Science History Institute
Formed by the merger of the Chemical Heritage Foundation and the Life Sciences Foundation, the Science History Institute collects and shares the stories of innovators and of discoveries that shape our lives. We preserve and interpret the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. Headquartered in Philadelphia, with offices in California and Europe, the Institute houses an archive and a library for historians and researchers, a fellowship program for visiting scholars from around the globe, a community of researchers who examine historical and contemporary issues, an acclaimed museum that is free and open to the public, and a state-of-the-art conference center.
Four programmatic areas address specific parts of our non-profit organization’s overall mission:
Collections and Library
The Othmer Library houses our major collections of rare and modern books, papers of prominent scientists and organizations, and historical photographs. Staffed by a knowledgeable team of librarians and archivists, our library allows researchers to explore primary sources in the history of science and technology from the 15th through the 21st century. Our library, collections, and archives combine to form a unique resource for historical studies.
Museum, Programming, and Distillations Media
The Eddleman Institute is the operational home of our museum and of Distillations media. Museum collections include a renowned array of artifacts, scientific instruments, and art. Museum and communications staff members work with their colleagues across the organization to create exhibitions, public programs, and other materials that showcase our research and diverse collections.
The Institute for Research produces scholarly studies on the nexus of science and society. Through the Center for Oral History and the Center for Applied History, staff and fellows capture the history of science in the making.
The Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry supports an international community of visiting fellows. As members of a leading research center in the history of science and technology, these fellows pursue their own research and publications. But they also participate in the life of the Institute, contributing to our public programs, Distillations content, and social media.