International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Records
Scope and Content
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Records contains the organizational records of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, which mainly cover the period from its founding in 1919 to 1973. The records are arranged into the following twenty series:
- Executive Committee
- Division Presidents
- Biochemical Nomenclature
- Medicinal Chemistry Section
- Standing Committees
- Adhering Organizations
- Company Associates
- Observer Countries
- Associated Organizations
- International Council of Scientific Unions
Note - The following existing series and sub-series were removed from the collection:
Series V. Division Presidents Series VI. Officers Series VIII. Divisions, Sub-series 4. Macromolecular Division (Division IV) Series XI. Standing Committees, Sub-series 2. Ad Hoc Committees Series XV. Observer Countries Series XVI. Associated Organizations
- Majority of material found within Bulk 1919-1973
- International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (Organization)
There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry holds copyright to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Records. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), is an international association of bodies (National Adhering Organizations), which represent the chemists of different member countries. IUPAC grew out of an international awareness of the need for standardization in chemistry necessary for the smooth development and growth of international trade and commerce.
The origins of IUPAC date back to 1860, when German chemist August Kekulé organized an international conference with the objective of reaching agreement on the theory of organic chemistry, which would allow the standardization of nomenclature and the writing of chemical formulae. In a like manner, several subsequent international chemistry conferences were held to address the issue of nomenclature standardization. In 1892, the International Chemistry Committee established the Geneva Nomenclature, which set the first international standards for organic chemical nomenclature.
In 1911, the International Association of Chemical Societies (IACS) was formed. At its first meeting in Paris, France in April 1911, IACS delegates produced a set of proposals regarding issues they believed needed to be addressed by the international chemistry community, which included the coordination of nomenclature of organic and inorganic chemistry, and the standardization of atomic weights, physical constants, and formats of publications. A number of other issues of concern to the delegates were also addressed at this meeting, including the editing of tables for the properties of matter, the establishment of a commission for the review of work, and the implementation of measures to prevent the repetition of papers. IACS held two more annual meetings in 1912 and 1913 respectively. The outbreak of World War I in August 1914 prevented further meetings and dealt IACS a blow from which it never recovered.
In April 1919, the Société de Chimie Industrielle organized a conference of chemists from Allied countries in Paris, France. At this conference, the delegates proposed the formation of a new international chemistry organization to replace IACS. The membership of the new organization would be composed of national chemistry organizations. The response to this proposal was a positive one. IACS was formally dissolved at a meeting of the Commission for International Cooperation in Chemistry. In IACS’ place, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) was formally established in July 1919. In 1920, French chemist Charles Moreau was named IUPAC’s first President.
Currently, IUPAC’s objective is to contribute to the advancement of pure and applied chemistry in all its aspects. To achieve this end, it works to foster communication between nations and to encourage the evolution and adoption of standardized chemical nomenclatures and methodologies. IUPAC is best known for being an arbiter on matters of chemical nomenclature. It is also an active sponsor of conferences and symposia held throughout the world.
IUPAC was an active member of the International Research Council (1922-1931) and its successor the International Congress of Scientific Unions (1931-2002). It is currently an active member of the International Congress of Scientific Unions’ successor, the International Science Council (2002-Present).
IUPAC is registered in Zurich, Switzerland and its administrative offices are currently based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. As of January 2022, IUPAC’s membership is made up of fifty-five National Adhering Organizations, twenty-nine Associated Organizations, and thirty-two Company Associates. Prior to November 2021, there were a number of Associate National Adhering Organizations (also called Observer Countries) active in IUPAC, but this membership category has been discontinued.
The organizational structure of IUPAC has evolved over the course of its existence. As of January 2022, there are eight Divisions and fourteen Committees within IUPAC. The most up to date IUPAC organizational chart can be viewed on IUPAC’s website at https://iupac.org/who-we-are/organizational-chart/.
Fennell, Roger, History of IUPAC, 1919-1987. Oxford: Blackwell Science, Limited, 1994.
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Old Website. http://old.iupac.org/
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Website. https://iupac.org
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Records, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
73.0 Linear Feet (165 Boxes)
Language of Materials
Organizational records of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, which mainly cover the period from its founding in 1919 to 1973.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Records were deposited at the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry in September 1997.
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Records were processed by Susan Hamson in June 1998.
- Agricultural chemicals
- Archival materials
- Chemical industry
- Clinical chemistry
- Congresses and conventions
- Food -- Analysis
- Green chemistry
- Mass spectrometry
- Quantum chemistry
- Solid state chemistry
- Surface chemistry
- Transuranium elements
- International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (Organization)
- International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Records
- Finding aid created by Susan Hamson and encoded into EAD by Kenton G. Jaehnig.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2017: Finding aid revised by Andrew Mangravite
- 2022: Finding aid revised by Kenton G. Jaehnig
Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository
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