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‘Distillations,’ ‘Chemical Heritage’ Magazines Added to Institute’s Digital Collections

Digitized issues of both publications feature OCR technology, allowing users to search for specific content.

January 19, 2024

The Science History Institute is pleased to announce the addition of Distillations and Chemical Heritage magazine archives to our digital collections. This major digitization project includes the implementation of optical character recognition (OCR), which allows users to search all issues of both publications and more easily find specific content.

“I’m thrilled to see the full run of ‘Distillations’ magazine and its predecessor, ‘Chemical Heritage,’ in our digital collections, and I hope the print magazine’s many longstanding fans will be equally pleased to see these issues again,” said editorial director Clay Cansler. “The digital collections folks did an amazing job with OCR to make these issues fully searchable. With any luck this functionality will attract a whole new generation of readers.”

Funded by the generous support of board member Michael DeSimone and Dr. Susan Hughes, the addition of these collections highlights the central role the magazine has played in the Institute’s mission of telling the stories behind the science.

“‘Distillations’ is one of my favorite magazines! It’s so cleverly written, and each story is so engaging that you can’t put it down,” said DeSimone. “I’m delighted to make it available.”

While Distillations continues to publish new stories online twice a month, our editorial team is also busy putting together the third installment of our Best of Distillations print issue, a compilation of our favorite stories from the past year that will be out this spring. Copies are mailed to all Science History Institute donors and are available to our museum visitors while supplies last.

About Our Digital Collections

The Science History Institute Digital Collections include rare and modern books, manuscripts, photographs, videos, advertisements, oral histories, scientific instruments, glassware, and fine art reflecting the history of science from the Roman Empire through the 21st century. Launched in February 2018, new items like the Distillations and Chemical Heritage collections are added on a regular basis, often with an eye toward specific anniversaries or historical milestones.

The addition of magazine content comes after several months of diligent work by our digital collections team and increases the number of items housed on the site to nearly 13,300.


Featured issues at top (left to right): Distillations, Volume 3, Number 2; Chemical Heritage, Volume 28, Number 3; and Distillations, Volume 2, Number 3.

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