Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Louis Planck Hammett papers, 1921-1986

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0549
Bib ID 4078526 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Hammett, Louis P. (Louis Plack), 1894-1987
Title Louis Planck Hammett papers, 1921-1986
Physical Description 3 linear feet (6 boxes 1 oversize folder)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



Material is divided into five series.


Scope and Content

Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, memorabilia, clippings, printed materials, and cassette tapes. Hammett's correspondence covers his retirement years, 1961-1986 and deals with translations and revised editions of his major works: Solutions of Electrolytes (1929), Physical Oraganic Chemistry (1940), and Introduction to the Study of Physical Chemistry (1952); congratulatory letters to Hammett upon his receiving various awards, including a letter from John F. Kennedy; congratulatory letters from Hammett to colleagues on their work; and correspondence with younger chemists about their research. Two letters from James B. Conant from 1947 constitute the only early correspondence. Manuscripts are comprised of Hammett's lectures and speeches given before meetings of scientists, 1961-1970; an oral history of Hammett by the American Institute of Physics (1978); papers given by various chemists at the Symposium on the History of Physical Organic Chemistry in 1983. There are also 10 cassette recordings of the above symposium.

Subject files contain correspondence, documents, and clippings dealing with Hammett's professional associations, plus a file of clippings on nuclear disarmament. Printed materials are reprints of Hammett's articles from scientific journals, 1921-1966, including the 1937 article in which he first described his formula for determining chemical reaction rates, known as the "Hammett Equation." Memorabilia contains certificates, awards, and an honorary degree from Columbia University. Also included are Hammett's notes and manuscript for his 1970 book, Physical Organic Chemistry.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Louis Planck Hammett papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Ownership and Custodial History

Transfer from the Chemistry Department, 1987.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Chemistry Department. Method of acquisition--Transfer; Date of acquisition--07/24/87. Accession number--M-87-07-24.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed 03/31/88.

Revision Description

2009-06-26 File created.

2013-04-02 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American Institute of Physics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chemistry Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chemists -- United States -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kennedy, John F (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Physical organic chemistry Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Louis Planck Hammett, 1894-1987 (Ph.D. 1923, Columbia), professor at Columbia University, 1920-1961; Mitchell Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, 1961-1987. Hammett taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Quantitative Analysis, Physical Chemistry, and Physical Organic Chemistry. Hammett's chief research interests lay in the application of the quantitative methods of physical chemistry to the problems of theoretical organic chemistry.