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Bryce L. Crawford papers

Identifier: ua-01087

Scope and Content

The collection is arranged in seven series: Awards; Associations and Conferences; Correspondence; Personal Files; Talks and Speeches; Subject Files and University of Minnesota. The University of Minnesota series consists of three subseries: Teaching and Course Materials; Research; and Consulting.

Awards consists of materials pertaining to honors awarded to Dr. Crawford for work in the field of chemistry between 1950 and 1987.

Associations and Conferences includes committee and board minutes, agendas and reports, as well as conference programs where Dr. Crawford was a presenter or convener. Date range covers 1954 to 1991.

Correspondence includes both personal and professional correspondence conducted between the 1940s and 1990s. There is a multi-box sequence arranged alphabetically and additional materials listed by subject and by notable individuals. The alphabetical sequence was created by Dr. Crawford and is in original order.

Personal Files contains materials associated with Dr. Crawford personal interests, which were wide-ranging and included travel, philosophical, literary, and university-related club memberships, and photographs of family gatherings. Bulk dates are 1945-1991.

Subject Files are chemistry-focused, many of which are annotated reprints or notes on research topics. This series was assembled from materials found throughout the collection, and may be related to content found in the Research sub-series listed under the University of Minnesota series. Dates are 1942-1988.

Talks, Speeches, and Lectures is an extensive series with typescript and handwritten speeches, primarily chemistry-related, but also on graduate education, research, and scholarship, as well as eulogies for colleagues. Dates are wide-ranging, from the 1930s to 1991, with some undated materials.

The University of Minnesota series consists of three subseries, each focusing on aspects of Dr. Crawford's work while at the University. Subseries 1 consists of course materials for chemistry classes, including lab assignments, exams, problems sets and lecture notes. This section also includes teaching materials from Crawford's employment at Stanford and Yale in the 1930s prior to being hired at the University. Subseries 2 contains notes, memorandum and selected reprints related to research Crawford conducted over five decades. Date ranges are 1948-1983, with some undated materials. Subseries 3 consists of files on projects where Dr. Crawford served as a consultant. Some projects are government and/or industry-based, and others are education-related program reviews. Dates ranges are 1956-1991, with some undated materials.


  • Creation: 1930-1992


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch

Bryce Low Crawford Jr. AB (1934), AM (1935), and PhD (1937), Stanford University. National Research Fellow at Harvard, 1937-39. Instructor of chemistry at Yale, 1939-40. Assistant professor (1940-43), associate professor (1943-45), and professor (1945-85) of chemistry at University of Minnesota. Dean of the graduate school, 1960-1972. Chairman of chemistry department, 1955-1960. Named Regents professor in 1982.

Bryce Low Crawford was born in 1914 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After completing his PhD at Stanford, he worked in research on rocket propellants, eventually earning a President’s Certificate of Merit (1945) for his efforts. His main area of interest was molecular vibrations and force constants, and he pioneered the use of infrared spectroscopy in the study of molecular structure. He published the first of an influential series of papers on vibrational spectral intensities in 1950, systematically developing experimental techniques in infrared intensities and carrying out a wide range of investigations on molecular force fields.

Dr. Crawford provided leadership in many professional organizations, including the Council of Graduate Schools (chairman, 1962-68), the Association of Midwest Universities (board of directors, 1964-68), and the American Chemical Society (ACS) (board of directors, 1969-70). He edited ACS’s Journal of Physical Chemistry from 1969-1980and was chair (1970-1977) of the Committee on Chemical Abstracts Service. His awards include the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy award (1977), the Ellis R. Lippincott Medal (1978), and the American Chemical Society’s Priestley Medal (1982). He was named a fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy in 2004. He was an elected member in all three honorary science academies: the National Academy of Sciences (1956), the American Philosophical Society (1971), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1977.)

Bryce Crawford married Ruth Raney in 1940, and was the father of three children. He retired from the University in 1985, and died in 2011.


20.45 Cubic Feet (16 boxes + 1 oversize box)


The collection contains the personal and professional papers of Bryce L. Crawford, Regent's professor emeritus in Chemistry and dean of the Graduate School, 1960 to 1972.


The collection is arranged into seven series. These include


Associations and Conferences


Personal Files

Talks and Speeches

Subject Files

University of Minnesota. This series is further sub-divided into three sub-series: Consulting; Research; and Teaching and Course Materials.

Source of acquisition

The collection was transferred to University Archives by Stan Bonema in May, 2000.

Related Materials in University Archives

Department of Chemistry records

Graduate School records

Information Files collection

Izzak Maurits Kolhtoff papers

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Mary Shaw in January and February, 2014

Bryce L. Crawford papers
Susan Hoffman
September, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area