The Othmer Library Reading Room

While there is a searchable, indexable library available to our members and prospective members that you can search online, The Society of Flavor Chemists also has a physical library that members can visit in person if they have the opportunity.

We first began organizing our library in 1999; however, there was such a wealth of information that it quickly outgrew its physical space and we needed to find a different location to house all our materials and catalogs. In 2017, we decided to donate our complete library to the already-existing Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia (CHF).

The Chemical Heritage Foundation was later renamed and is part of the esteemed Science History Institute campus, which is nestled right in the heart of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Science History Institute is also home to the Center for the History of Chemistry as well as the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry (BCHOC).

The Science History Institute also is home to the Othmer Library, which is another renowned library that pertains to the field of chemistry. The Society of Flavor Chemists was proud to safeguard its library in the same location as the Othmer Library, allowing our library room to grow in the years to come. This also allows our members a central location in which to explore our materials and study them if they wish.


Our mission is to engage exclusively in scientific, technological and educational information and activities by collecting books, publications and archives related to flavors, flavor ingredients and the flavor industry. Our goal is to create and maintain a leading global source of information in these fields.

The CHF, later renamed the Science History Institute, already had The Othmer Library, one of the most outstanding libraries in the chemical field in the US. Now, The Society of Flavor Chemists had  safeguarded its library and, at the same time, found a location where our library can grow in years to come. Partnering with the Science History Institute allows continued access to SFC members and non-members, alike.

Access can be made by appointment. For details see: Othmer Library Contact Information.

Location & Info

The collection is housed at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia PA.

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Reference questions: 215.873.8269 or or complete a reference question form

Make an appointment to visit: 215.873.8269 or or see Schedule a Visit

OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog):

Interlibrary loan:

Search Midon, the Othmer Library Catalog

Contact Library Committee

If you have books, publications and / or archives that you would like to donate, please contact the Library Committee. Remember, all of us have an obligation to preserve the history of the flavor industry.