McGill University. Department of Chemistry -- Faculty.



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McGill University. Department of Chemistry -- Faculty.

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McGill University. Department of Chemistry -- Faculty.

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Harold Hibbert Fonds

  • CA MUA MG3076
  • Fonds
  • 1877-1961

Fonds consists of printed materials, architectural drawings, and photographs that are overwhelmingly concerned with Hibbert’s research activities and related areas of patents and consulting. His general correspondence files (1910-1945) are almost entirely devoted to research communications and the business of the Pulp and Paper Research Institute. There are a few files of correspondence with individuals on special topics, e.g. with Benno Borzykowski on the establishment of chemical industries in Peru (1940-1943), with the Nobel Institute on Hibbert's nomination of Colin Fink for the chemistry prize (1934-1935), as well as letters concerning German refugee scientists (1933). Hibbert's research subject files (1915-1943) contain notes, drafts of articles, printed materials and some correspondence on a large range of organic chemistry topics: wood cellulose, lignin, synthetic fibers, analysis and catalysis, and explosives. Closely related to these are papers on the administration and equipment of the Pulp and Paper Research Institute (1927-1942) and other bodies.

Hibbert's files on patents (1914-1941) contain some documentation on his own patents, but largely concern patents of interest to him in the area of solvents, synthetic fibers and vanilla, pharmaceuticals, and alcohol. His work as a consultant is illustrated by files of notes, reports and correspondence on Komppa's synthetic camphor (1919), the establishment of chemical companies producing synthetic fibers, pulp and paper products, machinery, etc.

Hibbert's teaching activities are documented by two files of lecture notes (1945) and two of correspondence with the Chemistry Department (1934-1943) and the Graduate Faculty (1934-1945) on student-related topics, theses and honorary degrees.

His involvement with the American Chemical Society is revealed by general correspondence, largely concerning meetings and papers, correspondence with the Division of Cellulose Chemistry on research problems, division reports, publications, and relations with industry, and finally by communications with the Society's Journal regarding the refereeing of papers (1920-1944). Personal and biographical materials comprise a scattering of papers about his marriage (1917), academic appointments (1922-1924), library (1926-1941), retirement (1943), hobbies, clubs and interests. There is also a small body of correspondence with his friends, wife and family (1928-1945), as well as communications with his broker about stock investments (continued by Mrs. Hibbert until 1961). Bibliographies and photographs are also included. Obituary material is supplemented by letters of condolence to Mrs. Hibbert, and by a file documenting a dispute concerning Hibbert's biography in the National Cyclopedia of American Biography.

Hibbert, Harold, 1877-1945

Robert Van Vliet Nicholls Fonds

  • CA MUA MG 1062
  • Fonds
  • 1838-1977

Fonds consists of papers (originals and printed materials) that are largely the products of Nicholls research work; there are also some materials from his student years, and some files related to his teaching and administrative activities.

Student materials consist of notes for undergraduate and graduate courses (1931-1936) and of lectures attended during post-doctoral study at Brooklyn and Cambridge. Teaching files contain examinations and quizzes for courses taught by Nicholls (1936-1973), lecture notes for his course in organic chemistry (1952-1955), laboratory manuals, and correspondence with the Québec Ministry of Education regarding marking of High School Leaving Examinations in chemistry (1940-1949). Administrative responsibilities are documented by files of memoranda and minutes, on the business of Graduate Faculty (1960-1971), the Scholarships Committee (1967-1969), the Museums Committee (1965) and Civil Defence (1951).

Approximately half the records concern research, largely in two fields: war research, and the history of science. War research is covered by correspondence (1939-1951) with Otto Maass and other officers of the National Research Council, the Defence Department, private industry, and fellow chemists, such as Russell Smart, largely on RDX and chemical warfare. Chemical warfare is also the subject of some reading and lecture notes (1942). Drafts and published reports of Nicholls' research on RDX are supplemented by copies of other NRC and Defence Department reports on explosives research, mustard gas, and the work of the NRC Polymer Subcommittee (1942-1944). Nicholls' involvement with the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science is reflected in files of minutes, reports and correspondence (1974-1977). There are also completed questionnaires and correspondence concerning the survey of historical scientific instruments conducted by the Association on behalf of the Union internationale d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences. Files of correspondence with the Humanities Research Council largely deal with assessing grant applications for history of science projects. Other research materials include notes for a bibliography on plastics, soaps and synthetics, and a file of reading notes and correspondence with antiquarian booksellers regarding the history of espionage (ca 1930-1955). Nicholls' interest in the history of science at McGill is reflected in 1.8 m of notes and photocopies of material on individuals, faculties, and science buildings.

Nicholls, Robert V. V. (Robert Van Vliet), 1913-