UA 6.5




0.42 linear feet (1 document case)


The mission of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is to provide a rigorous, student-centered, practical education offering multiple and varied opportunities to explore traditional and nontraditional career options that are open to our chemistry majors. The collection is composed mainly of newsletters produced by the Chemistry Department. Also included are programs for various lecture series sponsored by the department.

Historical Note

In the 1884-85 catalog, chemistry was listed as a course of study in agriculture as part of the Department of Natural Sciences. There were three chemistry courses: elementary chemistry, analytical chemistry and agricultural chemistry. By 1892, all students were required to take three terms of elementary chemistry with analytical chemistry and agricultural chemistry as electives.

In the 1897-98 catalog, chemistry was first listed as an independent department. By this time the course offerings had greatly expanded and included many additions to the curriculum. Expansion of the chemistry department continued over the years with courses being added nearly every three to five years. By 1944, the professional curriculum was approved by the American Chemical Society.

After World War II, enrollment increased, prompting an increase in staff. By 1958, the department was authorized to offer a Ph.D. in biochemistry and in 1965 was authorized to offer Ph.D.'s in most branches of chemistry. The Biochemistry Experiment Station was established in 1887 and was separate from the Chemistry Department until July 1, 1974 when the chemistry department and the Station Biochemistry Department merged.

In the 1998-2000 catalog, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is listed as approved by the American Chemical Society for training professional chemists. Since chemistry is so closely related to other fields of study, a number of courses are offered to provide sufficient chemical background to meet professional needs. A minor in chemistry is provided for students who want more extensive chemistry without majoring in chemistry. Student may receive a BS in chemistry, or may pursue graduate work toward an MS or Ph.D.

Content Notes

This collection is composed of composed mainly of the newsletter "Beaker Breaker" produced by the Chemistry Department from 1978 to 1987. Also included are programs for various lecture series sponsored by the department such as the Henry A. Lardy Distinguished Lecture Series in Chemistry, and the Joseph F. Nelson Mentorship Seminar in Chemistry and Biology.

SDSU Archives and Special Collections

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South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.


Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.