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UA 135.011 Guide to the North Carolina State University, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Department of Chemistry Records, 1931-2004

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[Box 1, Folder 2]
[Box 1, Folder 4]


North Carolina State College. Dept. of Agricultural Engineering.


North Carolina State University. Dept. of Chemistry.


1.5 Linear feet

General Physical Description note

3 archival boxes



Acquisitions Information

Transferred by North Carolina State University, Department of Chemistry


Processed by: Kelly Clark, 2007 August; Cate Putirskis, 2009 October; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kelly Clark; finding aid updated by Cate Putirskis, 2009 October; Todd Kosmerick, 2013 June.


2009, 2012, 2013, Finding aid updated to reflect processing of the collection by Cate Putirskis, 2009 October; Updated by Beverly King, 2012 July; Todd Kosmerick, 2013 June.

Scope and Content Note

The records of the North Carolina State University Department of Chemistry include memoranda on the role of the department, a long-range proposal, notes for advisors and lab assistants, workstation operations guide, essays, lecture outlines, newsletters, a book of exercises, and promational materials advertising the department. Materials range in date from 1931 to 2004.

Historical Note

The Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University goes back to the founding of the North Carolina College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts in 1889. W. A. Withers was Professor of Pure and Agricultural Chemistry, one of only five original faculty members at the college. The chemistry curriculum was initially listed as engineering courses, although not considered chemical engineering. In 1911 the department moved from Holladay Hall to Winston Hall, where it had use of two classrooms, three teaching labs, and a research lab as well as a prep room, a dark room, and a chemical library. In 1923, chemistry was moved into the School of Science and Business. In 1931 the Consolidated University of North Carolina was established, and the college could no longer grant degrees in pure chemistry. The department was transferred to the School of Agriculture in 1937 and, named the Department of Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, moved to Withers Hall in 1940.

In their 5 November 1957 proposal for the formation of a reconstituted Department of Chemistry, separate from the applied chemistry divisions, Lodwick C. Hartley (Dept. of English), Preston W. Edsall (Dept. of History and Political Science), Clark Lee Allen (Dept. of Economics), and R. R. Hentz (Department of Chemistry) emphasized the importance of instruction in pure chemistry, for which there was, at that time, no dedicated degree program. Their objective was to develop and implement a program of undergraduate instruction in inorganic, analytical, organic, physical, and biological chemistry leading to a bachelors of science degree in chemistry, as well as graduate and research programs leading to masters of science and Ph.D. degrees in all areas from agricultural and biological chemistry to nuclear chemistry. They focused particularly on faculty recruitment and on equipment and facilities.

The "new" Department of Chemistry was moved into the newly organized School of Physical Science and Applied Mathematics in 1959-60. At that time, only 2% of students enrolled in chemistry courses were chemistry majors, leading acting department head W. A. Reid to dub the undergraduate program a "service program to all the curricula on the campus with the exception of the School of Design." In 1965, construction commenced on a new chemistry building, Dabney Hall, doubling research capacity. The building was complete in June 1969. By 2004, the department was large enough to require a new undergraduate lab facility, located in the Fox Science Teaching Laboratory.

In 2013 the Department of Chemistry became part of NC State's new, comprehensive College of Sciences.

List of Department Heads

1889-1924 W. A. Withers
1924-? E. E. Randolph
?-? L. F. Williams
[1930?]-1948 A. J. Wilson
1948-1958 Walter J. Peterson
1959-1960 W. A. Reid, acting
1961-1967 January Ralph C. Swann
1967 November-1973 Z Zimmerman Hugus
1973-1982 Carl L. Bumgardner
1983-1992 Kenneth W. Hanck
1992-1994 Janet Osteryoung
1994-1998 Robert Osteryoung
1998-2004 Bruce M. Novak
2004-2005 Kenneth W. Hanck, interim
2005-2011 Morteza Khaledi
2011- Chris Gorman

Access to Collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, fax, or our web form.


Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111


(919) 515-2273


(919) 513-1787

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], North Carolina State University, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Department of Chemistry Records, UA 135.011, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Access to Collection

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Access to Collection

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

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