Guide to School of Chemical Sciences History
The knowledge of chemistry and the growth of chemical industries paralleled
the development of instruction and research in chemistry at the
University of Illinois. On May 8, 1867, the Trustees' Committee on
Courses of Study recommended the appointment of a professor of
chemistry. Ambrose .P.S. Stuart was appointed in 1868. The early
science faculty recognized the fundamental importance of chemistry in the
sciences, agriculture and engineering. While taxonomy, measurement and
microscopy dominated the curriculum, the original faculty were well aware
of the importance of a basic knowledge of chemistry. When the Illinois
Industrial University was ten years old, the second major building to be
built was a chemistry laboratory.
College & Departmental Archives
The earliest departmental records are found in College of Science
Correspondence, 1895-1913 (Record Series 15/1/2 & 3: 5 cubic feet) and
continued in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Departmental Files,
1913-72 (RS 15/1/1; 72 c.f.). Departmental Letterbooks, 1896-1906 (RS
15/5/2; 1 c.f.) cover early development. Information on chemistry
enrollments may be found in charts and tables issued by the Office of
Admissions and Records. The department has published periodic Histories,
1916-61 (RS 15/5/801; 1 c.f.), student news in the Illinois Chemist
1915-25 (RS 15/5/15 & 825; 1 c.f.), and alumni news in the Alumni
, 1968- (RS 15/5/826; 1 c.f.). The Chemical Engineering
classes of 1930 and 1933 have also published Newsletters, 1931- (RS
15/5/820 & 821; 1 c.f.).
Faculty papers provide a major supplement to the departmental records.
Early development is covered in the Arthur Palmer Papers, 1893-1903 (RS
15/5/20; 1 c.f.). The growth of the modern department is recorded in the
William A. Noyes Papers, 1870-1942 (RS 15/5/21; 9 c.f.). Inorganic
chemistry is represented by the B. Smith Hopkins Papers, 1917-63, organic
chemistry by the papers of George D. Beal and Clarence Derrick (1914-67) and
water chemistry in the Edward Bartow Papers, 1870-1959 (RS 15/5/35; 4
c.f.). The Roger Adams Papers, 1812-1971 (RS 15/5/23; 24 c.f.) document the
contributions of the architect of the modern department in his
administrative work on campus, in industrial and foundation research
contacts and in national assignments relating to postwar German and Japanese
science. Major work in organic chemistry is documented in the William Rose
Papers, 1923-66 (RS 15/5/27; 1 c.f.), Reynold C. Fuson Papers, 1924-67 (RS
15/5/24; 1 c.f.) and Duane T. Englis Papers, 1912-67 (RS 15/5/34; 7 c.f.).
Inorganic chemistry is covered in the John C. Bailar Papers, 1852-1988; 1
c.f.), Therald Moeller Papers, 1937-69 (RS 15/5/32; 2 c.f.), and G.
Frederick Smith Papers, 1923-72 (RS 15/5/33; 1 c.f.). The George L. Clark
Papers, 1914-68 (RS 15/5/31; 4 c.f.) contain material on spectroscopy. The
Ludwig F. Audrieth papers, 1927-66 (RS 15/5/28; 1 c.f.) document postwar
German chemistry. The Virginia Bartow Papers, 1908-80 (RS 15/5/37; 1 c.f.)
relate to the history of chemistry.
Late 20th century chemistry at Illinois is represented in the Herbert E.
Carter Papers, 1935-70 (RS 15/5/29; 2 c.f.), Herbert A. Laitenen Papers,
1949-74 (RS 15/5/36; 1 c.f.), Herbert S. Gutowsky Papers, 1963-67 (RS
15/5/38; 1 c.f.), Sherlock Swann Papers, 1925-80 (RS 15/5/39; 1 c.f.) and
the Irwin C. Gunsalus Papers, 1962-84 (RS 15/5/40; 40 c.f.).
The Archives extensive photographic holdings include exterior and interior
views of the first chemistry laboratory (1879), Noyes Laboratory (1909),
Chemistry Annex (1930) and the Roger Adams Laboratory (1955). Faculty
portraits are located in RS 39/2/20, 39/2/25 and 39/2/26.
An extensive collection of student organization records includes the
records of campus chapters of Alpha Chi Sigma (1924-31) and Iota Sigma Pi
(1915-75) and the Alpha Chi Sigma national journal (1910-95) and history
The archives holds the Charles Shamel Papers, 1874-1949 (RS 26/20/3; 16
c.f.), a chemistry graduate in 1890. The careers of hundreds of other
chemistry graduates are documented in the Alumni Files, 1882-1995 (RS
26/4/1; 222 c.f.).
The University Archives is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through
Friday. For specific inquiries about holdings and access, contact:
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
Telephone (217) 333-0798
Fax (217) 333-2214
Last updated June 17, 1996.