The chemistry collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the Chemistry Department as well as a number of other departments across campus including chemical engineering, medicine, physics, and agriculture.

Overview of the strengths of the existing collection

The chemistry collection extensively supports the many curriculum and research activities of the department. The library holds 75% of the 1000 most frequently cited journals covered by Chemical Abstracts. The monograph collection is also excellent since a large portion of the monographs published on the subject are ordered.

Current areas of collecting

The chemistry selector selects materials relating to chemistry. ACS and AIChE publications are held extensively. The PATSCAN office in the UBC Library has the electronic capability to search the worldwide patent literature.

Research and publishing characteristics

Chemists are heavy users of libraries and online information sources, and the literature of chemistry is the best organized of any science discipline. Essential is access to periodicals, both to current issues and to retrospective issues. Typically, in this field, 80-90% of the budget is for periodicals. Patents are important. Books in this field are among the most expensive books published. According to the Blackwell North America Approval Program Coverage and Cost Study 1993/94, the average list price for the 332 books they treated that year which were classified in QD was $122.28 US (compared to the overall average of $53.85 US). No other area exceeded chemistry’s average.


Monographs, handbooks, indexes, abstracts, and relevant serials titles.


Almost all of the monographic material collected is in English. UBC holds an excellent selection of chemistry periodicals in the main European and Asian languages.

Geographic origin

Primarily North American and European with representative journals from other parts of the world.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Woodward Library: Biochemistry.