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Science in American Life exhibition files


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.

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Science in American Life was intended as an ambitious collaboration between the curatorial staff of the Smithsonian Institute and members of an appointed ACS Exhibition Advisory Committee. ACS contributed over $5 million dollars to the project plus the expertise of its members, but the final results proved contentious and some members of the ACS felt that Chemistry had been "slammed" by the Smithsonian's staff. Unfortunately, the ACS had agreed that the Smithsonian would have final say over the content of the exhibition so its options were limited. In the end the ACS dropped its sponsorship of an exhibition that it could no longer fully support.

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our library catalog:

The files were assembled to document all aspects of an intellectual shipwreck, so they are as complete as the President of the A.C.S. and Science Advisor to the exhibit was able to make them. The chronological spread of the documents pretty much covers the exhibition from inception to post-mortem. Of special interest are the numerous suggested revisions to the Smithsonian script--most of which were apparently ignored.

Source of acquisition--Heindel, Ned D. Method of acquisition--Gift;; Date of acquisition--1997..

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