The primary purpose of this collection is to support the undergraduate and graduate courses and research in the area(s) of chemistry. The secondary purpose is to support the faculty needs for research and publication. The tertiary purpose of the collection is to provide a spectrum of supplementary materials that give breadth to the collection allowing curious readers of all levels information on the many chemistry areas including organic, inorganic, analytical, and biochemical.
Although the field of chemistry has been taught through university courses since the beginning of the university, the real growth has happened since the 1930s. A BA in Chemistry was first offered in 1931, the master’s degree program was started in 1959, and a BS was offered in 1972.
The collection has been shaped by faculty more than it has by librarians over the years and the varying richness of the materials reflect this.
Over the years the physical science collections, as a whole, have been given little attention. There have been few librarians with interests in the “hard” sciences and funding for them is often below what is needed to make current materials available. The chemistry area of the decks are due a serious period of de-acquisition, after which the collection needs a steady infusion of faculty/librarian-selected current materials.
In the past, it seems that textbooks were collected. Most older texts will be de-selected and only a few current texts will be kept giving the general reader a thorough overview of the various sub-areas. We will continue to collect in the basic areas (see Definition) and in the research fields of tenured faculty.
Regular input from faculty and students will be sought and included in the overall process of collection development. The librarian handling this area will pay special attention to new materials reviewed in Choice and the Journal of Chemical Education, among others. Materials published by the American Chemical Society and university presses will be favorably considered.