/5/25): Contains materials including reprints of publications and tape-recorded and videotaped recollections of personal life; student work; research on free radicals, complex ions, chemical industry, inorganic chemistry, and the stereochemistry of complex inorganic compounds; chemistry education; the Division of Inorganic Chemistry; the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry; and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Also includes a program and autographed volume for the John C. Bailar Jr. Symposium on Coordination Chemistry (1969) as well as family archival papers.
  • Therald Moeller Papers (Record Series 15/5/32): Includes a list of publications; symposia proceedings on rare earth ions; instructional films for which Moeller was an educational collaborator; textbooks on inorganic chemistry, qualitative analysis, and general chemistry; abstracts of students' theses; reprints of articles concerning rare earths, radio tracer techniques, chelate chemistry, sulfamide properties, inorganic polymers, physical methods in inorganic chemistry, and spectrophotometry; Air Force contract research reports; correspondence concerning lectures and visits with other institutions; lecture notes; and a list of theses in the University of Illinois Library concerning rare earths (1911-1951).
  • G. Frederick Smith Papers (Record Series 15/5/33): Includes reprints of articles on analytical, industrial, and food chemistry; quantitative analysis; general inorganic and perchlorate chemistry; and chemistry of the 1, 10- phenanthrolines and related compounds in three bound volumes and loose reprints. Also includes photographs, correspondence, and a tape-recorded interview concerning the chemistry department; G. Frederick Smith Chemical Co.; perchloric acid; atomic weights; patents; aerosol containers; ice cream tests; 1, 10- phenanthroline; Francis Case; industrial chemistry; cerium; Edward D. Campbell; and Hobart H. Willard.
  • George D. Beal Papers (Record Series 15/5/26): Includes a six-page recollection of the Department of Chemistry, various academic and professional colleagues, and Beal's education in chemistry, including his time at the Mellon Institute; programs for the 1926 Illinium Dinner and Phi Lambda Upsilon banquet; and reprints of articles relating to foods and pharmaceutical chemistry.
  • Clarence G. Derick Papers (Record Series 15/5/30): Includes recollections of chemistry in 1905, spectrum analysis, Dr. William A Noyes's contributions to organic chemistry, Noyes's methods as director of the Chemistry Department and other work as a writer and teacher; autobiographical recollections of Derick's teaching methods and courses introduced, manufacture of organic chemicals, qualitative organic chemistry, research in organic compounds, Chemical Abstracts, and the National Aniline and Chemical Company and the Schoellkopf Research Laboratory; and a letter on the dyestuff industry and the fluxing process for hot galvanizing.
  • William C. Rose Papers (Record Series 15/5/27): Includes correspondence concerning faculty recruitment, honors and awards, and the Second International Congress of Biochemistry (1952); materials from professional meetings, lectures, publications, and visits; photographs of biochemists; university committee reports on food research, krebiozen, and honorary degrees; list of doctorates supervised (1958); publications list (1910-1959); manuscripts of published articles on amino acids, threonine, Lafayette B. Mendel and the physiology of amino acid metabolism; reprints of articles relating to nutritional and growth requirements and the synthesis of amino acids in proteins; and tape-recorded recollections of personal life, education, biochemistry, amino acid research, work on pepsin and creatine, honors and awards, and World Wars I and II.
  • Reynold C. Fuson Papers (Record Series 15/5/24): Includes correspondence and related materials concerning appointments, Alpha Chi Sigma, the American Chemical Society, book publication, the Center for Advanced Study, contacts with Italian and German chemists, university lectures, consulting work, organic chemistry research, the Fuson Fund, and honors and awards; personal and professional recollections in "It Happened at Illinois" (Jan. 10, 1966) and "Autobiographical Notes" (Sept. 6, 1966); "Chemistry at Illinois: A Centennial Review" (Oct. 18, 1967); a bound volume of Fuson's publications (1924-1940); and "The Carbon Hydrogen Linkage" (1934-1935), a collection of student research papers conducted under Fuson.
  • Duane T. Englis Papers (Record Series 15/5/34): Includes materials concerning the analysis of carbohydrates, ion exchangers, spectrophotometric analysis, color of sugar products, levulose from artichokes, water analysis, and consultation and professional activities; abstracts of students' theses (1933-1952); retirement banquet materials (1959); teaching materials; and other subject file materials relating to analytical chemistry, artichoke research, quantitative methods, corn, food technology, A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company, starch, sugars, and water treatment. 
  • Edward Bartow Papers (Record Series 15/5/35): Includes materials concerning the State Water Survey; World War I service in the American Expeditionary Forces' Sanitary Corps in charge of Water Analysis Laboratories and water supplies and sewage treatment; materials from student days including notes, scrapbooks, and course notes in mineralogy, crystallography, and organic chemistry; manuscripts on water supplies and sanitation chemistry; newspaper clippings relating to presidency of the American Chemical Society; glass slide photographs of water and sewage treatment facilities, family, travel, and study and meetings in Germany, France, Switzerland, England, Scandinavia, and the United States; publications; reports of scientific meetings; speech notes; students' theses; troopship newspaper; University of London Centenary material; and obituaries.
  • Roger Adams Papers (Record Series 15/5/23): Contains materials relating to university administration; research on the chemistry of marijuana; service in the Chemical Warfare Service, National Defense Research Committee, and scientific advisor positions in Germany and Japan; and industry, organization, and foundation affiliations and relationships.
  • George L. Clark Papers (Record Series 15/5/31): Includes materials concerning editing of encyclopedias on microscopy, spectroscopy, and x-rays; consulting work for Delco-Remy Division, The Ohio Oil Company, Signal Corps, Chemical Corps, Ordnance Corps, General Electric, Parker Pen, and Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company; crystallography; spectroscopy; x-ray diffraction research; University and Analytical Chemistry Division administration; doctoral candidates and teaching; professional societies and fraternities; awards and honors; lectures and symposia; sabbaticals; job offers; and the scientific interests of colleagues. Also includes a taped interview concerning x-ray studies, laboratories and courses, and rubber and aircraft metals research.
  • Ludwig F. Audrieth Papers (Record Series 15/5/28): Includes materials relating to work at Bonn; a report on the status of inorganic chemistry at German universities prepared for the National Science Foundation (1963) and supporting correspondence with directors of German inorganic chemistry institutes; reprints of publications on non-aqueous solvents, nitrogen chemistry, and inorganic compounds; Paul Walden; the discovery of sucaryl; military service at Picatinny Arsenal; University policies and practices; lecture materials and reading supplements for DGS 334, The Impact of Science and Technology on National and International Affairs (1966); and "Science, Technology and Foreign Affairs, Report on Seminar, Audrieth and Chinn, Department of State" (1965).
  • Virginia Bartow Papers (Record Series 15/5/37): Contains correspondence, class notes, publications, clippings, photographs, and other materials relating to the history of science and chemistry, women in chemistry, Edward Bartow's service with the Water Analysis Laboratories in France and trip to Amsterdam, Edward Bartow and genealogy, chemical education, chemical genealogies, the American Chemical Society History of Chemistry Division, University of Illinois Chemistry Department, ACS chapter, and Iota Sigma Pi chapter and William A. Noyes.

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