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General and Basic Chemistry

Guide to Reference Sources

This bibliography is intended as a guide to important printed resources in this subject area.
star These titles are particularly useful.
e-book Electronic versions of these titles are available.
U.T. restricted Restricted to UT users.
see more These links will take you to more resources on this topic.

CONTENTS: Encyclopedias | Dictionaries | Handbooks | Elements
Lab Work | Miscellany | Literature Guides | Textbooks

ENCYCLOPEDIAS: Background and Explanation

Chemistry : foundations and applications. (Gale Virtual Reference) U.T. restricted

Encyclopedia of physical science and technology. 3rd ed.
Q 123 E497 2002 Reference

Facts on File encyclopedia of chemistry.
QD 4 R57 2005 Reference
Definitions of chemical terms, entries on famous chemists in history, plus four essays on the role of chemistry in our daily lives.

Kirk-Othmer encyclopedia of chemical technology. 5th ed. star
TP 9 K54 2004 Reference
Electronic Version e-book U.T. restricted
Core information source covers preparation, manufacturing processes, uses of materials, properties of chemical substances, and chemistry fundamentals. Authoritative, but accessible to students and non-specialists alike.

Macmillan encyclopedia of chemistry.
QD 4 M33 1997 Reference, 4 vols.
Informative articles covering the nature of matter, general principles and laws of chemistry, chemical phenomena, processes, research techniques, reactions, elements and substances, biochemistry, industrial applications, and biography.

McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of science and technology. 8th ed.
Q 121 M3 1997 Reference
20 volumes, with cumulative index. Basic background articles, with bibliographies.

Van Nostrand's encyclopedia of chemistry. 5th ed.
QD 4 V36 2005 Reference
Concise one-volume encyclopedia for students at all levels.

DICTIONARIES: Vocabulary and Terminology

Abbreviations of Chemical Compounds
Concise etymological dictionary of chemistry.
QD 7 B57 1976 Reference
Gives the linguistic origins of many chemical terms, prefixes and suffixes.

Chemistry Dictionary for Word Processors
Open-source add-on for your word processing internal dictionary contains over 100,000 chemical terms and improves your spell-check performance.

Dictionary of Chemistry (Oxford Reference Online) U.T. restricted

Dictionary of named effects and laws in chemistry, physics and mathematics.
QD 5 B32 1980 Reference
Listing of laws, formulas, and effects that bear the name of the scientist who contributed to their discovery or description.

Dictionary of Obsolete Chemical Terms

Facts on File dictionary of chemistry.
QD 5 F33 2005 Reference
Handy dictionary of terms and concepts.

GABCOM & GABMET : acronyms of compounds and methods in chemistry and physics.
QD 7 G22 1993 Reference
MTBE? TOF-MS? PABA? HMDA? Unique dictionary of those puzzling and hard-to-find acronyms commonly used as shorthand in the chemical literature.

Gardner's chemical synonyms and trade names. 11th ed.
TP 9 G286 1999 Reference
A dictionary and commercial handbook containing brief description of terms, with cross-references and British spellings. Part 2 contains a list of suppliers with their names, addresses, and a list of their products.
see more About chemical names...

Glossary of Archaic Chemical Terms

Glossary of Physical Organic Chemistry Terms (IUPAC)

Hawley's condensed chemical dictionary. star
QD 5 C5 Reference (Latest edition)
A dictionary defining terms related to chemistry and the chemical industry. It also includes brief biographies of scientists and some American technical societies. Origins of chemical terms are given in the appendix.

IUPAC "Color Books"
IUPAC publishes authoritative guides to terminology and nomenclature in various fields of chemistry. (See edition history) These are popularly known by the color of their covers. The latest editions are shelved in the Reference collection.
  • Gold Book - IUPAC Compendium of Chemical Terminology e-book (QD 5 C455 1997)
  • Orange Book - Analytical chemistry e-book (QD 71.8 C66 1998)
  • Red Book - Inorganic nomenclature (QD 149 N659 2005)
  • Blue Book - Organic nomenclature e-book (QD 291 I57 1979)
  • Purple Book - Polymer nomenclature (QD 380.6 M47 2009)
  • Green Book - Physical chemistry (QD 451.5 Q36 2007)
  • White Book - Biochemistry (QP 512 B56 1992 Stacks)

HANDBOOKS: Facts and Property Data

Aldrich catalog handbook of fine chemicals. star
Handbook Table e-book
Multi-use catalog of the Aldrich Chemical Co., listing thousands of chemical products as well as equipment, books and software. Chemical entries include formula weight, melting point, and cross-references to data in other handbooks.

Conversion tables of units in science and engineering.
Q 199 C65 Reference
Conversion factors for units used in science.
see more Online unit converters...

CRC handbook of chemistry and physics. star
Handbook Table e-book U.T. restricted
A first-stop reference source containing a wealth of basic chemical and physical data for compounds, as well as many other useful tables, constants and formulas, and definitions. Consult the index in the back for the type of data needed. Published annually.

Lange's handbook of chemistry. 16th ed. star
Handbook Table e-book U.T. restricted
Contains large sections on inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry, with extensive tables of physical property data, plus general information and conversion tables, and spectroscopy. A useful starting point that complements the better-known CRC Handbook.

Merck index. star
Handbook Table
Descriptions of over 10,000 chemicals, drugs, and biological substances. Entries include name, synonyms and trademarks, mf, mw, structure, physical data, and annotated literature references. Indexed by name, registry number, therapeutic category and biological activity, and formula.

see more Sources of physical property information...


The Elements. 3rd ed. star
QD 466 E48 1998 Reference
e-book NetElements
This compendium by John Emsley contains concise synopses of chemical data (radii, oxidation states, covalent bonds, etc), physical, biological, nuclear (isotopes), electron shell, crystal, and geological (source, abundance, production) data on 109 elements.

Encyclopedia of the elements.
QD 466 E56 2004 Reference
History, discovers' portraits, occurences, industrial processes, biological roles and applications in chemistry, engineering and industry, along with tables of physical and chemical data.

A Guide to the elements.
QD 466 S78 2012 Reference
Historical anecdotes and everyday examples of use of 114 elements.

The History and use of our earth's chemical elements. 2nd ed.
QD 466 K69 2006 Reference
Profiles of the elements arranged by the periodic table placement, with electron configuration diagrams and hazards information. For high school and college readers.

Nature's building blocks : an A-Z guide to the elements. 2nd ed.
QD 466 E485 2011 Reference
Written for a general audience, this guide profiles each element in the context of its history, its uses, economic and environmental aspects.

see more Online periodic tables...


Chemical demonstrations.
QD 43 S5 1983 Stacks
This set contains instructions for classroom demonstrations that illustrate important chemical concepts. Organized by type of chemical subject matter.

Chemical technicians' ready reference handbook. 5th ed.
QD 61 S58 2011 Reference
An "omnibook" for all chemical laboratory personnel, a guide to conventional lab procedures, equipment, and terminology.

The Laboratory companion.
QD 53 C69 1997 Reference
A practical guide to materials, equipment, and technique.

Purification of laboratory chemicals. 7th ed.
QD 61 A76 2013 Reference
Brief methods with literature references and introductory information.

Successful lab reports : a manual for science students.
Q 183 A1 L63 1992 Stacks
A guide to drafting and revising lab reports.

Writing the laboratory notebook.
Q 180.58 K36 1985 Stacks
Guide to keeping accurate records in the laboratory.


Chemical composition of everyday products.
TP 200 T64 2005 Reference
Profiles of over 100 groups of products, including soaps, cosmetics, cleaning products, and common household and industrial products.

Chemical compounds.
TP 200 C44 2006 Reference
3-volume set with profiles of 180 important chemicals.

The Chemical formulary.
TP 200 C45 Reference
Known as "Bennett" after its founder, this series is a "cookbook" for the preparation of common home and industrial products, ranging from soaps to varnish removers and the like. There is a cumulative index for vols. 1-25. It is now largely of historical interest, and readers should note that the older volumes sometimes refer to materials and procedures that are obsolete or hazardous by modern standards.

Chemically speaking.
QD 5 C457 2002 Reference
Entertaining and informative compilation of published chemical quotations.

Chemistry connections : the chemical basis of everyday phenomena.
QD 37 K34 2003 Reference
Good source of answers to many kinds of basic chemistry questions.

Chemistry for every kid.
QD 38 V36 1989 Reference
Experiments for school projects, science fairs, home chemistry, and fun.

The Extraordinary chemistry of ordinary things. 4th ed.
QD 33.2 S58 2003 Stacks
Basic textbook explaining everyday chemical phenomena.

Kitchen chemistry.
QD 38 G37 1982 Reference
Simple and fun chemical experiments for the home.

The 100 most important chemical compounds.
TP 200 M94 2007 Reference
Profiles of the history, uses, and importance of compounds such as ammonia, aspirin, DDT, morphine, saccharin, and 95 others.

What's That Stuff?
An occasional feature of Chemical & Engineering News that provides interesting explanations of the chemistry behind everyday products such as gasoline, margarine, sunscreens, and more. Older WTS columns (-2010) are listed here.

World records in chemistry.
QD 37 F3813 1999 Reference
The smallest, the largest, the hardest, the hottest, the heaviest, the fastest, the most expensive, and more.


ACS directory of graduate research.
QD 21 D573 Stacks (1957-2011)
e-book DGR Online
The American Chemical Society's biennial directory of departments of chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry, clinical chemistry, and polymer science at U.S. and Canadian universities that offer advanced degrees in these fields. Schools are listed alphabetically within each section, and include fields of specialization, faculty biographies, and recent publications.

ACS style guide. 3rd ed. star
QD 8.5 A25 2006 Reserves, Reference
e-book Chapter 14 (PDF)
Guide to writing and preparing papers for publication in the chemical sciences. The entire book is not available electronically, but Chapter 14, which covers reference formats for various types of publications, is freely available via the ACS Publications site. Some examples based on the guide can be found on the Univ. of Wisconsin.

How to find chemical information. 3rd ed.
QD 8.5 M34 1998 Reference
Introduction to the literature of chemistry and sources of data, both printed and electronic.

How to write and publish a scientific paper. 6th ed.
T 11 D33 2006 Stacks
Primer for the novice researcher.

Library guide for the chemist.
QD 8.5 S68 1938 Stacks
If you're looking for an overview of the historical literature and reference sources prior to WWII, which are generally ignored in modern guides, this is a very thorough primer.


Textbooks provide concise explanations of concepts with the student in mind. A selection of General Chemistry textbooks can be found in the book stacks in the QD 31 - QD 33 call number area. Texts currently being used for courses are usually available for limited checkout at the Reserves Desk.