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Byron Avery Soule
LSA Minutes


Dr. Byron Avery Soule, Associate Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at The University of Michigan, passed away on January 11, 1983, at his winter home in Maryland. Dr. Soule was born in Allegheny, New York, on May 28, 1891. He entered The University of Michigan about the start of World War I and received a B.S. in Chemistry degree in 1918. He then continued his graduate education at The University of Michigan, receiving the M.S. in Chemistry degree in 1920, and a Doctor of Science degree in 1924 under the direction of Professor Campbell.

In 1919, he was appointed as Assistant the the Director of the Chemical Laboratory, with a subsequent appointment as Instructor in chemistry in 1920. He was appointed to Assistant Professor in 1933 and Associate Professor in 1943.

Professor Soule taught analytical chemistry, and he and Professor McAlpine also of the Chemistry Department, were co-authors of a text, "Fundamentals of Qualitative Chemical Analysis," which went through four editions and for many, many years was accepted as the standard text in this country on qualitative analysis.

Professor Soule was an expert in the literature of Chemistry and the problems associated with the retrieval of scientific information. He was author of a text "Library Guide for the Chemist," which was widely used in this country, and which served as the backbone of a course which he offered on library techniques. During the period 1941-43, he held an appointment as a Fellow in Chemistry at the Library of Congress and spent one year in residence there. Beginning in 1948, he was appointed to the Council of the Kresge-Hooker Scientific Library at Wayne University and served in that capacity for several years. He was an assistant editor of Chemical Abstracts, beginning in 1942, and served for several years as treasurer and later chairman of the Division of Chemical Literature of the American Chemical Society. In addition to his membership in the American Chemical Society, he was also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In the University community, he served for many years as chairman of the Chemistry Departmental library committee and also a member of the Library and Curriculum committees of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

After his retirement, he lived as a farmer near Dexter and was active on the Washtenaw County Library Board and in the founding of the Dexter library.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy (Houghton) Soule, three sons, David, Gardner and Jonathan and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Robert C. Taylor