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Queen's University Library


Department: Department of Chemistry
Library: Engineering & Science Library
Faculty Representative: Simon Hesp
Liaison Librarian: Michael White

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Collection Policy Outline

General Purpose:

To serve undergraduate and graduate teaching and research programs in chemistry to the doctoral level. The chemistry collection serves 32 faculty members, over 90 graduate students, research associates and post-doctoral fellows, and several hundred undergraduate students associated with the Department of Chemistry, as well as numerous faculty and students from other departments within the University. Textbooks prescribed for a course are not purchased, unless the instructor requests it, and then the usual practice is to restrict the order to a single copy. Supplementary material for extant courses is collected upon the recommendation of the instructor.

The research activities within the Department of Chemistry are vigorous and dynamic. As the subject matter of these core functions changes, or as new members of staff introduce new areas of research, the Library attempts to support the studies by modifying its collection policy accordingly.


English is the preferred language, but importante materials in other languages are collected.

Geographical Areas:

No restriction. Material is selected for its importance.

Chronological Limits:

None but most material added is very recent.

Type of Material Collected:

  • Books: monographs; bibliographies; conference proceedings; etc.
  • Serial publications:series; periodicals
  • Technical reports
  • Government documents (very selective)
  • Preprints
  • Indexing and abstracting services Note: any of the above may be in print, microform, or electronic format.

Fields of Research:

The scope of research in the Department is very broad. It is categorized under five major headings:
  • Analytical Chemistry: (Profs. Page, vanLoon, and Wheeler) in which there is special interest in electroanalytical chemistry; trace element analysis; environmental chemistry; atomic absorption spectroscopy; and gas flame kinetics.
  • Inorganic and Organo-Metallic Chemistry: (Profs. Baird, Heyding, MacCartney, McLaughlin, and Norris) in which the principal interests include transition metal chemistry; coordination chemistry; nuclear magnetic resonance of organo-metallic compounds; crystal structure; phase relationships; X-ray powder diffraction; mechanisms of oxidation-reductions of transition metal complexes; synthesis and kinetics of coordination complexes; structure reactivity relationships in electron-transfer theory; synthetic organometallic chemistry; chemistry of metal-metal bonds; metal-assisted oligomerization of olefins; bio-inorganic reactions; heavy metal ion complexes of sulfur and selenium donor ligands; nuclear magnetic resonance of molecules containing 13C or 118Hg; and fast reaction techniques.
  • Organic and Biological Chemistry: (Profs. Buncel, Hay, Szarek, Whitney, and Wolfe) in which the major foci of research include bio-organic and physical organic chemistry; enzyme and protein structural investigations; mechanism of drug action; organosulfur and phosphorus mechanism; nitro-aromatic-bade complexes; aromatic substitution and rearrangements; deuterium isotope effects; fast kinetic spectrophotometric studies of carbanions; polysaccharide synthesis and modification; chemistry and biochemistry of sugars - both natural ans synthetic; chemical and biochemical modification of carbohydrates; structure and synthesis of carbohydrate-containing antibiotics; chemical syntheses of nucleosides and nucleotides; vitamin C chemistry; heterocyclic conformational analysis; conformational and mechanistic studies of carbohydrate reactions; total synthesis of natural products; heterocyclic chemistry; organometallic reactions in organic synthesis; theoretical organic chemistry; beta lactam synthesis and biosynthesis; peptide synthesis and biosynthesis; stereochemistry, with special emphasis on ab initio and perturbational molecular orbital calculations; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of nuclei other than C and H; and sulfur chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Physical Chemistry: (Profs. Baker, Brown, Fortier, Gordon, Hunter, March, McCowan, Oldham, Russell, Shurvel, Stone and Wan) in which the main areas of research include nuclear quadruple and magnetic resonance; motions of ions and molecules in solids; direct methods of crystal structure determination; probabilistic theory of structure invariants and semi-invariants; theory and computational aspects of integrating the techniques of direct methods, isomorphous replacement and anomalous dispersion; experimental charge density analysis; electronic spectra of gaseous molecules; vibrational spectroscopy; carbon-13 nuclear magnetic spectroscopy; solid state NMR studies; gaseous ion/ion/molecule reactions; laser photochemistry; hydration, carbonation and ageing processes in hydrated cements; reactivity and stability of organotitanium compounds; voltammetry; morphology and properties of thermoplastic elastomer/polymer blends; rheology of multicomponent polymer systems; reactive polymer compounding; mechanisms of free radical and cationic polymerization; studies of free radicals by electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometry; infrared and laser spectrometry; Raman studies of structure and phase transitions; mass spectrometry; gas phase thermochemistry; chemically- induced dynamic electron and nuclear polarization; time-resolved electron spin resonance spectroscopy; development of new techniques of microwave-induced catalytic chemical processes; applications of free radical chemistry; and biophysical investigations of drug action.
  • Theoretical Chemistry: (Profs. Becke, Colpa, Smith, Snider and Wardlaw) in which research encompasses such topics as density functional theory of atomic and molecular structure; theory of ultraviolet and magnetic resonance spectra of large molecules; semi-empirical approximations; theory of optical nuclear polarization; history of chemistry; isoelectronic sequences and electronic correlation; theoretical and experimental (X-ray) study of electron density distributions; electron momentum distributions; Compton scattering; form factors and scattering intensities for X-rays, neutrons and electrons; calculations of electronic structures of molecules; magnetic resonance spectra; classic and quantum fluids; atomic and molecular hyperfine structure; reaction rate theory; statistical mechanics of fluids; chemical dynamics; statistical models for biomolecular and unimolecular reactions; and nonlinear dynamics and chaos in Hamiltonian systems.

The above list by no means exhausts the research interests and activities of the Department. Most of the research is conducted at the PhD. level.

It is evident from this overview that the usual categories of subject matter do not apply particularly well to the collection policy for chemistry. Thus, for example, we do indeed collect intensively in organic chemistry, but there is not a uniform level of collecting in every field of that subject. The same is applicable to each of the other major categories. The intensity of collection with respect to any specific topic is primarily a function of the interest evinced by faculty members in this Department, but the Library attempts to maintain a reasonable level of contemporaneity in all of the areas of chemistry relevant to the teaching and research activities of the Chemistry Department.

Subjects and Collecting Levels:

(Explanation of Collection Policy Levels)

Areas to be collected at Level B:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Aromatic organic chemistry
  • Carbohydrate chemistry
  • Crystallography
  • Electroanalytical and electro-chemistry
  • Heterocyclic chemistry (of selected ring systems)
  • Inorganic chemistry (of transition elements)
  • Molecular spectroscopy
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • Organo-metallic chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical and medical chemistry (theoretical, physical and synthetic chemistry of antibiotics, beta lactams, and radio pharmaceuticals)
  • Photochemistry
  • Physical organic chemistry
  • Polymer chemistry (not technology or engineering)
  • Quantum and statistical mechanics
  • Synthetic organic chemistry
  • Theoretical chemistry

Areas to be collected at Level C:

  • Biological chemistry
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Chemical thermodynamics
  • Environmental chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Radiochemistry
  • Soil chemistry
  • Surface and colloid chemistry
  • Zeolite chemistry

Areas to be collected at Level D:

  • Agricultural chemistry
  • Food chemistry
  • General chemistry (and general or interdisciplinary monographs in the fields of analytical, biological, inorganic, and physical chemistry)
  • History of chemistry
  • Industrial chemistry
  • Paint, colour, and cosmetic chemistry

Policy last revised: 1997/98