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Correspondence on Wiswesser Line Notation Compiled by William B. Thompson


Held at: Lehigh University Special Collections [Contact Us]Lehigh University, Linderman Library, 30 Library Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18045

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Lehigh University Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

WLN was invented by Lehigh Chemistry professor Wiswesser in 1949 enabling chemistry professionals to describe complex chemical structures precisely. William Thompson and other scientific information professionals used WLN and collaborated on prjects. This collection contains sample documents of scholarly communication. William Thompson, donor of the collection, graduated from Harpur College in 1959. He took graduate level information science courses at Lehigh University and worked for GAF Corp.(General Aniline Film Corp., Binghamton NY and Easton PA). As of 2019, Thompson lives in Brenigsville PA.

Collection of letters, papers and paper proposals by chemistry and computer programming professionals from various countries on using Wiswesser Line Notation in chemical and pharmaceutical industries, 1965-1969. Some of the letters are written on "aeromail" specially printed stationaries as samples of artefacts of communication history. William Thompson and other scientific information professionals used WLN and collaborated on prjects. This collection contains sample documents of scholarly communication.

Collection arranged chronologically.

Donated by William Thompson, September 6, 2019

Lehigh University Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Eleanor Nothelfer.
Lehigh University Library and Technology Services.
Access Restrictions

Access Restrictions: Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Use Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Please inquire about copyright information.

Collection Inventory

April 15, 1965 from Bill (Crops Division at Fort Detrick) to Al? re: "chemicotopological hiatus" proposed in 1963.
Box 0374.01 Folder 01
December 1965 "A Decoding Study of the Line-Formula Chemical Notation" Final Report prepared by William J. Wiswesser.
Box 0374.01 Folder 02

January 20, 1967 from E. Hyde, F. W. Matthews, Lucille Thomson "Connectivity Matrix from Wiswesser Notation" .
Box 0374.01 Folder 03
April 1967 "Conversion of Wiswesser Notation to a Connectivity Matrix for Organic Compounds" by E. Hyde, F. W. Matthews, L. H. Thomson, W. J. Wiswesser .
Box 0374.01 Folder 04
1967 June.
Box 0374.01 Folder 05
Scope and Contents

June 13, 1967 "What is a "Connectivity Table"?" June 15, 1967 from Bill to Wm B. Thompson re: return shipment of selected

Notation cards from Binghamton, New York June 29, 1967 from William Thompson I.S. 481 [Master's thesis proposal]

1967 July.
Box 0374.01 Folder 06
Scope and Contents

July 11, 1967 from GAF [General Aniline & Film Corp] re: R. Narasimhan report July 19, 1967 from Wm. Thompson to Lucille Thomson re: Bill Wiswesser and

Robert Taylor, thesis supervisor encourages visit July 28, 1967 "Computerization of Organic Structures" by L. Thomson [with

diagramming and Charting Worksheet]

1967 September-November.
Box 0374.01 Folder 07
Scope and Contents

September 11, 1967 from 33rd Conf. of FID and International Congress on

Documentation to W. B. Thompson, F. R. Whaley, A. C. Starke, E. C. Carson

Re: Japan Information Center of Science and Technology Document

Storage: "Administrative Information for Technical Proposal for Computer

Program for Chemical Structures Part A.," Technical Proposal for Computer

Program for Chemical Structures, Part B" September 14, 1967 [2nd letter re: above] September 20, 1967 from Univ. of Illinois to Central Research Laboratory September 21, 1967 "Keyboarding Chemical Information" by R. G. Hefner, P.M.

Keesecker and D. F. Rule presented at National Meeting of American

Chemical Society November 8, 1967 from Univ. of Sheffield to W. B. Thompson re: Kurt Ofer of

Haifa generation of Wiswesser line notations from connection tables

1968 January-February.
Box 0374.01 Folder 08
Scope and Contents

January 31, 1968 from Bill Wiswesser to Matthew Hutton re: discussion with

Jack Hayes and vastly improved "Recognition" clarity using full-character

Set of ASCII/360 punctuations vs. present three for polycyclic notation February 1, 1968 "A Study of Mechanical Translation from WLN to Connection

Table" by S. Kulpinski, N. London, D. Lefkovitz, A. Gennaro, presented at the

Symposium on Automation of Information Operations, Philadelphia, Pa. February 6, 1968 from Bill Thompson to W. J. Wiswesser re: printer that can't

Print characters that Wiswesser wants February 10, 1968 from Bill [Wiswesser?] to William Thompson re: "expanded

Character" notation research

1968 April-December.
Scope and Contents

April 1968 "GAF Document Storage and Retrieval System" by A. C. Starke, F. R.

Whaley, E. C. Carson and W. B. Thompson, American Documentation, Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 173-180 April 1968 "Formal Evaluation of a Simple Chemical Cipher System" by James

Munz, Univ. of Pennsylvania Analysis of Chemical Notations Project August 1968 "107 Years of Line-Formula Notations (1861-1968)" by William J.

Wiswesser, Journal of Chemical Documentation, Vol. 8, p. 146-149 November 15, 1968 from Wm J. Wiswesser to Member of Chemical Notation

Assn re: Membership applications December 17, 1968 from Jack E. Byk to William Thompson re: Dr. Rogers of

Imperial Chemical Company visit to United States

1969 January-March.
Box 0374.01 Folder 10
Scope and Contents

January 3, 1969 from William B. Thompson to Jack E. Byk re: letter of Dec. 17

- work referred to by Dr. Rogers is a thesis in Information Science at

Lehigh January 27, 1969 from Bill Thompson to Lucille [Thomson] re: meeting Fred

Matthews and Dr. Rogers February 11, 1969 from Wm J. Wiswesser to William B. Thompson re: coding

Thesis in IBM D-level Subset of PH/1; "The Empty Column" March 21, 1969 from Bill Thompson to Dr. Robert Barnes re: linear structures and

Branched structures

1969 May-July.
Box 0374.01 Folder 11
Scope and Contents

May 1969 Journal of Chemical Documentation, Vo. 9, No. 2, p. 121 "Connection

Table Compatibility" July 30, 1969 from Ron Gottardi to W. Thompson re: computerized handling of

Chemical structures "octobliques" [3 page letter of explanation];

"Computerization of Organic Structures"

CWIK LIST NEWS (Incomplete) .
Box 0374.01 Folder 12
Scope and Contents

CWIK LIST NEWS Mr. W. B. Thompson [black Accopress binder] October 1957 to May-June 1972 [incomplete]; Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN) + Dot Plot = Wiswesser – Hyde (W. H.)

Newsletter that was published and distributed by Wiswesser from his home in Reading (Pa.)

SERIES 6 Wiswesser book (2 copies).
Box 0374.01 Folder 12 Item 01-02
Scope and Contents

1954. Wiswesser, William J. "A Line-Formula Chemical Notation." New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company [2 copies].

Library owns multiple copies in multiple locations: 540.14 W818L

Print, Suggest