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Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University, records

Call Number: RU 819

Scope and Contents

The records consist of correspondence, minutes, reports, financial records, student records and papers, photographs and memorabilia, grade books, clippings, class records, memoranda, notes, a copy of the 1944 charter and by-laws of the Board of Trustees of the Sheffield Scientific School and administrative files documenting the history and operations of the Sheffield Scientific School and relate to virtually every aspect of its activities.


  • 1846-1970


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the records is partially restricted. See Collection Contents for details.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of Yale University is retained by Yale University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


The records are arranged in eleven series and subsequesnt accessions: I. Trustees and Governing Board Records, 1871-1967. II. Faculty Minutes, circa 1852-1945. III. Administrative Records, 1864-1956. IV. Financial, Legal, and Property Records, 1846-1969. V. Silliman Lectures. VI. Student Life, 1901-1949. VII. Student Papers, 1877-1909. VIII. Engineers Club, 1895-1918. IX. Class Records, 1869-1969. X. Photographs and Memorabilia, circa 1848-1951. XI. Class Registers, Lists, and Grade Books, 1848-1951.


58.25 Linear Feet (170 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The records consist of correspondence, minutes, reports, financial records, student records and papers, photographs and memorabilia, grade books, clippings, class records, memoranda, notes, a copy of the 1944 charter and by-laws of the Board of Trustees of the Sheffield Scientific School and administrative files documenting the history and operations of the Sheffield Scientific School and relate to virtually every aspect of its activities.

Biographical / Historical

The Sheffield Scientific School, like the Graduate School, had its origins in the Department of Philosophy and the Arts established in 1847. It was given its name by the Yale Corporation in 1861 in recognition of the support of Joseph Earl Sheffield of New Haven who not only gave the first building but also provided funds for its equipment and development. Subsequently he made other gifts and finally bequeathed to a corporation, the Board of Trustees of the Sheffield S cientific School, a substantial endowment which was to be held and adninistered by the Trustees for the benefit of the natural, physical, and mathematical sciences in Yale University.

Sheffield was one of the first schools of higher education in the United States to devote its curriculum specifically to scientific training. The School played an important part in the evolution of American higher learning from the strict classical model of education t o a curriculum which encompassed a liberal scientific education.

The faculty of the School conducted graduate as well as undergraduate courses i n the sciences and engineering until 1919 when the former were discontinued. In 1932, engineering instruction was transferred to the newly organized Yale School of Engineering. In 1945 Sheffield resumed its original function of teaching at the graduate level. Under the general administration of the Graduate School, its faculty furnished instruction to graduate students in the sciences and mathematics who were M.A. and Ph.D. candidates. In 1956 the School's functions were absorbed by the Graduate School. The Directors of Sheffield Scientific School were: George Jarvis Brush, 1872-1898; Russell Henry Chittenden, 1898-1922; Charles Hyde Warren, 1922-1945; Edmund Ware Linnott, 1945-1956.

For further information seeHistory of the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, 1846-1922 by Russell H. Chittenden (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1928).

Yale establishes professorships of Agricultural Chemistry and Applied Chemistry "for the purpose of giving instruction to graduates and others not members of the undergraduate classes"
"a School of Applied Chemistry" is embraced within the newly created Department of Philosophy and the Arts
authorization of the Bachelor of Philosophy degree to be awrded by the Department of Philosophy and the Arts
professorship of Civil Engineering established the Yale School of Engineering is organized under William A. Norton
Science (School of Applied Chemistry) and engineering (School of Engineering) courses are independent, but classed together in the catalogue under "the aegis of a non-existent institution"- the Yale Scientific School
"Proposed Plan for a complete organization of the School of Science" and "Appeal in Behalf of the Yale Scientific School, with an Index": fundraising pamphlets issued
Joseph Earl Sheffield donates funds and property on the northeast comer of Grove and Prospect Streets to the Scientific School
Engineering courses are offered in the Scientific School
degree in Civil Engineering established
degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the Scientific School established
Yale Scientific School becomes the Sheffield Scientific School in recognition of the continuous generosity of Joseph Earl Sheffield
the Sheffield Scientific School, through an Act of the Connecticut General Assembly, begins to receive the income from the Land Grant Fund of the State
courses in Mining and Metallurgy announced
"Public Lectures to Mechanics " instituted, later known as the "Sheffield Lectures", given for 45 years
First Yale Scientific Expedition organized by Professor Othniel Marsh
Articles of Incorporation of the Board of Trustees of the Sheffield Scientific School drawn up a t the suggestion of Joseph Earl Sheffield. Board to consist of nine directors including the Governor of Connecticut, the President of Yale University, the Chairman of the Trustees of the Peabody Museum and at least three professors in the Sheffield Scientific School
George Jarvis Brush, Director of the Sheffield Scientific School
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station established on a permanent basis by the Connecticut General Assembly with one of its Board of Control to be elected by the Trustees of the Sheffield Scientific School
The Connecticut General Assembly passes an Act making Storrs Agricultural College the Land Grant College of Connecticut. Damages amounting to $154,604.45 were paid to the University and became a part of the permanent funds of the Sheffield Scientific School
Semi-centennial celebration of the Sheffield Scientific School
Russell Henry Chittenden, Director of the Sheffield Scientific School
Pierson-Sage Square property acquired for development of University laboratories
land purchased at East Lyme for a field engineering camp
"Students in the Sheffield Scientific School who are able to comply with the entrance requirements of the School of Medicine may combine their College and Medical courses, entering the School of Medicine at the beginning of their third College year"
Voted "that in the opinion of the Corporation, the reasons which led to the establishment and maintenance of a course of 'Selected Studies in language, literature, history and Natural and Social Sciences' under the administration of the Faculty of the Sheffield Scientific School are no longer valid"
graduate courses are transferred to the Graduate School
general reorganization of the educational structure of Yale University. Three year "Select" course at the Shef f ield Scientific School eliminated. A four year course of study "for students who wished to undertake the professional study of science and engineering" established
only undergraduate courses taught at the Sheffield Scientific School
first award of the degree of Bachelor of Science to the graduating class of the Sheffield Scientific School
Charles Kyde Warren, Dean
the School of Engineering re-established. Sheffield Scientific School engineering courses transferred to the new school
the Sheffield Scientific School resumes its original function of graduate level instruction in science. Undergraduate courses for a Bachelor of Science transferred t o Yale College. Undergraduate courses for a Bachelor of Science in industrial administration transferred to the School of Engineering
Edmund Ware Sinnott, Director (also Dean of the Graduate School, 1950-1956)
Centennial celebration of the Sheffield Scientific School
termination of the Sheffield Scientific School as an active school although the Board of Trustees still exists to oversee the Sheffield Scientific School property and meet legal requirements. Yale University Provost becomes Chairman of the Board. Faculty is defined as teachers of science to graduate students under the Division of Science
North Sheffield Hall (1872-1873) and Winchester Hall (1892) removed to provide site for a new laboratory

Custodial History

Accession 2012-A-077, Board of Trustees records, were transferred by Lourdes O'Neil Haynes, Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, 2012.

General note

Forms part of Yale Record Group 31-A (YRG 31-A), Central records and records of the dean of the Sheffield Scientific School.

Appendix: Selected List of Correspondence in the Russell Henry Chittenden Records

Abbott, Mather Alrnon (1874-1934)
Abbott, Wilbur Cortez (1869-1947)
Adams, John Chester (1874-1952)
Andrew, Abram Piat t (1873-1936)
Bailie, Earle C.
Baker, Newton Diehl (1871-1937)
Baldwin, Simeon (1884-1943)
Bardon, Clint on Lloyd (1867-1937)
Barney, Samuel Eben (1859-1940
Barron, Edmun D.
Bateman, Alan Mora (1888-1971)
Bates, Lindon Wallace (1883-1915)
Beatty, J . C .
Bedell, William V.
Beers, George Merson (18651947)
Benedict, Francis Gano (1870-1957)
Berard, Samuel John (1875-1972)
Black, W .Ma
Bozell, H.V.
Brandeis, Louis Dembitz (1856-1941)
Breckenridge, Lester Paige (1858-1940)
Brooks, Charles Franklin (18914958)
Brown, Ernest William (1866-1938)
Browning, Philip Embury (1866-1938)
Buell, Llewellyn Morgan
Bumstead, Henry Andrews (1870-1920)
Campbell, George Ashley (1 870-1954)
Chittenden, Russell Henry (1856-1943)
Clark, William Andrews (1839-1 925)
Clarke, Charles Cameron (1861-1935)
Coe, Wesley Roswell (1869-1960)
Corbin, William Herbert (1864-1945)
Corcoran, James A.
Corwin, Robert Nelson (1864-1944)
Craig, Charles F. (1872-1950)
Crawford, J.B.
Cross, Wilbur Lucius (1862-1948)
Curtiss, Henry Tomlinson (1888-1928)
Dana, Edward Salisbury (1849-1935)
Danford, Robert Melville (1879-1974)
Day, George Parmly (1876-1959)
Dean, Arthur Lyman (1878-1952)
deForest, Lee (1873-1961)
deForest Lectureship 1922-1923
deFores t Radiobook Collect ion
Doremus, A. T .
Drew, Mrs. Mary
Edsall, Davf d Linn (1869-1945)
Eisenhart, L.P.
English, Edwin Holt (1851-1899)
Espenschei d, Lloyd
Evans, Alexander William (1868-1959)
Farnam, Henry Walco tt (1853-1933)
Farwell, S.E.
Fisher, Irving (1867-1947)
Fisher, Richard Thornton (1876-1934)
Flagg, Stanley G., Jr.
Furst, Clyde fu ow man) (1873-1931)
Gantt, HenryLaurence (1861-
Gillespie, W.C.
Grahlfs, F.L.
Greenway, James Cowan (187 7-1976)
Gregory, Herbert Emes t (1869-1952)
Griffin, William Vincent (1886-1958)
Guernsey, Nathaniel Taylor (1857-1 934)
Hadley, Arthur lhining (1856-1930)
Hammond, Edward Sanford (1893-1972)
Harrison, Ross Granville (1870-1959)
Hartwell, John Augus tus (1869-1940)
Haverneyer, Loomis (1886-1971)
Heald, Daniel Addison (1889-1945)
Henderson, Yandell (1873-1944)
Herr, Edwin Musser (1860-1932)
Hibbert,Harold (1877-
Hflles, Charles Dewey (1867-1949)
Holt, Henry Gilbert (1887-1974)
Hooper, S.C.
Hoover, Herbert Clark (1874-1964)
Hovey, O t i s E l l i s (1864-1941)
Hoyle, R. E l i DuBose (1851-1921)
Hull, Albert Wallace (1880-1966)
Hurlburt, Everett Bradley (1873-1971)
Internal Revenue Department
Irving, John Duer (1874-1918)
Jeffcott, Robert Crawford (1878-1961)
Jenks, Jeremiah Whipple (1856-1929)
Johnson, Emory Richard (1864-1950)
Johnson, Frederic Blair,. (1876-1951)
Johnson, Treat Baldwin (1875-1947)
Jones, Frederick Scheetz (1862-1944)
Keller, Albert Gal loway (1874-1956)
Kelley, Edward B. (1896-1972)
Kennedy, Julian (1852-1932)
Kenyon, Miss Irene S.
Keogh, Andkew (1869-1953)
King, Willard Vinton (1868-1955)
Kirby, Richard Shelton (1874-1964)
Kirkham, William Barri (1882-1969)
Lavis, Fred
Leach, Henry Goddard (1880- )
Lippitt, Henry (1886-1974)
Lockwood, Edwin Hoyt (1866-1930)
Luce, Henry Robinson (1898-196 7)
Luquiens, Frederick B l i s s (1875-1940)
McClelland, James Farley (1878-1955)
McCormick, Vance Criswell (1872-1946)
McDonnell, John Vincent (1889-1926)
McHargue, We R.
McI lhenny, John A.
Maltbie, Milo R.
Mansfield, Burton (1856-1932)
Mathewson, Champion Herbert (1881-1972)
Meeker, Royal (1873-1953)
Mendel, Lafayette Benedict (1872-1935)
Mendel, William (1898-1950)
Merritt, Alfred Kindred (1866-1943)
Millikan, Robert Andrews (1868-1953)
Morecroft, John
Morrow, F.J.
Motor Vehicles, 1917
Mullins, Frederic Parson (1890-1964)
Murray, EeBI
Needham, Charles Kinney (1848-1928)
Nelson, Frank Thayer (1887-1970)
Nettleton, George Henry (1874-1959)
Nichols, George Elwood (1882-1939)
Noyes, Anna G.
Osborn, Minott Augur (1884-1959)
Osgood, William Fogg (1864-1943)
Osler, Sir William, bart . (18494919)
Ostrander, Harry Judd
Oviatt, Edwin (Sidney) (1874-1955)
Owen, Robert Latham (1856-1947)
Owyang, Earl C,
Page, Edward Day (1856-1918)
Page Lectures, 1917-1918
Pirsson, Louis Valentine (1860-1919)
Pratt, Francis Cole (1867-19 30)
Rand, Charles Frederic (1856-1927)
Randolph, Francis Fitz (1889-1973)
Ray, David H.
Raymond, Rossiter Worthington (1840-1918)
Reed. Edward B l i s s . (1872-1940)
Rees, Robert Irwin (1 871-1936)
Rettger, Leo Frederick (1874-1953)
Rice, Frank James (1869-1917)
Roe, Joseph Wickham (1871-1960)
Ropes, James Hardy (1866-1933)
Schlesinger, Frank (1873-1943)
Scholarships, 1919-1921
Schuchert, Charles (1858-1942)
Schwab, John Chris topher (1865-1916)
Scott, Charles Felton (1864-1944)
Sedgwick, William Thompson (1855-1921)
Seward, Herbert Lee (1885-1966)
Shanklin, William Arnold (1862-1924)
Shepard, Norman Arthur
Simpson, E. Ridgely
Slaughter, Nugent H.
Smith, Harrison Braxton (1889-1966)
Smith, Percey Franklyn (1867-1956)
Smith, Theobald (1859-1934)
Squire, Walter (1913-1951)
Squires, George 0.
Standard O i l Company
Steams, Alfred Ernest (1871-1949)
Stetson, George Albert (1889-1959)
Stilwell, Katharine Me (Mrs. Arthur A,)
Stoeckel, Robbins B. (1872-1951)
Stokes, Anson Phelps, Jr. (1874-1958)
Stone, Warren Sanford (1860-1925)
S trathcona Scholarship
Stratton, W.S.
Strong, Richard Pearson (1872-1948)
Swain, George Fillmore (185 7-1931)
Taft, Horace Dutton (1861-1943)
Taft, William Howard (1857-1930)
Taggart, Arthur Fay (1884-1959)
Taussig, Frank William (1859-1940)
Taylor, Andrew Sandford (1867-1 949)
Taylor, Frederick Winslow (1856-1915) -
Thomas, Eustace
Thompson, Maud Robinson (Mrs. Elbridge Blish)
Tiffany, Louis Comfort (1848-1933)
Tilden, Charles Joseph (1873-1959)
Tilson, John Quillin (1866-1958)
Todd, David (1855-1939)
Tracy, John Clayton (1869-1955)
Trumbull, Frank (1858-1920)
Turner, Hubert Mrchael
Tuttle, Howard Beecher (1863-1933)
Underhill, Frank P e l f (1877-1932)
Untermyer, Samuel (1858-1940)
Vanderlip, Frank Arthur (1864-1937
Verwom, Max (1863-192?)
Vreeland, Herbert Harold (1856-1945)
Ward, Freeman (1879-1943)
Warner, Russell Gillette (1892-1965)
Warren, Charles Hyde (1896-1950)
Waters, Everett Oyfer (1890-1926)
Watrous, George Dutton (1858-1940)
Weld, Louis Dwight Karvell (1882-1946)
Welldon, Samuel A.
Wells, Horace Lemuel (1855-1924)
Westinghouse, George (1846-1914)
Wheeler, Lynde Phelps (1874-1959)
Whipple, Henry S tacy (1855-1936)
White, Benjamin (1879-1938)
Whit temore, James K e f sey
Wilcox, Lucian Thames (1885-1971)
Willcox, Walter Francis (1861- )
Williams, Edward Gilbert (1865-1942)
Wilson, Woodrow (1856-1924)
Winslow, Charles-Edward Amory (187 -1957)
Winternitz, M i l t on Charles (1885-1959)
Wittig, Gustav Frederick (1876-1950)
Wohlenberg, Walter Jacob (1888-1956)
Woodruff, Lorand Loss (1879-1947)
Woodward, George (Stanley) (1863-1952)
Woolsey, Theodore Salisbury (1852-1929)
Worcester, Dean Conant (1866-1924)
Wright, Henry Parks (1839-1918)
Wright, Thomas Goddard (1885-1919)
Yamagawa, Kenjiro (1854-1931)
Yergason, Henry Bingham Bartlett (1876-1919)
Yow, Jeme Tien
Yudkin, Arthur Meyer (1892-195 7)
Zautner, Norman George (1893-1973)
Zee, Zai-Ziang (1882-1969)
Zeleny, John (1872-1951)

Silliman Lecturers, 1902-1980

Joseph John Thomson
Charles Scott Sherrington
Emest Rutherford
Walter Nernst
William Bateson
Albrecht Penck
William Wallace Campbell
Svante August Arrhenius
Max Verworn
William Osler
Frank Dawson Adams, Arthur Philemon Coleman, Joseph Paxson Iddings, Waldemar Lindgren, William Diller Matthew, Frederick Leslie Ransome, William North Rice, Charles Doolittle Walcott
John Scott Baldane
Joseph Barrell, Wesley Roswell Coe, Edward Salisbury Dana, Harry Ward Foote, William Ebenezer Ford, George Lincoln Goodale, Herbert Ernest Gregory, Richard Swann Lull, Leigh Page, Louis Valentine Pirsson , Charles Schuchert, George Otis Smith, Horace Lemael Wells
Jacques Solomon Hadamard
Franz Cumont
Clemens Pirquet
August Krogh
Niels Bohr
Thomas Hunt Morgan
Gilbert Newton Lewis
Emes t Clayton Andrews
Lawrence Joseph Henderson
Heinrich Wieland
Owen Willans Richardson
Reginald Aldworth Daly, Hans Spemann
Edwin Powell Hubble
David Meredith Seares Watson
Albert Charles Chibnall
Richard Benedikt Goldschmidt
Edwin Joseph Cohn
George Wells Beadle, Emest Orlando Lawrence, Linus Carl Pauling, Wendell Meredith Stanley
Ross Granville Harrison
Enrico Ferrni
Harold Clayton Urey
Hans Pettersson
Carl Ferdinand Cori, John Ray Dunning, Chauncey Guy Suits
Ragnar Granit
Kenneth Wartenbe Spence
Glenn Theodore Seaborg
Theodosius Dobzhansky (qv)
William Walden Rubey
Rene Jules Dubos
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Louis Seymour Bazet t Leakey (qv),Sir Alexander Todd
Robert Sanderson Mulliken
William Albert Hugh Rushton
Jacob Bronowski
Joshua Lederberg
Walter William Bishop, Arthur L. Bloom, Wallace S. Broecker, Paul E. Damon, Willi Dansgaard, George H. Denton, K.O. Emery, Cesare Emiliani, William Maurice Ewing, William Re Farrand, C.C. Flerow, Kenneth Hunkins, John Imbrie, Kazimierz Kowalski, Barrie C. McDonald, Henry William Menard, Jr., Stephen C. Porter, Minze Stuiver, T. van der Hammen, H.E. Wright, Jr.
Steven Kuffler
Francois Jacob
Allan Cox
Steven Weinberg, Lyman Spitzer, 3rd.
Arthur Kornberg
Anne McLaren


Chang, Tatsemg, "An Outline of the Theory of Electromagnetic Waves" 22pp, box 89, folder 960 was reported missing in April 2015.

Luker, Herbert, "On the Anatomy of Three West Indian Epiphytes" 9pp, box 90, folder 995 was reported missing in April 2015.

Kendall, C.H., "The Electromagnetic Theory of Light" 30pp 1903 box 90, folder 985 was reported missing in April 2015.

Allen, Wyatt H., "Electrical Units and Standards" 29pp, box 89, folder 946 was reported missing April 2015

Processing Information

Yale University records are arranged and described at the accession level by the creating office. The University Archives creates collection level descriptive records, but typically does no further arrangement and description at the accession level.

Guide to the Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University, Records
Under Revision
compiled by Daniel Hartwig
June 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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