New acquisitions and new archive building at Chemical Heritage Foundation

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  • Published: Jan 3, 2014
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Chemometrics & Informatics / Infrared Spectroscopy / Base Peak / X-ray Spectrometry / MRI Spectroscopy / Proteomics / Atomic / UV/Vis Spectroscopy / Raman / NMR Knowledge Base
thumbnail image: New acquisitions and new archive building at Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia has a new state-of-the-art building to house its extensive archive. The John C. Haas Archive of Science and Business offers 1.6 miles of linear storage which will be used for its collection of over 120,000 printed volumes, 30,000 photographs, as well as the papers of hundreds of scientists, engineers, companies and organizations. Named after one of the CHF's founding members, the building has plenty of space for new acquisitions.

"The archive helps improve the chances of collections being preserved that otherwise might not find a home," says Ron Brashear, the Arnold Thackray Director of the Othmer Library of Chemical History at CHF. Without it, "If we were offered a collection, we might have to decide we couldn't take it, and there might not be another place that could take the collection."

The new building was opened in a busy period for the CHF, which included the acquisition of a number of rare alchemy manuscripts from an Amsterdam library. They consist of nine manuscripts and a set of three 15th-century allegorical images on parchment that once belonged to illuminated manuscripts.

The prize is a copy of Pretiosa margarita novella (The Precious New Pearl) by Petrus Bonus. Speaking to Philly.com, James R. Voelkel, the rare-book curator at CHF said "This is the reason that we bought this collection, this is the manuscript that I really wanted the most. It is about 1450, which is just about the time Gutenberg starts experimenting [with printing] and about five years before the Gutenberg Bible."

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