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Collection Development Policy Guidelines
Guidelines for writing collection development policies for specific subject areas, to be followed by all selectors.

  1. General Scope

    Dartmouth’s chemistry department combines the personalized instruction and mentoring of a small college with the expertise of a research university.  Dartmouth chemistry faculty and students carry out research in a variety of areas, including organic, biological, materials, inorganic, and physical chemistry. The collection primarily supports the instructional and research needs of the undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and faculty in Chemistry, as well as serving the needs of visiting scholars from other institutions. 

    Undergraduate students often complete research to receive course credit and write honors theses.  Graduate programs include a both Masters and Ph.D program.  The department offers a 4+1 Masters program to provide our undergraduate students an opportunity to acquire a broader and deeper education in modern techniques of biophysical chemistry.  Ph.D. students in the small, selective graduate program benefit from personal attention, intense research experience, and typically complete within 5 years.

    Aside from the department’s teaching and research needs, the collection also supports research in many science departments of the College, notably Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environmental Studies, and Physics.  It supports the instructional and research needs of the Thayer Engineering School and the Dartmouth Medical School, and the work of the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.  Programs and research centers that rely on the chemistry collection include, among others, the Center for Nanomaterials Research @ Dartmouth (CNR@D), an interdisciplinary research center with faculty from engineering, chemistry, and physics, and the Toxic Metals Research Program, an interdisciplinary program of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences at Dartmouth.

    1. Audience

      Programs leading to undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. degrees are offered.  Research is completed at all levels.

      Research interests of faculty within Chemistry are varied.  Research areas include:

      • Organic chemistry (natural products chemistry, synthetic methods, and medicinal chemistry; also asymmetric catalysis, organometallics, and molecular machines);
      • Biological / biophysical chemistry (structure and function of biomolecules using NMR, laser spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, calorimetry, and computational methods);
      • Materials chemistry (polymers, sensors, surfaces, molecular machines, and nanomaterials);
      • Inorganic chemistry (bioinorganic and organometallic);
      • Experimental and theoretical physical chemistry (laser spectroscopy, NMR, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics)
    2. Boundaries

      Chemistry is the QD classification of the Library of Congress classification scheme and 540-548 of the Dewey system.  All Dewey classed material is housed in the Storage Facility; the major portion of the QD material is housed in Kresge Physical Sciences Library.  While all Chemical Abstracts classification system sections are represented in the general Dartmouth College Library system, the chemistry collection in Kresge is more oriented to organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry.  Some chemistry material is housed in other libraries, based on imprint date (Special Collections), popular treatment (Baker), or major subject treatment other than chemistry (Feldberg, Dana).  In the areas of biochemistry, enzymology, protein/peptide chemistry, biophysical chemistry and medicinal chemistry (to name a few), the majority of materials are found at Dana Biomedical library.  In the area of chemical technology, the collection is maintained at Feldberg Business and Engineering Library.  In addition, the proceedings and transactions of a number of academies of science and scientific societies (both national and foreign) are often interdisciplinary in nature and were historically housed at Baker Library.

    3. Partnerships

      The Library seeks opportunities to build partnerships in building the chemistry collection through strategies for shared print collections retention projects and shared evidence-based electronic book collections.

  2. Specific Delimitations to collecting in this subject area

    1. Languages

      English is the predominant language of materials in the chemistry collection, but no language is excluded.  Much of the older chemical literature is in German.

    2. Geographical Areas (if applicable)

      There are no geographical limitations to the acquisition of chemistry materials.

    3. Types of Materials Collected

      Monographs, journals and other serials, theses and dissertations, indexes and abstracts, bibliographies, society publications, and reference works are purchased in a variety of formats.  There are no Special Collections or Manuscripts specifically related to chemistry within the library system.

    4. Format of Materials Collected

      No format is excluded, however print and electronic are preferred.  Online versions of journals are preferred where they meet criteria for stable and perpetual access, and relevant license requirements.  Indexes and abstracts are licensed as online bibliographic databases.  Reference works and book series are increasingly purchased as online editions.  Individual monographs are predominantly purchased in print format, although ebook collections and individual titles are increasingly purchased on stable, and user-friendly platforms. 

    5. Collective Collections

      The Library's resource sharing services (DartDoc and BorrowDirect) provide access to materials not collected in chemistry.

  3. Revision History
    • September 2016, updated by Lora Leligdon
    • 2009, updated by Jane Quigley
    • 1991, updated by Ellie Clement

    Current Bibliographer: Lora Leligdon (

Last Updated: 9/29/16