The Chemistry Library
An abundant journal and monograph literature is a most important part of that equipment which is essential to productive research and teaching. Ever since the first Chemical Laboratory Building was erected, in 1856, the department has provided for faculty and student use numerous standard reference works, monographs, and periodicals, both domestic and foreign, that contain articles on chemistry and in cognate fields. The General Library has acquired works on chemistry as new projects have been undertaken in the laboratory. In the course of time a room was set aside in the Chemical Laboratory Building to house a few of the works that were indispensable laboratory equipment. No regular library service was ever provided in the old building. Plans for the present laboratory called for a combined library and reading-room on the second floor, with very particular safeguards against possible damage from fumes or from leakage of waste lines. The room has accommodations for ninety readers, and can house about 14,000 volumes. It contains chiefly journals and monographs, with relatively few textbooks. Owing to the depression, subscriptions to seven journals devoted to pharmacy, and to twenty-three pertaining to chemistry, were discontinued, leaving 144 periodical subscriptions still carried. The diminished buying powers of the library, which represents the very lifeblood of an institution of higher learning, are due largely to the depreciation of American currency in foreign markets, from which many books, monographs, and journals must come.
Older volumes of various journal sets are kept in the General Library. An unusually comprehensive historical collection and a special collection of textbooks and reference works for secondary schools are noteworthy minor features of the chemical library. The department offers various seminars as well as instructional courses in the history of chemistry and in chemical literature, all of which require use of the library. In a course in chemical literature under Professor Soule, the more advanced students are assisted in locating information on works dealing with chemistry.