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Howard Mark Papers


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. 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

Howard Mark received his BS in chemistry from the City College of New York in 1963 and his MA in chemistry from City University of New York in 1966. During his undergraduate career, he developed interests in the application of electronics and instrumentation to chemical analysis, as well as modified and gas chromatographs to measure air pollution. Mark was awarded his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from New York University in 1972, where he remained as a research fellow performing research in surface chemistry and in applications of the then-new field of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). His work included modifying both the hardware and software of the then-available spectrometers, to adapt them to specialized measurement situations.

Mark joined Technicon Instrument Corporation that same year as part of its NIR development group for development and applications of the then-new field of near-infrared analysis. While there, he designed and developed some of the key calibration algorithms used in Near Infrared Spectroscopy. He was the first spectroscopist to apply the concept of Mahalanobis distance to spectroscopic analysis, as well as writing unique software for in-house and customer applications. In collaboration with Karl Norris and Phil Williams, he developed statistically-based methods for teasing out the error of individual analytical methods when results from multiple methods are available. He also developed a set of equations to describe the effect of instrumental noise on the spectra produced.

He began co-writing with his Technicon colleague Jerome Workman on a series of columns titled "Statistics in Spectroscopy" (now titled: "Chemometrics in Spectroscopy"). Mark is also the author of several books which explain the concepts involved in statistical thinking, in terms meaningful for chemists. He has authored or co-authored seven patents, over 190 publications, 85 oral presentations and 13 books and book chapters on NIR analysis and on the application of statistics and chemometrics to spectroscopic analysis.

After Technicon closed, Mark became an independent consultant and is currently the founder and president of Mark Electronics, a consulting company providing services in the fields of near-infrared analysis, chemometric and statistical data analysis, and custom instrument design and development. He continued to develop software tools for spectral analysis, creating a statistically-based, objective, method for determining whether data is linear. Mark has served on the committees of several organizations including, the Council for Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (CNIS), the International Diffuse Reflectance Conference (IDRC), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Mark is also an associate editor for the Handbook of Vibrational Spectroscopy as well as a contributing editor and a member of the editorial advisory board of Spectroscopy magazine.


Howard Mark Papers, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Howard Mark Papers contain the personal papers of spectroscopist Howard Mark. The collection is arranged in its original order.

The Howard Mark Papers were donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by Howard Mark in 2003.

The Howard Mark Papers were processed by Andrew Mangravite in 2017 and encoded into EAD by Samantha Brigher in 2020.

Science History Institute Archives
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid created by Andrew Mangravite and encoded into EAD by Samantha Brigher.
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions

The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Howard Mark Papers. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Inventory

Norris Workshop 1976 - Agenda for USDA Workshop on forage analysis, 1976.
Box 1 Folder 1
HM notes from meeting at Karl Norris' laboratory, 1977.
Box 1 Folder 2
Attendance list meeting at Karl Norris' lab, 1977.
Box 1 Folder 3
Trip report to K. Norris' lab at UDA to learn about new data treatment, 1978.
Box 1 Folder 4
Norris Handout Pasture Workshop - Procedures for Checking NIR Spectrophotometers, 1978.
Box 1 Folder 5
PSU Infrared Workshop - Infrared Reflectance Technology and Intake, 1978.
Box 1 Folder 6
Norris Multivariate Meeting 1981 - Agenda and Attendance List, 1981.
Box 1 Folder 7
IRDC 1982 - Attendance list for first IRDC (actual title: Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy), Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA, August 16-20, 1982, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 8
IRDC 1982 - Program, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 9
Technicon Users 1982 - notes taken by HM, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 10
2nd IRDC, Chambersburg, PA, August 12-17, 1984 - incl. Trip Report, conference materials, notes taken HM, 1984.
Box 1 Folder 11
3rd IRDC, Chambersburg, PA, August 17-22, 1986 - incl. program, attendance list and notes taken by HM, 1986.
Box 1 Folder 12

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