The Rensselaer School was established in 1824 by Stephen Van Rensselaer "for the purpose of instructing persons ... in the application of science to the common purposes of life" (letter from Stephen Van Rensselaer to Samuel Blatchford, November 5, 1824). It is "...the first school of science and school of civil engineering, which has had a continuous existence, to be established in any English-speaking country" (Ricketts, Palmer C. History of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 2nd ed.). In 1833 the school became the Rensselaer Institute, and in the 1850s its purpose was broadened to become a polytechnic institution. The name was changed to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1861.
Online Rensselaer Publications
The documents in this section have been digitized from original materials held in Rensselaer's Institute Archives and Special Collections department. Each item has been converted to a size and format that allows for ease of use online. In many cases links, indexes, and other navigational tools have been added to increase access to the intellectual contents of the materials.
125 Years of Chemistry at RPI by Henry Van Klooster, 1949
Biographical Record of Officers and Graduates by Henry B. Nason, 1887
A Chapter in American Education by Ray Palmer Baker, 1924
Education for a Technological Society by Samuel Rezneck, 1968
History of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute by Palmer C. Ricketts, 1934
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute by B.F. Greene, 1855
They Led the Way by Richard W. Schmelzer, 1980
Rensselaer: Where Imagination Achieves the Impossible
The Centennial Celebration of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, October 3rd and 4th, 1924 ed. by Palmer C. Ricketts, 1925