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The Othmer Library is now open to researchers by appointment only.

  • Library research appointments are available on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Appointments must be made and confirmed 24 hours in advance
  • Appointments are limited to two readers per day and are available on a first-contacted, first-served basis
  • Reference requests, research assistance, and copy services are available, but will be provided virtually whenever possible
  • Before booking an in-person appointment, contact library staff at to discuss alternative access such as document delivery
  • Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we are waiving fees for reasonable requests

Why did alchemists want to find the philosopher’s stone? How did people in the past understand what made them sick? What does it mean to preserve the natural environment in the 21st century? These are just a few of the questions that scholars at the Science History Institute think about in their research.

Conducting and sharing research sits at the core of the Institute’s mission to preserve and interpret the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences. The Institute is home to dozens of scholars who use its varied collections of oral histories, modern and rare books, archival materials, art, and artifacts to examine the roles science and technology have played in the past, how they affect our modern world, and the ways they will shape the future.

Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry

Explore this center for scholars, which houses a public lecture series, weekly lunchtime talk series, writing group, book series, and more.

Othmer Library Catalog and Digital Collections

Search our rare books, journals, reference collection, images, and archives.

Center for Oral History

Learn more about the development and curation of our oral history collection.

Arnold O. Beckman Legacy Project

Take a look at the legacy of inventor and philanthropist Dr. Arnold O. Beckman.

Research Fellows

Meet the diverse members of the Science History Institute’s research fellow community.




Search the Library and Digital Collections

Digital Collections


Midon, the Othmer Library Online Catalog