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Smith Memorial Collection and Schunck Library

Date range: 16th-19th centuries

Medium: Printed

Number of items: 4,000 items (dispersed).

The Smith Memorial Collection of books on chemistry and physics was formed by Robert Angus Smith (1817–1884), who was appointed the first Alkali Acts inspector in 1862 and is known as the `father of acid rain’. The collection, which was donated in 1885, largely comprises 18th- and 19th-century publications, with some earlier works such as Georgius Agricola’s De re metallica libri XII (Basel: Froben, 1556).

The separate Schunck Library consists of 19th-century books on chemistry with special emphasis on colour and dyes. It was amassed by (Henry) Edward Schunck (1820–1903), the industrialist and dye expert, who undertook significant research into the properties of indigo, chlorophyll and alizarin.

Further information:

  • Partly catalogued and recorded in Library Search.
  • Manuscript list of the Robert Angus Smith collection made at the time of his death (including valuation).
  • Separate handwritten catalogue of the Schunck Library.


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