Collection Selector

photo of JD Kotula

JD Kotula

Librarian for Chemistry, Computer Science, and Earth & Environment

Science and Engineering Library

General Purpose of the Collection

The chemistry collection supports the undergraduate and graduate chemistry curriculum offered at Boston University. The library’s monographs, periodicals, reference materials and electronic resources also sustain faculty research in all areas of the field. The chemistry collection is used extensively by students and faculty from the departments in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS).

Priority is given to acquiring materials in organic, inorganic, physical, bioanalytical, biological, environmental, biophysical and theoretical chemistry. Photochemistry and photonics are also important areas of interest. Published literature from chemical society presses is emphasized; the library selectively collects monographs from the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. The core collection, including newer monographs, reference material, a small number of current journals, and selected bound journals, is located at the Science and Engineering Library. Most current journals are collected in electronic form only. Increasingly, many bound journals, some foreign language works and older monographs are stored off site. Mugar Memorial Library holds a small, but significant, older collection.

The Department of Chemistry, in CAS and GRS, offers programs of study leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. Many of the department’s programs are interdisciplinary in nature. Through collaborative research projects, students work with faculty in the Boston University School of Medicine, the Photonics Center, the Center for Computational Science, the Bioinformatics Graduate Program, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Biology, the Molecular, Cell and Biochemistry Biology (MCBB) Program, and the College of Engineering Division of Materials Science and Engineering.

Faculty research interests include: metalloenzymes; metalloproteins; photodissociation dynamics; charge transfer reactions; synthetic inorganic and organometallic molecules; role of metal ions in biochemistry; physical and bioanalytical chemistry of interfaces; DNA-protein interactions; DNA-drug interactions; efficiency of catalysts in organometallic reactions; quantitative analysis of ligand effects; synthesis of dendrimers for biotechnological applications; interfacial biomaterials; electrochemical-based sensors and devices; applications of organic dyes; vectors for bacterial genes; drug and vaccine discovery and development; statistical mechanics of dynamical processes in liquids; analysis of bioactivity using peptide arrays; use of protein chemistry, proteomics and spectroscopy to analyze art and archaeological objects; relaxation kinetics in biochemical systems; circular dichroism of proteins and nucleic acids; psi-DNA; bioinformatics; organic synthesis; organic and combinatorial synthesis of pharmaceutical and other compounds; molecular events of cellular processes; modeling protein structure and dynamics; determining the structure of DNA and DNA-protein complexes; using computational techniques to study proteins; structure and dynamics of liquids and biopolymers; ultrafast spectroscopy and photochemistry; surface plasmon resonance; protein aggregation; protein folding; molecular dynamics simulations; Monte Carlo simulations; energy flow and signaling; diversity-oriented synthesis; chemical biology; NMR spectroscopy; nuclear magnetic resonance; nanostructures; iron-sulfer proteins; bacterial cell division.

In addition to direct support for the Department of Chemistry, this collection also supports the work being done in related research centers and programs. Faculty, staff and students from the Center for Advanced Genomic Technology (CAGT), the Photonics Center, the Center for Computational Science (CCS), the Center for Polymer Studies (CPS), the Center for BioDynamics (CBD), the Center for Chemical Methodology and Library Development (CMLD), and the Graduate Program in Bioinformatics are regular users of the library’s chemistry materials.


Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded
The primary language of the collection is English. English translations of foreign language works are preferred.
Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate
Chemical literature is published virtually all over the world. A majority of the collection constitutes literature from various chemical societies in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, and Japan.
Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
There are no restrictions with respect to intellectual content, movements, or schools. Historical works that indicate the development of the discipline are acquired very selectively.
Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
Emphasis is on the acquisition of current imprints, but a strong retrospective collection is maintained. The collection primarily contains materials published in the last one hundred years. The library has full runs of most core chemistry journals, some starting in the late 1800’s.

The core collection is housed at the Science and Engineering Library. Some older monographs, however, are housed at Mugar Memorial Library. The subject scope of this collection is primarily determined by the Library of Congress call number range QD.



  • QD 1-999 : Chemistry

Collected Selectively:

  • QC 450-467 : Spectroscopy
  • QP 514 : Biochemistry
  • TP 1-154 : Chemical Technology
  • Z 5521-5526 : Chemistry Bibliography
  • Z 8001-8999 : Personal Bibliography

Collected Very Selectively:

  • RA 1190-1270 : Toxicology. Poisons

Related Subjects

Chemistry is a broad discipline and shares similar research interests with the life and physical sciences, and engineering. This diversity is reflected in chemical literature. To support sub-specialties, the selector will occasionally acquire works apart from the general subject boundary of chemistry.

The Biology Selector is primarily responsible for collecting works on proteins and enzymes. Works on biochemistry may be acquired by the Chemistry Selector.
General Science
The Chemistry Selector selectively collects works on environmental chemistry.
Health Sciences
The Chemistry Selector very selectively acquires material on the chemical aspects of toxicology and poisons, while the Health Sciences Selector acquires material on their health aspects.
Monographs and journals on spectroscopy are collected by the Chemistry Selector.

Material Types

Monographs, periodicals, electronic resources and reference materials including indexes and abstracts, dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, bibliographies and handbooks.
Collected Selectively
Conference proceedings, textbooks, laboratory manuals and popular works.
Not Collected
Patents, newsletters, preprints and government documents.