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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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The Newsletter, Program, and Abstracts for the 256th National ACS Meeting in Boston, MA, August 19-23, 2018, are now available.


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The recipient of the 2018 HIST Award of the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society is Professor David E. Lewis of the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. 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 Prof. Lewis at the spring national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, MA, on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.


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HIST Elections 2018.
Nominations are open for several posts within the Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST).
If you would like to nominate a HIST member for any of the positions listed below or if you have an inquiry about any of them, please contact the Chair of the Nominations and Elections committee, Gary Patterson (gp9a@andrew.cmu.edu), by September 30, 2018. Self-nominations are welcome.


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The Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry publishes Ambix. The 80th anniversary issue of Ambix is available free of charge throughout 2018 to non-members in celebration of the journal and the Society's longevity. This special issue's focus is "The Future of the History of Chemistry," and includes papers by former Ambix Editor Jenny Rampling, Hasok Chang, and the 2018 Partington Prize-winning paper of Steve Irish.


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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.


Please save the dates: March 31-April 4, 2019; Orlando FL
Call for Papers. The Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST) is planning a symposium on archaeological chemistry to be held at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society in Orlando, FL, March 31-April 4, 2019. The tentative title of the symposium is "Archaeological Chemistry: Art and Archaeology in the Ancient and Medieval World." Papers on any subject that address this general topic, especially those that integrate chemistry with archaeology, those directed at answering social, political, and economic questions about ancient cultures, and those that incorporate the use of new technologies, are welcome. Please communicate your interest in participating in the symposium along with a tentative paper title and possible co-authors to either of the co-organizers: Seth Rasmussen (Seth.Rasmussen@ndsu.edu) or Mary Virginia Orna (maryvirginiaorna@gmail.com).



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 v43(1), 2018, 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