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May 24, 2016

Namesakes - Morley Chemical Laboratory and Edward W. Morley

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Edward Williams Morley

A small building on campus, surrounded by Rockefeller Physics and Strosacker Auditorium, Eldred Hall, and Millis Science Center is the Morley Chemical Laboratory.

The building honored former faculty member Edward Williams Morley, renowned scientist, internationally known for his accurate determination of the atomic weights of hydrogen and oxygen. He also worked with Albert A. Michelson on the 1887 ether drift experiment now known as the Michelson Morley Experiment.

Edward Williams Morley was born 1/29/1838 in Newark, New Jersey. The family moved when he was a small child to Hartford, Connecticut. At age 19 Morley entered Williams College and received the A.B. in 1860 and the M.A. in 1863. He attended Andover Theological Seminary, 1861-1864 becoming an ordained minister. He served in the Sanitary Commission 1864-1865. Morley continued his studies for a year and then taught at the South Berkshire Institute 1866-1868. He was offered a ministry in Twinsburg, Ohio and was appointed to the Western Reserve College faculty in 1868. He and his wife Isabella Birdsall Morley arrived in Hudson 1/1/1869, and were met at the station by Professor Carroll Cutler, who later became president of the College. Morley served as Hurlbut Professor of Natural History and Chemistry at WRC (later Western Reserve University),1869-1906, as well as Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology (1873-1881) and Professor of Chemistry (1881-1889) in the Medical Department (now the School of Medicine). He was Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, 1906-1923.

In his early years at WRC, Morley taught a range of scientific subjects including botany, geology, mineralogy, zoology, mathematics, astronomy as well as chemistry. He offered practical instruction in the use of a microscope and field work. This was in an era when all students were taught the classical curriculum.

Professor Morley was one of the professors who made the move with the College from Hudson to Cleveland in 1882. He recounted the details of the move in letters to his parents. Transcripts of these letters were made available on the Archives blog, Recollections, in 2012.

Edward Morley retired from WRU in 1906 and moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he died 2/24/1923. The Morley Chemical Laboratory was constructed after his retirement. It was used by the Chemistry and Geology Departments upon its opening. It was in continuous use by academic departments through the 1999-2000 academic year. Several plans have been made over the last 20 years, including renovating it as well as razing it and constructing a courtyard in its place. The final fate of the building has not yet been communicated to the university community.

Professor Morley had a long and distinguished career in science. Some of the many honors he received were the Sir Humphrey Davy medal of the Royal Society, the Elliot Cresson medal of the Franklin Institute, and the Willard Gibbs medal of the Chicago section of the American Chemical Society. He received honorary degrees from Williams College, Western Reserve University, Lafayette College, University of Pittsburgh, Wooster College, and Yale. He served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. He was a member of professional societies such as the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America among others. Morley served as honorary president of the Eighth International Congress of Applied Chemistry.

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Morley's laboratory in Adelbert Hall

In 1995 the American Chemical Society designated Morley’s work on the atomic weight of oxygen a National Historic Chemical Landmark. A special program was held on campus and a new plaque was unveiled commemorating Morley’s work. This plaque hangs in the basement of Adelbert Hall, near the site of Morley’s laboratory.

Edward Morley's papers are held at the Library of Congress. Copies of the correspondence along with research notes and reprints are held in the University Archives.

Posted by hxy2 at 07:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 20, 2016

Color Our Collections

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During reading days and final exams at the end of each semester, Kelvin Smith Library offers a range of support activities to help our students. Librarians are available for help finishing up research projects. Therapy dogs comfort and soothe. Collaboration rooms and study areas are available - and heavily used. This year the Scholarly Resources and Special Collections (SRSC) team contributed a de-stressing activity - coloring.

Archives, libraries, and museums have embraced adult coloring. Pages from unique collections are digitized and transformed into coloring pages. In early February this year Color Our Collections Week was organized by the New York Academy of Medicine. Over 200 institutions participated. SRSC's University Archives and Special Collections was unable to participate at that time, but began preparing for an end of semester activity.

Drawings from student yearbooks, maps, bookplates, a poster, and even a football program were selected to offer a range of coloring challenges. The pages and crayons, colored pencils, and markers were available in the Hatch Reading Room on the second floor of Kelvin Smith Library during reading days and finals. The pages are now available for download as a PDF for anyone who'd like to try their hand. We'd love to receive copies of finished artwork via email to archives@case.edu. Checking almost any social media platform (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest) for #ColorOurCollections will reveal a wealth of coloring opportunities. Locally, our colleagues at the Dittrick Medical History Center also have a coloring book.

We had fun making our coloring book and hope you enjoy using it.

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