Department Chair

A. Nicholls

Date of Award


Access Control

Campus-Only Access

Degree Name

Museum Studies, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Cynthia Conides

Department Home page

First Reader

Cynthia Conides

Second Reader

Noelle Wiedemer

Third Reader

Andrew D. Nicholls


The only decentralized trade which carries the ember of the metallurgic narrative is that of the alchemist. Alchemy survived the ancient and medieval periods, adding to the character of intellectualism, art, history, culture, philosophy, and economics. This eventually led to the more formal field of chemistry, similar to astrology as a catalyst to forming astronomy. As scientific practices and theories continue to clash with traditional views in modern times, it is of value to view alchemy by observing how people balanced beliefs, fascinations, concepts, and inadvertent discoveries in science. This thesis proposes to tell the story of alchemy as a precursor to chemistry through a museum exhibit. Alchemy was a field that was a less specialized practice than today’s science, and can be considered an interdisciplinary expertise. A combination of mysticism, experimentation, literature, and mixing over the cauldron reveals the lost practice as bridge from the imaginations of natural philosophy to the scientific method.

Available for download on Thursday, May 15, 2036

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