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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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From the inception of photography there has been interplay of science with art. Imparting a chemical transformation by the action of light to create a lasting image was a lofty goal that now is both commonplace and oft forgotten. Yet, understanding both the chemistry behind a photographic process and the reasons photographers employed particular media provides insight into the history of these inherently chemical processes, guides the conservation of culturally important materials, and informs modern practicing photographers.

A symposium held in Washington, D.C., this fall (October 22-23) will delve into the history, chemistry and art of platinum and palladium photography. A detailed list of the talks to be presented, information regarding registration for the symposium and related tours (October 21 and 24) can be found at:

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The Newsletter, Program, and Abstracts for the 248th National ACS Meeting in San Francisco, CA, August 10-14, 2014, are now available.

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The HIST award for the Outstanding Paper Award for 2013 has been awarded to Stephen J. Weininger. The award is presented to the author of the best paper published in the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry during the previous three years, 2011, 2012, 2013.

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The recipient of the 2014 HIST Award of the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society is Professor Ernst Homburg, Department of History at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. 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. Homburg on 12 August 2014 at the fall national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, California.

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

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Previous Announcements on this page.

The Bulletin for the History of Chemistry v39(1) 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

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