Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF)

CHF’s staff and fellows study the past in order to understand the present and inform the future. We focus on the sciences and technologies of matter and materials and their effect on our modern world, in territory ranging from the physical sciences and industries, through the chemical sciences and engineering, to the life sciences and technologies. 

We collect, preserve, and exhibit historical artifacts. We engage communities of scientists and engineers. We tell the stories of the people behind breakthroughs and innovations.

Four distinct program areas support CHF’s mission:

  • The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History houses major collections of rare and modern books, papers of prominent scientists and organizations, and historical photographs that form a valuable resource for studies in the history of chemistry and related sciences. The library features primary sources from the 15th through the 21st centuries.
  • The Roy Eddleman Institute for Interpretation and Education, the outreach arm of CHF, brings chemistry to a broad audience through public programs, print and Web-based publications, and educational materials. The institute also operates the Museum at CHF, which explores subjects ranging from alchemy to nanotechnology.
  • The Institute for Research initiates, coordinates, and conducts research at the core of CHF’s mission to foster dialogue on science and technology in society. Its work is grounded in the idea that historical knowledge is crucial to a full appreciation of science and technology, the roles they play in our modern world, and the ways they will help shape the future. Through work in oral history and applied history, Institute for Research staff and fellows capture history in the making and make it relevant for contemporary conversations.
  • The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry hosts a community of visiting fellows. These fellows conduct historical research, interact with staff, publish academic and popular works, and establish CHF as a leading research center in the history of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries.
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America United States Mid-Atlantic
Institution type
Foreign Institutions Foundations (public/private) Museums and libraries