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Chemistry Department records

Identifier: RG0089

Collection Scope and Content

Materials in this collection include correspondence, pamphlets and a syllabus. They range in date from 1893-1983, and were transferred to the University Archives by the Chair of the Chemistry Department. The Department of Chemistry website was added to the collection in 2023.


  • 1893-1983

Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Historical or Biographical Note

Chemistry has been a part of the curriculum at The George Washington University since the beginnings of the University. Located in Corcoran Hall, the Chemistry Department offers Ph.D. and M.S. programs in analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry and materials science. Research fields include: combustion chemistry; polymer chemistry; theoretical chemistry; transition metal complexes; nanostructured materials; and forensic chemistry (in cooperation with the Department of Forensic Sciences). Collaborative research is also conducted with faculty from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

GWU has had some illustrious professors of chemistry in its history. Charles Munroe (1849-1938), the inventor of smokeless gunpowder, was head of the department from 1892-98. Dr. Munroe was considered one of the world's authorities on explosives, and authored more than 100 books on that subject, as well as chemistry. Dr. Munroe served as president of the American Chemical Society and fellow of the Chemical Society of London. Domestically, he was a consultant to the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

Dr. Charles Naeser taught in the department from 1935-76, and was involved with research on atomic energy (Uranium-Fluoride) in the late 1930's, and knew George Gamow and Edward Teller, theoretical physicists who were on faculty at GWU. During World War II Naeser worked on chemical warfare for the Army Chemical Center in Edgewood, Maryland. Each year, The George Washington University Department of Chemistry puts out a newsletter to staff, faculty and alumni.


0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Materials in this collection include correspondence, pamphlets, a syllabus, and archived versions of Chemistry Department website. They range in date from 1893-1983.

Collection Organization

Organized in three series.

Acquisition Information

Materials were transferred to the University Archives by the Chair of the Chemistry Department.

Preliminary Guide to the Chemistry Department records, 1893-1983
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America