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American Chemical Society

Division of the History of Chemistry

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Welcome to the ACS Division of the History of Chemistry Homepage


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HIST Division symposia and papers to be given at the 258th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, CA, August 25-29, 2019.

HIST Award Banquet
As part of its activities at the 258th ACS National Meeting in San Diego, the History of Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society is pleased to host the 2019 HIST Award Banquet honoring Dr. Theodor (Ted) Benfey of Guilford College, Greensboro NC. The Banquet will be held at Casa Guadalajara (http://www.casaguadalajara.com/) on Tuesday, August 27. It will start at 6:00 PM and will feature a buffet dinner (the Favoritas option) and a cash bar. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased from Vera Mainz, HIST Secretary-Treasurer. (Tickets cover the full cost of the meal, tip and tax. Ordinary beverages are included in the ticket cost. Alcoholic beverages and coffee are additional from the cash bar.). You can pay Vera via check or cash (exact amount preferred) at the banquet or when you see her during the meeting. If you do plan to attend, please RSVP by August 17th via email (mainz@illinois.edu).


HIST and INOR are co-sponsoring a symposium honoring the 150th Anniversary of the Periodic Table. Please consider attending some of the talks and pass the schedule along to your friends!


Seth Rasmussen, Chair-Elect of the HIST Division, gave a HIST Tutorial on Tips and Advice for Starting Historical Research at the 2019 GLRM. If you are interested in starting research on a topic of interest in the history of chemistry, this powerpoint presentation will be an excellent beginning!


The recipient of the 2019 HIST Award of the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society is Dr. Otto Theodor (Ted) Benfey. This award is the successor to the Dexter Award (1956-2001) and the Sydney M. Edelstein Award (2002-2009), also administered by the Division of the History of Chemistry. The HIST Award will be presented to Dr. Benfey at the fall national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego, CA, on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.


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Paul R. Jones, a long-time friend and colleague, died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019.
Click HERE to access his obituary and HERE to read a short appreciation of his work in the history of chemistry. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a scholarship fund in Paul's name to support undergraduate students majoring in chemistry at UNH. Checks should be made out to the University of New Hampshire Foundation, with "in memory of Dr. Jones" written in the memo line and sent to: UNH Foundation, 9 Edgewood Road, Durham NH 03824.


PLACES OF THE PERIODIC TABLE
Brought to you by Carmen Giunta and James Marshall, with the encouragement of the ACS Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST), to mark the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT).

This is an interactive searchable map of places associated with the developers of the periodic table and with the chemical elements with links to further information. Examples include places where elements were discovered or synthesized, mineral sources of elements, places where discoverers of chemical periodicity worked, and places for which elements were named. Each entry contains links to further information about the person, place, or event described. The type of site is indicated (for example, lab, residence, mineral source, etc.), as well as whether (to the best of our knowledge) the historical site still exists at the location. For more information on the type of site, please consult this key to the map's fields. The map is intended for educational and informational purposes only, and is not meant as a travel guide. If you wish to visit a site on this map, please consult other resources to confirm access, and use common sense.

A link to this site is also on the left-hand menu.


Call for Nominations HIST Award for Outstanding Achievement in the History of Chemistry

The Division of History of Chemistry (HIST) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) solicits nominations for the 2020 HIST Award for Outstanding Achievement in the History of Chemistry. This award, formerly known as the Dexter Award and then the Edelstein Award, continues a tradition started in 1956. Nominations are due Sunday, December 31, 2019.
This award is sponsored by and administered by HIST. The recipient chosen to receive the HIST Award is presented with an engraved plaque and the sum of $1500, usually at a symposium honoring the recipient at the Fall National Meeting of the ACS, which in 2020 will be held in at the 260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, San Francisco, CA, August 23-27, 2020. The award is international in scope, and nominations are welcome from anywhere in the world. Previous winners of the Dexter and Edelstein Awards include chemists and historians from the United States, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.


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Dr. Margaret Schott of Northwestern University gave a presentation on Katharine Burr Blodgett during the Ladies in Waiting symposium last August at the Washington national meeting. The University of Wisconsin - Madison has produced a podcast featuring Dr. Schott, in character as Katherine Burr Blodgett, being interviewed by Liz Laudadio at the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. The podcast is available for download at http://podcast.sustainable-nano.com/blodgett.



The ACS has put together a series of videos featuring members of technical divisions to aid in division member recruitment. Carmen Giunta agreed to speak for HIST. To view the video click HERE.


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IsisCB Cumulative and IsisCB Explore

Accessible to anyone on the web, IsisCB Cumulative and IsisCB Explore are completely open access services smade possible by the History of Science Society with support from the University of Oklahoma.

IsisCB Cumulative is a digitized version of the Isis Cumulative Bibliography of the History of Science, 1913-1975. This is a companion to IsisCB Explore, which includes data from Isis Bibliographies from 1974 to the present.

These tools are based on the 100-year-old Isis Current Bibliography of the History of Scienceand will be expanded and updated annually. Additional Information.


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CASSI and Beyond

Have you ever struggled to figure out what the journal abbreviations "C.R." or "A." means? If so, help is now available. "Beyond CASSI" is a newly released document that contains short journal title abbreviations from early chemical literature and other historical reference sources that may not be listed in the print version of CAS Source Index (CASSI) or the free online CASSI Search Tool . Many thanks to Marion Peters, UCLA Librarian Emeritus, for compiling this list of old abbreviations and for working with Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to make this document available on the CASSI Search Tool website (please see "About" section).

Other enhancements recently implemented by CAS to the CASSI search tool include:

  • Increased maximum number of results displayed from 50 to 100
  • Increased frequency of data updates from annually to quarterly

Hopefully, these enhancements will enable you to more quickly identify and confirm journal titles and abbreviations. As always, CAS appreciates your feedback and welcomes any additional input you would like to share via the in-product 'Contact Us' button.

Grace Baysinger, Chair of the ACS Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service and Chair of the ACS CINF Division's Education Committee


Articles in the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry concerning Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Awards:



The HIST Division archives are at the Science History Institute (formerly known as the Chemical Heritage Foundation). The finding aid is available HERE.


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Previous Announcements on this page.


The Bulletin for the History of Chemistry v44(1), 2019, is now available to members. Check out the Table of Contents.

NOTE: HIST is making individual articles from the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry OPEN ACCESS and searchable except for the last three years. These articles are available in the Open Access Directory.

Articles from the last three years are available via links from the Table of Contents for those issues FOR HIST MEMBERS AND SUBSCRIBERS ONLY. If you try to access an article, you will be prompted for a login and password. The login username is the email address you provided to the American Chemical Society and the password is your ACS member number.

If you have any problems, please email mainz@illinois.edu.

If you are not a member and want to order an individual article, please check the membership/back-issue order form.


Mission Statement

The Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) seeks to advance knowledge and appreciation of the history of the chemical sciences among chemists, students, historians of science, and the broader public by