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Robert D. Eddy Papers

Call Number: MS168

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, publications, manuscripts, television scripts, lectures, notebooks and course materials, mostly dating from the 1960s and 1970s and relating to Eddy's professional and educational activities both at Tufts and elsewhere. Included are biographical material, lectures and writings related to Eddy's involvement in various professional associations, including the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers (NEACT) and the American Chemical Society (ACS), chemistry 'activities' (problem sets) designed by Eddy for Florida State University's Individualized Science Instruction System (ISIS) instruction manual (1975-1976), scripts from his WGBH televised chemistry courses for the U.S. Navy's Polaris University (1963), and papers concerning the development of the Tested Overhead Projection Series (TOPS) for classroom use (1965-1975).


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1963 -- 1976
  • Creation: 1935 -- 1982



This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Devereux Eddy Sr. (1914-1983) was a professor of chemistry at Tufts University from 1942-1976. Eddy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 15, 1914. He received his A.B. from Brown University in 1935, his Master's degree from Princeton in 1938, and his PhD from the same institution the following year.

In 1939, Eddy began teaching at Tufts as an instructor; he was an assistant professor from 1942-1949, associate professor from 1949-1953, and full professor from 1953 until his retirement in 1976. In 1980 he was named professor emeritus.

Eddy is notable for his contributions to chemistry curriculum reform, at both high school and college levels. Around 1960 he took a two-year leave of absence from Tufts University to work with the Chemical Bond Approach Committee (CBA) on teaching aids and a laboratory manual for high school chemistry. CBA was a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) geared towards improving high school chemistry education in the post-Sputnik era. In 1963 Eddy prepared 60 half-hour films on college chemistry for Harvard's Department of University Extension, for use at Polaris University, a project of the U.S. Navy. These films were prepared at the studios of WGBH, and students in the Boston area and on Polaris submarines took the courses for credit using the films. In 1965 Eddy took sabbatical leave to work as a visiting fellow at Princeton University, developing the Chemistry Lecture Demonstration using the Tested Overhead Projection Series (TOPS), which projected chemical reactions by overhead projector. In 1966 he traveled to Paris, France, to serve as honorary consultant to the Division of Science Teaching at the Department of Advancement of Science at UNESCO. At the time, the goal of the Division of Science Teaching was to strengthen UNESCO's program for teaching basic science at pre-university level in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. In the summer of 1976, Eddy participated in a writing conference, designing chemistry 'activities' (problem sets) for Florida State University's Individualized Science Instruction System (ISIS) instruction manual.

Other activities of Eddy in the professional field include service as examiner in chemistry for the independent College Entrance Examination Board and as a consultant to Educational Testing Service, the educational research and assessment organization, where Eddy worked on the Graduate Records Exams and Special Examinations in Elementary Chemistry. Eddy was an active member of the New England Association of Chemistry Teachers (NEACT). He also served as assistant editor to the American Chemical Society's (ACS) publication, Nucleus, and was a member of the ASC's 'Committee of Visiting Scientists,' teaching at the NSF Summer Institutes for Junior High, Senior High, and College teachers at Tufts and at the University of North Dakota.

Eddy married Sarah Elizabeth Frost in 1939. They had two sons and one daughter. He died on January 28, 1983 in Winchester, Massachusetts.


1.7 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into two series: Personal papers; and Professional activities.

Processing Information

Robert D. Eddy's papers were processed in spring 2011 by Molly Bruce, a graduate assistant, supervised by Susanne Belovari, Archivist for Reference and Collections.

Overall the collection is in good physical condition and contains a recent accession and the vertical file for Robert D. Eddy. All binders and rusty staples and paperclips were removed during stabilization. The material had no discernible original order upon arrival at DCA; most folders were unlabeled. Some folders referring to particular projects were grouped and therefore kept together (TV scripts, ISIS manuals and problem sets, and old school notebooks from Princeton). Otherwise, we imposed two series, Personal Papers and Professional Activities. In the Professional Activities series, there was no logical way to arrange folders chronologically or alphabetically, so we arranged by topic. We created titles for unlabeled folders which are indicated by brackets.

This collection has electronic collection documentation.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States