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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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Keith Lindblom is coordinating the Wikipedia Year of Science activities for ACS this year, and there will be two events in Philly that HIST members might be interested in. Advance registration for both activities is requested. Contact Keith Lindblom at

  • Wiki Education Foundation Workshop - Resources for incorporating Wikipedia assignments into university classrooms. Students develop writing and research skills while expanding public access to knowledge. August 24, 10 AM to noon, Pennsylvania Convention Center Room 113B.
  • Wiki Edit-a-thon and Training - Improve coverage of notable chemists and chemistry topics on Wikipedia. Bring a laptop and start editing! August 24, 1 to 5 PM, Pennsylvania Convention Center Room 113B.

Wikipedia keeps a list of "Vital Articles" that should be maintained at high quality; the list includes several prominent chemists from the past (Lavoisier, Pasteur, Mendeleev, Curie). Yet none of these makes Wikipedia's highest quality rating. So you can see that improvements to articles about the history of chemists and chemistry are needed, and that HIST members have a unique ability to contribute.

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The Newsletter, Program, and Abstracts for the 252nd National ACS Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, August 21-25, 2016, are now available.

As part of its activities at the 252nd ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia, the History of Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society is pleased to host the 2016 HIST Award Banquet. To be honored at the banquet will be Prof. Ursula Klein, winner of its 2016 HIST Award, and Prof. Matthew Lavine, winner of its 2015 Out-standing Paper Award. The Banquet will be held at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, located along Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia's Old City (315 Chestnut Street). The Banquet will be on Tuesday, August 23rd, starting at 6:30 PM and will feature parmesan panko-crusted chicken with tomato relish and arugula pesto, saffron couscous salad, grilled vege-tables, rolls and butter, and dessert, as well as and a cash bar. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased from Vera Mainz, HIST Secretary-Treasurer (Tickets cover the full cost of the meal, with the exception of beverages). You can pay Vera via check or cash (exact amount preferred) at the banquet or when you see her. If you do plan to attend, please RSVP by August 11th via email ( The Chemical Heritage Foundation is approximately 11 blocks from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

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There will be a symposium at the Philadelphia meeting honoring Ernest Eliel . Please consider attending!

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The HIST award for the Outstanding Paper Award for 2015 has been awarded to Prof. Matthew Lavine at Mississippi State University. 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, 2013, 2014, 2015.

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The recipient of the 2016 HIST Award of the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society is Professor Dr. Ursula Klein of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Germany. 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. Klein at the fall national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, PA, on August 23, 2016.

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IsisCB Explore

Accessible to anyone on the web, IsisCB Explore is a completely open access service made possible by the History of Science Society with support from the University of Oklahoma.

IsisCB Explore opens up bibliographical research in the history of science, technology, and medicine. It is designed for students, scholars, librarians, and the general public. Users will find the data architecture intuitive and powerful, and librarians can trust that it will guide researchers to the best literature in the discipline.

Based on the 100-year-old Isis Current Bibliography of the History of Science- the largest and most comprehensive in its field-it is supported by the discipline's flagship society, the History of Science Society. It 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

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The 150th Anniversary of the Morrill Act was celebrated in 2012 via symposia at both the San Diego and Philadelphia National meetings. Many of the speakers at those symposia contributed articles to the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, v38(2) 2013. By special request, the articles in this issue of the Bulletin related to the anniversary of the Morrill Act are being made available via OPEN ACCESS.

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 v40(2) 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