Geophysics and Astronomy


The geophysics and astronomy collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the Department of Geophysics and Astronomy as well as a number of other departments across campus, including the departments of geology, physics, atmospheric sciences, civil engineering, mining and mineral process engineering, and the geological engineering program and Remote Sensing Council.

Overview of the strengths of the existing collection

Of the periodicals abstracted completely in Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstracts, the library holds 40 %. Heavily collected are conference proceedings, Kluwer publications, NATO ASI’s, and society publications such as those of the International Astronomical Union, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Current areas of collecting

The geophysics and astronomy selectors cover glaciology, geomagnetism and aeronomy, time series and inversion studies, geophysical instrumentation, seismology, and earthquake studies (geophysics); observation and theoretical astronomy, stellar atmospheres, astrophysics, and cosmology (astronomy). They also collect material that supports curriculum requirements for history of astronomy, star catalogues, atlases and charts, astronomical instruments, and practical and spherical astronomy.

Research and publishing characteristics

In astronomy, conference proceedings are just as important as periodical articles. Online bibliographic services are not utilized to a great degree. Preprints and other unpublished conference proceedings are useful. Star catalogues remain of value, even older ones. Data is important and an increasing amount of it is in electronic format. In geophysics, periodicals are the most important followed by conference proceedings.


Mostly English.

Geographic origin

For books, mostly from North America and Europe. For periodicals, there are titles from outside North America and Europe.


Preprints are not collected. Popular, amateur and elementary astronomy, astronautics, telescope making, observatory publications, and Russian journals are very seldom collected.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Data Library: May contain useful datasets.

Map Division: Some titles of use to astronomy.