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Guide to the William Crowell Bray Papers, 1890-1945
BANC MSS 73/55 c  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biographical Sketch
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: William Crowell Bray Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1890-1945
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 73/55 c
    Creator: Bray, William C. (William Crowell), 1879-1946
    Extent: Number of containers: 4 boxes and 1 v. Linear feet: 2.1
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Letters written to Bray and copies of letters by him; papers and articles; notes; reprints, etc. Concerning his career as professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Crowell Bray Papers, BANC MSS 73/55 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Biographical Sketch

    William Crowell Bray was born September 2, 1879 in Wingham, Ontario, Canada. Graduated from the University of Toronto in 1902 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he received a travelling fellowship which he spent in Germany doing graduate work in chemistry under Professor Robert Luther at the University of Leipzig and received his Ph.D. in 1905.
    He moved to the United States and worked as a research associate in physical chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Professor Arthur A. Noyes from 1905 to 1910, and from 1910 to 1912 he was assistant professor of physico-chemical research.
    In 1912 he moved to Berkeley, California to accept the position of assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California. He was naturalized in 1913 and in 1914 married Nora Thomas. He became professor of chemistry in 1918, a position which he held until he was forced to resign in 1945 due to ill health.
    During World War I he directed research at the Experimental Station, American University, Washington, D.C. and in 1919 was associate director of the Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory. He was, also, chairman of the Department of Chemistry from March 1943 to March 1, 1945. A heart attack late in 1945 immobilized him and after seeming improvement he was suddenly and fatally stricken on February 24, 1946.
    His research covered the kinetics of inorganic reactions, especially involving compounds of the halogens and the mechanism of inorganic oxidation-reduction reactions in aqueous solutions.

    Scope and Content

    The Bray collection came to The Bancroft Library in October 1972 as a gift of Professor Robert E. Connick, with additions in July 1976 as a gift of Warren Matthew. Consisting of four boxes of correspondence and related papers, it includes letters addressed to Bray; copies of letters written by him; notes; awards; financial statements; drafts and reprints of his Papers and articles and papers written by his students. The papers cover such subjects as his studies in inorganic chemistry of oxygenation, chemical kinetics, nitrogen and the halogens, personal and family business and the work of colleagues from his college days.
    There is no information in the papers about his work in Washington, D.C. during World War I, his chairmanship of the Department of Chemistry, his teaching career, or the books he authored.
    The Key to Arrangement which follows describes the collection in greater detail.