Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Chemistry Lecture Notes, 1856-1857

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, January 2012

Summary Information
Title: Chemistry lecture notes
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: 1856-1857
Extent: 1 volume
This volume contains notes taken during a series of lectures on chemistry, primarily between January and April 1857. The notes cover a variety of topics, including the properties and uses of elements and brief remarks on organic chemistry and geology.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2003. M-4293.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Chemistry Lecture Notes, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The study and profession of chemistry increased significantly throughout the mid-1800s, both in Europe and in the United States. During this period, chemistry societies were established to unite scholarly communities, and the subsequent popularity of chemistry led to the expansion of study in other scientific disciplines. The number of known elements, for example, grew from 62 in 1850 to 82 in 1910.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume contains notes taken during a series of lectures on chemistry, primarily between January 8 and April 7, 1857. Most of the lectures cover the properties and uses of elements, including ways in which they could be treated and places where they might be found. Several metals, such as lead and tin, are discussed, along with other elements such as arsenic and antimony. Other topics, such as chemical compounds, are also frequently mentioned, though the focus remains predominantly on particular elements. Though the volume contains primarily prose notes, some equations are included, often related to the formation of complex molecules and chemical reactions. Occasionally, specific applications or additional substances form the basis of a discussion, such as silver and its use in photography (No. 22, March 1857), nicotine (March 23, 1857), and citric acid (March 11, 1857). The final lectures, given throughout early April, cover topics in organic chemistry, including the formation of organic animal matter (April 1, 1857). Two entries relate to geology (April 7, 1857, and March 8, 1857). The volume holds additional inserted notes on similar chemical topics; these include notes dated October 7, 1856, and April 20, 1857.

Subject Terms

    • Chemical elements.
    • Chemistry--History--19th century.
    • Chemistry, Organic--Study and teaching.
    • Chemistry--Study and teaching.
    • Geology.
    • Metals.
    Genre Terms:
    • Notes.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Chemistry lecture notes,  1856-1857 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette, and Isabelle Stengers. A History of Chemistry. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1996.

    Thorpe, T. E. History of Chemistry. New York: G.P. Putnam's sons, 1909.