Collection Development - Chemistry

Collections Contact: Sarah Barbrow (x3021)

The collection development policy for Chemistry guides the development and management of the chemistry collection. This policy is for the use of the Science Librarian for Collections and the Science Library's users. The policy will be updated as needed. Faculty and students are encouraged to participate in the selection process by consulting with the collections librarian and by making recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

The chemistry collection supports the undergraduate chemistry curriculum offered at Wellesley College. The collection supports student research in specific areas of interest. The collection is used heavily by chemistry majors and by students fulfilling pre-medical course requirements. Materials are used substantially by biological sciences majors and routinely by students in environmental studies courses, students in other science disciplines and those fulfilling course distribution requirements in the sciences. Priority is given to acquiring materials in organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, biological and environmental chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry offers a program leading to a bachelor's degree in Chemistry. Also, the Department collaborates closely with several other science departments to offer instruction and support for interdepartmental majors:

- with the Biological Sciences Department to offer an interdepartmental major in Biological Chemistry. 
- with the Psychology Department and the Biological Sciences Department to support the Neuroscience major. 
- with the Departments of Geological Sciences, Biological Sciences and Physics to support an Environmental Science concentration within the Environmental Studies major.

    The Quantitative Reasoning overlay course requirement for all Wellesley students is fulfilled by several 100- and 200-level chemistry classes.

    Description of the collection

    Types of Materials: Materials are purchased in all formats, with emphasis on the journal literature. Electronic access is the preferred format for journal literature.  Conference proceedings and laboratory manuals are selectively acquired when their topics support curricular offerings.  Single copies of textbooks are purchased selectively when their content provides a foundation of knowledge in a new or advanced area of science or when a text is so important to a field that its use and acceptance go beyond supporting introductory curriculum.  Materials created for individual use such as lab notebooks, workbooks and problem/answer sets are not purchased for the collection.Readership Level: Material is collected at the college level, with emphasis on upper undergraduate/early graduate works. Entry level materials are acquired selectively to support courses fulfilling distribution requirements, as are popular materials to encourage reading about the sciences across the disciplines.

    Languages Collected: The primary language of the collection is English. Foreign language works, if selected, are purchased in translation.

    Geographical Areas Covered (intellectual content or publication source): Materials are routinely purchased from all areas of the world with no exclusions. A sizeable portion of the collection constitutes literature from various chemical societies throughout the world.

    Chronological Periods Covered (intellectual content): There are no restrictions on intellectual content of the collection. Current history of science material is bought selectively to support current course offerings. Typically, primary chemical works of historical significance are not purchased although referrals are sometimes made to the Selector for Special Collections for the history of science collection housed there.

    Chronological Period Covered (publication dates): Current materials are the focus of almost all purchasing, but a strong retrospective collection, especially in the journal literature, is maintained.

    Shelving Locations: Books and journals are housed at the Science Library with the exception of most pre-1985 journal literature, which are housed at an off-site facility and are retrievable by request. Online access to collections is provided through the Library website.

    Reference: Reference material for chemistry is purchased by the Science Librarian for Research and Instruction and follows the general subject parameters of the chemistry collections policy. The scope includes, but is not limited to, the following types of material: biographies, dictionaries/thesauri/nomenclature aids, encyclopedias, handbooks, style and literature guides, and occasional electronic search aids and directories which support curricular or related professional programs. Electronic access is the preferred format for reference works.

    The library provides access to SciFinder Scholar, the web-based Chemical Abstracts database. A Scifinder Scholar subscription is a prerequisite for the Chemistry Department's American Chemical Society Accreditation, as is retention of a core of at least 20 chemistry journals recommended by the ACS.

    Current Collecting Emphasis: We have increased purchasing of materials related to biochemistry, green chemistry. computational chemistry and neurochemistry.

    Subjects Collected Selectively: Pharmacology, clinical medicine, chemical engineering, hydrology, soil analysis, pollution, contaminant testing, forensic analysis and trace element analysis are only purchased selectively to support specific curricular needs or to provide general background to the collection.

    Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships

    Chemistry is a core discipline which supports basic research and teaching in both the life and physical sciences. Interdisciplinary support is offered as follows:

    Biochemistry: The Chemistry selector purchases biochemistry materials for the science disciplines including areas such as proteins, enzymes and nucleic acids.

    Neuroscience: occasionally, neurochemistry materials are purchased by the Chemistry selector, but the bulk of this material is purchased by the Biology selector.

    Medical Ethics/Legislation materials are typically purchased by the Social Sciences selector.

    Medical/Health Economics materials are purchased by the Social Sciences selector.

    Science and Society materials are purchased by the Social Sciences selector.

    Environmental Studies and Chemical Engineering: Material supporting the Environmental Studies major is purchased collaboratively with the BiologyGeology, and Physics selectors, depending upon the focus of specific chemistry courses offered for the Environmental Sciences concentration.

    Analytical Chemistry Supporting Art: Occasional demand for analytical materials to support specific art history classes which focus on restoration science and techniques is purchased by the Chemistry selector.

    Women & Addiction, Drugs & Society, and Alternative Medicine topics are not typically addressed by the Chemistry selector, but may be covered selectively by the Social Sciences and Biological Sciencesselectors.

      Local resources

      Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine (Harvard Medical School Library): a limited number of one-time access passes to the Countway Library of Medicine's immense clinical and medical research collections are available in the Science Library for students working on organic and pharmaceutical compounds research projects.