The Historical Collection contains items dating back to 1505, and comprises much of the historical information collected by the Royal Society of Chemistry and its precursor societies since 1841. It exists in two parts, Society publications and minutes, and Historical books and papers.
Society publications and minutes:
Contains material produced by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemical Society and the Royal Institute of Chemistry, including minutes, magazines, annual reports, monographs and lists of Fellows.
Chemistry in Britain (1965-2003)
Chemistry in Britain published the latest news and expert opinion on topics ranging from current research to government policy every month, attempting to give as global a view as possible. It launched in 1965 when the Chemical Society and the Royal Institute of Chemistry merged their two monthly publications, Proceedings of the Chemical Society and the Journal of the Royal Institute of Chemistry. Chemistry in Britain rebranded as Chemistry World in 2004.
Education in Chemistry (1964-2006)
Education in Chemistry aims to improve the teaching of chemistry at all levels, but focuses mainly on secondary school and university level. Launched in 1964 by the Royal Institute of Chemistry, Education in Chemistry is still published bimonthly by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Council Minutes (1841-1966)
Council represents the highest level of governance for both the Chemical Society and Royal Institute of Chemistry, bearing responsibility for overseeing and managing the society affairs as laid out in the Charters and By-laws. These minutes cover meetings of Council and reports of committees to Council dating back to the founding of the Chemical Society and Royal Institute of Chemistry.
Committee Minutes (1877-1947)
Committees hold responsibility for specific areas of society operation and report to Council. The minutes cover meetings of these committees including, among others, the Finance Committee (ensuring the financial resources are being used cost effectively), Publishing Committee (overseeing all publishing activities) and Nominations & Examinations Committee (advising on appointments to Council, Boards and Committees).
Monographs for Teachers (1962-1993)
Short texts focusing on well-defined topics within chemistry. The monographs give concise and authoritative accounts on subjects likely to be covered by anybody teaching at A-level and above.
Lectures, Monographs & Reports (1949-1967)
Lectures, monographs and reports on symposia hosted by the Royal Institute of Chemistry.
Lists of Officers and Fellows (1843-1953)
Names, dates of election to position and the university attended for Fellows, Honorary Fellows and officers of societies.
Annual Reports (1960-2012)
Operational overviews and financial accounts of the societies. These include detailed financials for the society and its trust and lecture funds, and trustees’ and Council reports on progress of the society towards its aims.
Historical books and papers:
Contains collections donated to the Chemical Society and Royal Society of Chemistry, including books, pamphlets, lecture manuscripts, notebooks and letters.
The Main Collection
The Main Collection contains items on alchemy, early chemistry, medicine and general science, written by a wide range of authors. It holds the oldest material in the collection, dating back to the early 16th century.
The Roscoe Collection
The Roscoe Collection contains items on alchemy and early chemistry, notes on solar chemistry, lectures, and letters between Roscoe and his peers. Sir Henry Roscoe (1833-1915) donated the collection to the Chemical Society in 1906.
The Nathan Collection
The Nathan Collection comprises books, pamphlets and posters on explosives and firearms dating from 1598 onwards. Colonel Sir Frederic Lewis Nathan, KBE (1861-1933) bequeathed the collection to the Chemical Society.
The Davy Bookcase
The Davy Bookcase includes pieces formerly in the possession of Sir Humphry Davy, Jon Davy and Lady Davy. It contains items from notable chemists, such as Humphry Davy, Antoine Lavoisier, John Dalton and Justus von Liebig, and also contains a small collection of the ‘Memoirs of the Royal Society’ from the first half of the 18th Century. George Holloway bequeathed the collection to the Royal Institute of Chemistry (and Chemical Society) in 1919.
The Sir Frederick Abel Papers (coming soon)
The Sir Frederick Abel Papers contain two of his diaries, letters of condolence upon his death and many of his personal letters. These letters are both him and his social and professional contemporaries and relate to his work in the explosives industry. Sir Frederick Abel’s family donated the collection to the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2010.