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Modern Books and Journals

Created as an independent research library in 1988 to encompass the history of the chemical sciences, technologies, and industries, the Science History Institute’s Othmer Library currently houses well over 140,000 volumes of monographs, textbooks, reference works, and journals in 15 languages and dated from antiquity to the present.

The Modern Collections

The modern collection strengths include general science, physics, chemistry, chemical technology, environment technology, and engineering, including electrical, hydraulic, mining, and manufactures.

These materials and the expertise of the Othmer Library staff support research by the Institute’s staff and for an international community of visiting scholars. The materials will be of interest to anyone seeking knowledge in the historical or philosophical aspects of science and technology.

Scientific Journals and Periodicals

An important component of the Othmer Library is its extensive collection of journals spanning chemistry, chemical engineering, and related topics dating from the 18th century. In particular, our collection of foreign-language journals has an unusually large scope, as they were acquired through exchange or purchase many decades ago. The majority of such foreign-language journals are not commonly held by libraries in the United States. Complete runs of many titles published during the 1930s and 1940s are especially difficult for researchers to access, primarily owing to the difficulties of publishing and distribution during World War II.

The journal collection strengths include the general fields of inorganic and organic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, polymer chemistry, and chemical engineering, as well as specific subjects, such as brewing, cosmetics, dyes, plastics, soaps, textiles, industrial chemistry, environmental chemistry, biotechnology, pharmacology, and chemical instrumentation.

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Digital Collections


Midon, the Othmer Library Online Catalog

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