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Charles E. White papers

 Collection 0283-UA

Charles Edward White (1901-1973) was a professor of chemistry at the University of Maryland from 1926 to 1969 and author of numerous articles and textbooks. The White papers cover the years 1925 to 1973 and consist primarily of personal, research, and teaching files including graduate and research notes, course materials, publications, equipment and supply catalogs, memorabilia, photographs, and lantern slides.


  • 1925-1973

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


10.50 Linear Feet

6 Items (memorabilia)

Scope and Content of Collection

The Charles Edward White Papers represent White's office files dating from 1925 to 1973. The collection reflects White's interests and academic activities. Correspondence files comprise approximately one-third of the collection. Other series in the collection include programs, notes and official records of professional meetings; catalogs and brochures of equipment and supplies; graduate and research notes; memorabilia; publications and reprints (representative of some of White's publications); course materials, which include student papers on the topic of the history of chemistry; and lantern slides and photographs of White and colleagues, chemical apparatus, and the University of Maryland. University of Maryland-related materials may also be found in the correspondence, professional meetings and organizations, course materials, miscellaneous, and photographs series.


Annie Louisa and Thomas Herbert White emigrated from England to Charles County, Maryland, in 1888. After farming in Charles County and later in Prince George's County, the family relocated near Thomas' new job as a gardener at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station in northern Prince George's County, where Charles Edward was born in 1901. Thomas White quickly demonstrated his ability as a horticulturalist, receiving an honorary Master's of Science degree for his work in this field from the Maryland Agricultural College in 1915.

Charles Edward White was one of nine children born to Annie and Thomas White. Charles attended the University of Maryland from 1919 to 1926, receiving his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in chemistry. White became assistant professor in 1926, associate professor in 1929, and full professor in 1937. In 1960, Professor White was appointed the head of the chemistry department, and in 1969, achieved the status of professor emeritus. Professor White loved teaching, primarily freshman chemistry, and his devotion to his students, in part, inspired the writing of his Laboratory Manual of General Chemistry and his Lecture Notes in First Year College Chemistry to help students better understand chemical laboratory procedures. Yet, Professor White was also a prolific researcher and writer, who produced 77 journal articles, co-authored the acclaimed text Fluorescence Analysis: A Practical Approach, and wrote biennial reviews for the Journal of Analytical Chemistry on fluorometric analysis. Professor White was active in the chemistry department at the University of Maryland and still contributing to his discipline and his community when he died in 1973.


The Charles E. White Papers are organized as 12 series:

Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Professional Meetings and Organizations
Series 4
Series 5
Reprints and Publications
Series 6
Catalogs: Equipment and Supplies
Series 7
Course Materials
Series 8
Graduate Notebooks and Doctoral Thesis
Series 9
Series 10
Series 11
Lantern Slides
Series 12

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Charles Edward White papers were donated to the University of Maryland College Park Libraries in 1973 by Mrs. James L. Walker, White's daughter. Mrs. Walker donated additional material in 1985 and 2013.

Processing Information

The order of the collection as received was maintained as much as possible. However, the final order was created by the archives. Clearly, White had established files for correspondence, research, and course-related material, but more than half of the original files were jumbled and needed sorting. Reprints which were not White's were discarded. All duplicate material has been removed form the files and discarded. Student grade books were removed as this information is recorded elsewhere; notes indicating Dr. White's grading methods have been retained. Initially, a box inventory of the collection was completed, removing all duplicate material, paper clips, and staples. After establishing a general original order, the series were established and defined more clearly. The materials were reorganized, and jumbled files were sorted into existing series. Several reprints and the grade books were discarded. All photographs were removed and placed in a separate series with separation sheets marking previous locations. Finally, all folders were replaced by acid-free folders and labeled and boxed, and the guide was written.

Guide to the Charles E. White papers
The collection was processed by Melanie Gardner and revised in March 1985. Mary Lacy incorporated an addendum in February 1987, and Cindy Bendroth revised the guide in October 1987. Ken Roussey incorporated an addendum in October 2013 and updated the finding aid.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742