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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 HIST award for the Outstanding Paper Award for 2016 has been awarded to Professor Helge Kragh of the Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. The paper was "From Cosmochemistry to Fuel Cells: Notes on Emil Baur, Physical Chemist," Bulletin of the History of Chemistry, volume 40, number 2, 2015, pp. 74-85. 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, 2014, 2015, 2016.


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 2018 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, 2017.
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 2018 will be held in at the 256th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, Boston, August 19-23, 2018 . 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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Call for Nominations HIST Citations for Chemical Breakthrough Awards
The Division of History of Chemistry (HIST) calls for nominations for its Citations for Chemical Breakthrough Award program. Presented annually to multiple awardees beginning in 2006, these awards recognize seminal chemistry publications, books and patents. The term "breakthrough" refers to advances in the fields of science embraced by the American Chemical Society that have been revolutionary in concept, broad in scope, and long-term in impact. Each award will be made to the department or institution where the breakthrough occurred, not to the individual scientist(s) or inventors.

The Nomination Information and Required Nomination Form is now available. Nominations are due Friday, March 9, 2018. More information on this award program can be found on this website.


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The recipient of the 2017 HIST Award of the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society is Professor Jeffrey I. Seeman of the University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia . 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. Seeman at the spring national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.


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:


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Previous Announcements on this page.


The Bulletin for the History of Chemistry v42(1), 2017, 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