The physics collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the Physics Department as well as a number of other units across campus, including TRIUMF, the geophysics and astronomy departments, the Program in Engineering Physics, and the Institute of Applied Mathematics.

Overview of the strengths of the existing collection

The physics collection is extensive. All American Institute of Physics and SPIE publications are held.

Current areas of collecting

The physics selector acquires material that supports curriculum and research requirements for all areas of physics except for history of physics which is supported at the curriculum level only.

Research and publishing characteristics

The literature in physics is very well organized. Periodicals are important, and there is a need for access to retrospective volumes. Societies continue to be the large publishers. The English language predominates, and there are many translation journals. Preprints are an important means of communicating new research. Booksare of lesser importance but remain indispensable. Conference proceedings and technical reports are important.


Most current acquisitions are in English.

Geographic origin

Mostly from North America and Europe. The collection also includes some periodicals from Russia, the key periodicals from Japan and China, and selected periodicals from other parts of the world.


Books from the publishers World Scientific and Nova are generally not collected.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Woodward Library: Biophysics.