Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection
Vintage photograph of Edgar Fahs Smith
in his office in Harrison Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania
Edgar Fahs Smith (1854-1928) was a professor of chemistry and a provost of the University of Pennsylvania. He built the library that forms the nucleus of the collection named in honor of him and endowed by his widow.The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection is devoted to the history of chemistry and collects broadly in that field, emphasizing periods prior to 1850. The collection includes early and modern works on chemistry, alchemy, early medicine and pharmacology, dyeing, metallurgy, mineralogy, and pyrotechnics; biographies of chemists; works on the chemical industry; and the history of chemical education. First and early editions of Robert Boyle and Joseph Priestly are heavily represented in the Smith Collection, which also has more than fifty bound manuscripts from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries; lecture notes of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century chemists; Edgar Fahs Smith's personal papers; more than 3,000 prints, engravings, and photographs of eminent chemists; and an extensive collection of pamphlets and reprints. A selection of the iconography, as well as an online order form for photographic reproductions from this material, can be found at http://dewey.library.upenn.edu/sceti/smith. The Edgar Fahs Smith papers, circa 1870-1940, are cataloged as UPenn Ms. Coll. 112 and are available for research.