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Bolton Society Symposia: 2000 May

Named for Henry Carrington Bolton, the Bolton Society encourages and promotes the individual love for and collection of all types of printed material devoted to chemistry and related sciences.

Collecting Chemistry Books for Fun and Profit

Organizers: Herbert T. Pratt

Living with dead chemists / Herbert T. Pratt

As most inveterate bibliophiles will readily admit, book collecting is a “disease.” One is always seemingly driven to add just one more volume. I have collected old chemistry books and related ephemera for 40 years and now have more than 3,000 titles. Many of these were owned by famous chemists, and it is always a thrill to handle books that were once used by those who shaped my science and my profession. To finger a rare book and realize that my molecules are being mixed with the former owner’s gives me what theologians call a “numinous feeling.” This illustrated talk will trace the history of the atomic theory from the 1770s to the 1940s through a collection of ten or twelve books and other items, many of which belonged to famous chemists.

From chemical engineering to books:evolution of a career / Robert D. Fleck

(ChE to books, a Kaleidoscope of Memories)

This “Kaleidoscope of Memories” is a trip through the 24 year career of this bookseller with side views of interesting and sometimes infamous collectors that he has met along the way.

Chemical treasures in the Unidel science collection / Timothy D. Murray

The Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library houses a world-renowned collection on the history of chemistry. The presentation will include a history of the collection and an in-depth look at some of its highlights.

Donald and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical Sciences / Elizabeth Swan

The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History was created in 1988 to encompass the history of the chemical sciences and industries. Our collection includes 50,000 serial volumes, more than 1,000 historical textbooks, a rare book collection dating from 1512, and some 10,000 monograph volumes. We house numberous personal archives, such as Noble Laureate Paul J. Flory, as well as several organization and corporate archival collections. In addition our archives includes a collection of more than 10,000 photographic images, artwork ranging from oil portraits to lithographs, and artifacts ranging from nylon stockings and batteries to historical chemical instruments.