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The Science History Institute Archives actively collects and preserves the papers of organizations and individuals whose work has significantly advanced our scientific understanding of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences and its allied fields.  

The professional papers of individuals, businesses, and scientific organizations often prove to be the most valuable sources for recording the history of science and help constitute the primary material record of the human endeavor to investigate and shape nature.

The Science History Institute Archives collects, preserves, describes, and makes available the unique, unpublished materials that document the past 200 years of our chemical history. Spanning over 6,000 linear shelf feet, these collections are a major attraction for scholars of the modern chemical and molecular sciences.

We actively collect archival papers from outstanding scientists, industries, and professional organizations. Collection strengths include the fields of scientific instrumentation, chemical education, materials science, quantum chemistry, and chemical engineering.

Highlights include the Bredig Collection, our most recent acquisition, and the papers of numerous notable polymer chemists, such as Carl Marvel, Daniel W. Fox, and the Nobel laureate Paul Flory. Other Nobel laureates in the collection include Sir John Pople, Alan MacDiarmid, Paul Lauterbur, John Fenn, Robert Bruce Merrifield, Johann Deisenhofer, and Richard Smalley

Our organizational collections detail the activities of many influential scientific organizations, such as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, the Chemists’ Club, the Gordon Research Conferences, and several divisions of the American Chemical Society. Similarly, our corporate collections document the business practices of such chemical giants as the Dow Chemical Company, the Aldrich Chemical Company, and Rohm & Haas Company.

The moving images and audio collections are an untapped resource at the Institute and consist of 16-millimeter films, VHS cassettes, U-Matic videotapes, and reel-to-reel audio tapes. Features of this collection include the CHEM Study and Eminent Chemists Series produced by the American Chemical Society.


Search Archives

Archives Database (Full-Text Finding Aid Search)

Digital Collections


Midon, the Othmer Library Online Catalog


Collection Highlights

See a selection of our archives and the John C. Haas Archives of Science and Business building below.


Archives of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
Science History Institute
John C. Haas Archives of Science and Business at the Science History Institute
Philadelphia, PA
The Institute's archive building can hold 8,500 linear feet of material—1.6 miles! It contains our growing collection of papers of famous and significant scientists, engineers, and innovators; the historical records of important businesses and industries that have a strong science, technology, and medical connection; and the papers of scientific and engineering societies and organizations that have had a major impact on science.
Herbert H. Dow Patents
Science History Institute
Autographed photograph from Richard Nixon to Glenn Seaborg
Science History Institute
Employee of Hercules Inc., cutting strands of .50 caliber extruded powder at the Hercules Radford Plant in Virginia.
Science History Institute
Archives of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Science History Institute