Science History Institute
"Old Faithful" bakelite cooker at the Science History Institute.
The Science History Institute is an institution that preserves and promotes understanding of the history of science. Located in Philadelphia, it includes a library, museum, archive, research center and conference center.
It was founded in 1982 as the Center for the History of Chemistry, a joint venture of the American Chemical Society and the University of Pennsylvania. It was renamed the Chemical Heritage Foundation in 1992. As of February 1, 2018, the organization was renamed the Science History Institute, to reflect its wider range of historical interests, from chemical sciences and engineering to the life sciences and biotechnology
The institute focuses not only on the history of chemistry but also on the history of science, the history of technology, trends in research and development, the impact of science on society, and relationships between science and art, among other subjects.
The Science History Institute holds many collections relevant to the history of chemistry. These include the Othmer Library, which in 2004 became the steward of the Roy G. Neville Historical Chemical Library, one of the most comprehensive single deposits of books on the history of chemistry. The institute's fine-art collection includes more than 90 paintings and 200 works on paper that unmask the world of the alchemists.
The institute also holds a variety of historical artifacts related to chemistry and chemical education, including instrumentation. It has one of the best public collections of chemistry sets, with approximately 100 different sets from all over the world, including Australia and Germany. Other special artifact collections include "The Beauty of Bakelite" and "Chemistry and Fashion."