Chemical Heritage Foundation

Specialty: History of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a library, museum, and center for scholars.  CHF maintains collections, including instruments and apparatus, rare books, fine art, and the personal papers of prominent scientists, corporations, and institutions, all related to chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries.  CHF also hosts conferences and lectures, supports research, offers fellowships, and produces public exhibitions.  Our programs provide insight on subjects ranging from the history of alchemy to the social impact of nanotechnology.


The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History houses more than 150,000 volumes that form an unrivaled resource for the history of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries. The collection contains primary sources from the 15th through the 21st century. The library houses approximately 2,500 journal titles, totaling 59,000 volumes. Several titles span nearly 200 years. Collections also include: paintings and works on paper from the 17th through the 19th century; hundreds of 20th-century chemical instruments; artifacts ranging from some of the first pre-production nylon stockings to early batteries, glassware, and apparatus; 28,000 historical photographs; and 5,200+ linear feet of personal papers and corporate and organizational records (e.g., the papers of Paul Flory, Carl Marvel, Alan MacDiarmid, Paul Lauterbur, and Richard Smalley, the historical archives of the Dow Chemical and Rohm & Haas companies, and the unpublished records of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Chemists’ Club).

Othmer Library Catalog.

Visit the collections.

Fellowship opportunities.

Dow Laboratory Image, 1940s, Dow Historical Collection. Image courtesy of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.