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Chemical Literature & Documentation   Tags: acs, biochemistry, chemical literature, chemistry, physical properties  

This guide outlines some of the key resources available for searching the chemical literature. It serves as a review of the materials discussed in the library orientation for CHEM 385
Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017 URL: Print Guide

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The Merck Index: an encyclopedia of chemicals, drugs, and biologicals  is a standard resource for information on drugs, pharmaceuticals, common organic chemicals and laboratory reagents, natural products, elements, and inorganic compounds. Individual monographs provide synonyms, physical property data, elemental composition, biological source, physical description, and key literature references. The most current edition of the print Merck Index is located in the reference stacks at Ref. 615.103/M537i15. Earlier editions have the same call number but are located in the circulating stacks.



This guide serves as an introduction to a variety of library resources that will help you identify and use the literature in the field of chemistry. In addition to specific resources you will also find search tips and suggestions to make your research more effective. Hopefully this guide will:

  • Support and reinforce the content you learn in your Chem Lit class
  • Provide an information gateway for you to use with your chemistry projects
  • Familiarize you with the wide range of resources, print & electronic, that are important in your discipline
  • Remind you how to get assistance when you need it for your research

As the liaison to the Chemistry Department I'm always available to assist you with your research. Don't hesitate to contact me as you have questions or need help. My contact information is located >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>  please use it!

I look forward to working with you.

Leslie Berger


Timeline for Publication of Chemical Literature

Searching the chemical literature can mean covering a lot of years and lots of data and it can be complicated. Here's what a colleague at the University of Texas Libraries had to say

"Modern chemical science had its origins in the 18th Century Enlightenment, and so did its literature. Papers on chemical topics were published in many scholarly journals, often those of various academies and philosophical societies throughout Europe and America. Journals dedicated to chemistry, such as Crell's Chemisches Journal (1778) and Lavoisier's Annales de Chimie (1789), began to appear in the late 18th century. Abstracts of literature appeared almost simultaneously in various publications, including Crell's. Yet for most English-speakers, 1907 -- the year Chemical Abstracts began indexing the world's chemical literature -- is the watershed date that now serves as a somewhat arbitrary demarcation between "modern" and "historical" chemistry."

Have a look at their timeline for searching the chemical literature up to the advent of Chemical Abstracts.

Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

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Off-Campus Access

Most of the library resources on our web page are accessible to ESU students, faculty and staff when you are working from off campus. PILOT, the library's online catalog, does not require a username/password for access so anyone can search it.

Most of our databases are also available to our students, faculty and staff from off campus locations. You will need either your 9 digit University ID number (if you have an older ID use the last 9 digits of that 15 digit barcode) or your University username/password to login successfully. Be sure to go to the Library's web page to access the databases.

Having problems? Contact Mark Gatesman at (570)422-3154 or via email at or call the Circulation Desk at (570)422-3126 or the Reference Desk at (570)422-3594.

Have questions? Check out our off campus access help page


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