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Chemistry Department. Records, bulk: 1898 - 2017

Identifier: RG03-05-04

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of ledger books, correspondence, reports, and departmental publications. The Martin Letterpress books includes correspondence about payments to the Societas Fratrum fund, the building of Martin Chemical Laboratory, Davidson College Presbyterian Church Sunday School curriculum and activities, personal purchases and some family news. The Logan correspondence deals with textbook development and the lab books record his experiments. The Library correspondence includes information on policies and purchases for the Chemistry Library and information on The Ray, a chemistry honor society journal. There is additional correspondence concering funds and scholarships related to the Goehring Fund, the Logan Memorial Fund, the Oscar Thies Jr. Fund, and the James Edward Mills Scholarship as well as correspondence with the Dreyfus Foundation, Dow Chemical Foundation and the Du Pont Company. These files contain reports on students receiving scholarships and on equipment purchases and departmental research. The collection also contain an article, "First Fifty Years of Chemistry at Davidson" written for the local magazine "Briarpatch" by Benjamin C. Garrett. There is also information on colliqium held by the department. Of special note is a list compiled by Felix Carroll and kept in the "Colloquia 1972-1993" folder detailing every guest speaker between 1972 and 1993. . The COSIP Proposals sought funds from the National Science Foundation for Chemistry, Physics and the Unified Science Program (1970) and for science building modernization (1972). The proposal include descriptions and narratives about the sciences at Davidson. There are also files on the rededication of the Martin Chemical building in 1980, annual reports and lists of graduates. Oversize contains a poster for the Dr. Dennis Liotta lecture in January 2006.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1898 - 2017


Biographical / Historical

Chemistry has been part of the Davidson College curriculum since its opening in 1837. Robert Hall Morrison taught chemistry as one of his many duties as the first college president. His successor as president, Samuel Williamson, was also responsible for teaching science courses. In 1850, Elijah Rockwell was appointed professor of chemistry and natural science. The first endowed professorship for chemistry was the Chambers Professorship of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology was created in 1856. This professorship was renamed in 1865 to be the Chambers Professorship of Physics, Chemistry, and Geology and in 1869 to be the Chambers Professorship of Chemistry, Geology, and Natural History. William Joseph Martin, (1830-1896) served as the Chambers professor from 1869-1887 and initiated the use of laboratory experiments in classroom teaching. The Martin Chemical Laboratory built in 1901 was named for Martin. The building was torn down in 1941 and replaced with the Martin Science Building. The department grew from one professorship to three faculty in the late 1920s and further expanded to six faculty in the 1960s. A seventh faculty member was added in 1975 and an eighth in 1984.


3.00 boxes_oversize (3 boxes + oversize)




These folders arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Physical Location

Range C Section 2

Mapstand B-2

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Related Materials

RG 6/14.93 American Chemical Society - Student Affiliates (ASC-SA)

Repository Details

Part of the College Archives Repository