1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY
1400 Washington AveAlbanyNY

Department of Chemistry Records


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Memoranda, course descriptions, technical reports, syllabi, and proposals for the academic chemistry department.


State University of New York at Albany. Department of Chemistry
Date Coverage:
0.25 cubic ft.

The New York State Normal School at Albany New York was opened in December 1844. Merrit G. McKoon was the faculty member hired to teach Natural Philosophy and Chemistry. He taught from March 15, 1845 until June 9, 1845, resigning because an illness in his family.[4] During the summer of 1845 a Mr. Mather was hired to give 12 lectures in Chemistry,[5] possibly assisted by a student, William Clark. Clark was hired as a full time faculty member after he graduated, teaching Natural Science and Chemistry from October 15th 1845 until his resignation in 1851.[6] The first Chemistry course that was taught was in 1846 called chemistry (with experimental lectures).[7] The first textbook that was used was Grays Chemistry.[8] A succession of short term Chemistry faculty members taught during the nineteenth century.[9] The first woman to teach Chemistry in the Normal School was Miss. E. Helen Hannahs who taught from September 1889 until 1896 when she transferred to teach French.[10]

In 1890, when the schools name was changed to the New York State Normal College, and the mission of the school was restricted to teaching Pedagogy (the Science of Teaching), the teaching of Chemistry, as opposed to how to teach Chemistry, was dropped. Students were expected to know Chemistry when they entered the Normal College. The curriculum was restricted to Pedagogy until 1906 when the Normal College became a four year undergraduate college for teachers.[11] At this time Chemistry was once again taught. By 1906, the school offered three Chemistry classes, which were: general course in Chemistry, Qualitative Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry.[12]

Following a devastating fire in January 1906, he Normal College was without a campus until September 1909, when the first three buildings on the downtown campus were completed. With the completion of the new campus and the expansion of the faculty and body the school for the first time developed a departmental structure. The first Department of Chemistry was first created in 1909 within the Natural Science Department.[13] The course offerings doubled and now included, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, Teaching Chemistry, and Manipulation of Chemical Apparatus.[14] By 1914, the Normal College, renamed the New York State College for Teachers, allowed students to major and minor in Chemistry. To major students had to take twenty-four hours of Chemistry, and to minor in it they had to take eighteen hours.[15] In 1919 there were now seventeen Chemistry courses which included Industrial and Applied Chemistry which was taught from 1916-1943, The Chemistry of Foods, and Advanced Organic and Color Chemistry.[16]

Graduate Education in chemistry began in 1913. Two degrees were offered: a Master of Pedagogy or a Master of Arts in Education. Both degrees were preparatory to teaching in Normal schools, a career in school administration, or teaching in a secondary school department. The candidate had to take 15 points in course work, one half to two thirds in education, and submit a thesis.[17] The first catalogued Chemistry Masters thesis was written by Margret Tymesom in 1915, titled Spectrum Analysis of Nitrogen and its Components.[18]

Tymeson graduated in 1915 with a Masters of Arts in Education.[19] The title of the degree changed to Master in Arts by May 1919.[20] Graduate level courses are first listed in the 1933-1934 Annual Catalogue. Thirty semester hours were now required for a Masters Degree.[21] A total of eight Graduate level courses were offered including quantative analysis, Organic Chemistry, food analysis, industrial and applied chemistry and the history of chemistry.[22]

In 1962 the school became a University Center. Emphasis was placed on developing graduate level programs. The Ph.D. in Chemistry was introduced in 1965.[23] The first Doctoral Dissertation was written in 1967 by Richard John Strunk, titled Properties of some free radicals generated in the reduction of alkyl halides by organotin hydrides.[24] The current objective of the doctoral program is to develop an ability to conceive significant research problems, to design experiments for the successful investigation of these problems, and to communicate the results of these efforts to the scientific community.[25]

In the 1980s and 1990s the department developed several other degree programs. The first combined BA/MS program was offered in 1983[26] and has continued until present time. This allows students to graduate in nine semesters with their Masters in Science in a shorter amount of time.[27] The first Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry was first offered in 1997.[28] The combined B.S./M.S., Master of Science time shortened 3-2 program degree program was first offered as a special program in 2000.[29] The 3-2 program allows students who are interested in engineering to study Chemistry at The University at Albany for their first three years. They can then choose from the following schools where to spend their next two years studying engineering: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, SUNY at New Paltz, and SUNY at Binghamton.[30]

Chairmen (1912-1977) / Chair (1977-present)
1912-1939Barnard Bronson
1940-1953Oscar E. Lanford
1953-1957George W. Murphy
1958-1960Derk V. Tieszen
1960-1963 (on leave 1963-1964)Donald S. Allen
1966-1970Henry G. Kuivila
1971-1973Tsoo E. King
1973-1975Robert E. Frost
1975-1979Antony F. Saturno
1979-1980Harry L. Frisch (interim)
1980-1983Lawrence C. Snyder
1983-1985Henry G. Kuivila
1985-1991Eric Block
1991-1997Frank Hauser
1997-John Welch

The collection includes memoranda, course descriptions, technical reports, syllabi, and proposals.

The collection is unprocessed and is likely disorganized. Individual items may be difficult to find.

These records were deposited in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany.

Processed by: Merida Friedman, History 499 Intern

Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on

Published: 2017-05-02 23:01:49 -0400

Encoded in EAD by Gregory Wiedeman, 2015

Archival materials can be view in-person during business hours in our reading room, located on the top floor of the Science Library on the Uptown Campus.

We can also deliver digital scans for remote research for a fee.

Access to this collection is restricted because it is unprocessed. Portions of the collection may contain recent administrative records and/or personally identifiable information. While it is likely that portions of the collection may be viewed, access must be managed by an archivist.

Copyright Statement

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Department of Chemistry Records, 1958-1979. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Department of Chemistry Records).

Contents of Collection

Quantity: 746 captures  

Web crawling is managed through the Internet Archive's Archive-It service. This page includes links to both the university's collection and the Internet Archive's public collection.

Surface-level crawling of www.albany.edu is performed daily which should includes most top-level webpages. Separate targeted crawls of every albany.edu subdomain are performed monthly to attempt to gather all content. This includes: www.albany.edu, www.rna.albany.edu, www.ctg.albany.edu, www.ualbanysports.com, www.albany.edu/rockefeller, www.albany.edu/cela, www.albany.edu/asrc, m.albany.edu, library.albany.edu, events.albany.edu, cstar.cestm.albany.edu, csda.albany.edu, and alumni.albany.edu

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements: Web Archives



Web-Archive 1http://www.albany.edu/chemistry/ - University Archives collection2013 May 8-2016 September 18


WARC 1WARC file for http://www.albany.edu/chemistry/, (please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_ARChive for more details) 2013 May 8-2016 September 18


Web-Archive 2http://www.albany.edu/chemistry/ - Internet Archive collection1997 June 7-2016 September 18