In 1924 the seeds of our present SLA Chemistry Division were sown when a Chemistry and Physics Committee was formed at the SLA Meeting in Saratoga, New York. The Chemistry Section of the Science-Technology Group (later called Divisions) was subsequently formed in 1933 with approximately 150 members. Among the projects conducted by the Chemistry section were the publication of A List of Subject Headings for Chemistry Libraries and a List of Dissertations.
In September, 1966 the Chemistry Section became the Chemistry Division.
A Newsletter was begun in the 1970s and the First Tri-Society Symposium and the formation of the logo for the Chemistry Division first appeared in the 1980s.
In the 1990s the Chemistry Division partnered with the ACS Division of Chemical Information to initiate both the Clearinghouse for Chemical Information Instructional Materials and the Chemical Information Discussion List, the latter of which is still widely used today as a major means of networking in our profession.
The beginning of the 21st century ushered in several changes in the Chemistry Division –
- development of the first CE Courses for the SLA Annual conferences,
- the inauguration of the Sparks Award to provide a stipend for students to travel to the SLA Annual Conference,
- the publication of the Strategic Plan for the Division.
In 2005, the Chemistry Division welcomed the Materials Research and Manufacturing (MRM) Division members as the new MRM Section of the Chemistry Division.
Within two years spanning 2007-2008, both Gary Wiggins and Dana Roth, both longtime members of the Division were elected into the SLA Hall of Fame. In 2008, in appreciation of their dedication to the profession and Division, a new award in the Division was named in their honor as the Wiggins-Roth Award for Distinguished Service, and in 2011, Grace Baysinger became the first recipient of this award.