Chemistry Collection Policy


subject description and guidelines

  • Chemistry is a foundation science. It has several subfields, is very interdisciplinary and supports research across the sciences. Chemistry deals with the composition, structure, and properties of matter, including biological substances. Cornell research is active in all subfields, including analytical, bioinorganic, bioorganic, biophysical, chemical biology, inorganic, materials, organic, organometallic, physical, polymer and theoretical chemistry. Current areas of particular emphasis are chemistry at the nanometer scale, energy and sustainability and involve large-scale collaboration across Cornell. Chemical principles and methodologies are central to many scientific disciplines and the collection actively supports research and teaching across Cornell, including engineering, biological, agricultural, medical, mathematical and physical sciences. This is primarily an electronic collection to support the increasingly online workflows and information requirements of researchers. The focus is on full access to the published literature in electronic format. The chemistry collection includes several enhanced interfaces with features essential to chemical and physical sciences research. Emerging cross-disciplinary experimental research in areas such as soft matter and fuel cells requires an extensive mix of specialized data-rich resources. Significant effort is also focused on acquiring electronic access to older literature, especially journals and book series. “Good chemistry” does not age, and many of the techniques and characterizations are still in use and applicable to new research problems.


collection strength

  • Overall, the collecting goals for Chemistry are suitable for dissertation-level research and undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education.

collection level

  • research 

geographical guidelines

  • Most materials in the collection are published in North America and Europe.

areas of significant geographic coverage

transnational region

  • Europe 
  • northern America 

language guidelines

  • English is the primary language of the collection. Materials in other languages are acquired as requested.

chronological guidelines

  • General collection holdings date back to mid-1800s in print and electronic holdings.


  • Pre-college materials are not collected. Undergraduate level textbooks are not actively collected. Hardcopy materials are only acquired upon request.

material types

  • Genre: Chemistry emphasizes scholarly communication through academic and specialized journals, trade journals, book series, scholarly monographs, conference proceedings, specialized bibliographic and properties databases, and other chemical data-rich resources. Format: Materials are collected exclusively in networked electronic format except for a limited number not available electronically or upon special request. Print materials in chemistry are primarily located at the Annex or in other related library collections. Electronic editions have been acquired for the majority of older journal issues and many monographic series to facilitate access and use.


housed in

  • Clark Physical Sciences Library 

special collections or noteworthy resources in the field

  • Reaxys – based on Beilstein Handbook of Organic Chemistry and Gmelin Handbook of Inorganic & Organometallic Chemistry with sophisticated compound and chemical reaction searching SciFinder –Chemical Abstracts, Registy and Reaction databases with sophisticated compound searching SpringerMaterials – evaluated materials data from Landolt-Börnstein Numerical data and functional relationships in science and technology series

related library subject collection


academic department

  • Biochemistry (Weill) 
  • Biological and Environmental Engineering (BEE) 
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CHEME) 
  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CHEM) 
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) 
  • Fiber Science & Apparel Design (FSAD)
  • Food Science (FOOD)
  • Materials Science and Engineering (MS&E)
  • Microbiology and Immunology (VETMI)
  • Microbiology and Immunology (Weill)
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG)
  • Physics (PHYS)
  • Science and Technology Studies (S&TS)     

graduate field/program

  • Biochemistry and Structural Biology 
  • Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology 
  • Biophysics 
  • Chemical Engineering 
  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology 
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • Tri-Institutional Training Program in Chemical Biology (TPCB) 

cornell academic division

  • Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS) 


library contact

  • McEwen, Leah R. -  Chemistry Librarian