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Collection Overview

Taylor, Hugh S. (Hugh Stott), 1890-1974
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Hugh S. Taylor Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
13 boxes and 1 tube
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-13


Consists of articles, correspondence, and printed matter of Hugh S.Taylor, chairman of the Princeton Chemistry Department (1926-1951) and dean of the graduate school (1945-1958).

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of articles, correspondence, and printed matter of Taylor, chairman of the Princeton chemistry department (1926-1951) and dean of the graduate school (1945-1958). The collection, for the most part, is comprised of offprints of articles by Taylor and others, but there are also chemistry notes, articles, and accompanying correspondence on catalysis for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Collier's Encyclopedia, and Annual Review Of Physical Chemistry as well as a bibliography of Taylor's articles.


Collection is unprocessed but a small portion is arranged in this order: manuscripts, correspondence, bound articles, and offprints.

Collection Creator Biography:

Taylor, Hugh S. (Hugh Stott), 1890-1974

Hugh Stott Taylor (1890-1974) was born in Lancashire, England. He attended the University of Liverpool where he received his Doctorate in Science in 1914. While pursuing his graduate degree, Taylor completed research in the field of physical chemistry at the Nobel Institute in Stockholm, Sweden between 1912-1913 and the Technische Hochschule in Hanover, Germany in 1913-1914. Taylor came to Princeton University as a chemistry instructor and achieved full professor status by the age of thirty-two and later became the first David B. Jones Professor in 1927. His work in the field of physical chemistry, particularly catalysis, was widely recognized by the scientific community when in 1919 he coauthored, with Sir Eric Rideal, the first notable book on catalysis. As a result of his reputation in the field, Taylor was often called upon for consultation by government and industry and was active in several projects during the First and Second World Wars. He received numerous international honors over his lifetime, which include the Nichols Medal of the American Chemical Society in 1928 and Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1932. In 1953 he was twice knighted, first by Pope Pius XII in the Order of St. Gregory the Great and then by Queen Elizabeth in the Order of the British Empire.

Taylor was chairman of the Chemistry Department at Princeton University from 1926 to 1951. Under his twenty-five years of leadership, Taylor successfully promoted the chemistry program and recruited great scientific talent to the university, significantly increasing enrollment. While serving as dean of the Graduate College between 1945 until his retirement in 1958, Taylor strengthened Princeton's graduate program by adding nine Ph.D. programs. Taylor also was active in his faith and assisted in establishing the Catholic chaplaincy at Princeton in 1928. He was president of Pax Romana, the international Roman Catholic movement for intellectual and cultural affairs, and a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. In 1962 an anonymous donor provided an enduring memorial of Sir Hugh's lifelong contribution to Princeton with a $500,000 gift establishing the Hugh Stott Taylor Chair of Chemistry. Hugh Stott Taylor died on April 17, 1974.

Collection History


Gift of Mrs. Maurice Healy.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions relating to a particular author.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2001. Finding aid written in 2001.

Biography written by Amy Armstrong.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Hugh S. Taylor Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-13

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The following sources were consulted during preparation of biographical note: Leitch, Alexander. A Princeton Companion, (Princeton University Press, 1978) and Marquis Who's Who on the Web.

Subject Terms:
Chemistry -- Study and teaching -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 20th century.
Chemists -- New Jersey -- Princeton.
Genre Terms:
Faculty papers.
Princeton University. Dept. of Chemistry