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Chemistry: Books

A guide to finding information in chemistry. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.

To find out if a specific book is in the Library you just need to check the Enterprise catalogue (search box below). Enter the author's surname and one or two words from the title:

For example: Housecroft Inorganic Chemistry

You can also search Enterprise for a topic, to find related books.

Finding books

Finding printed books and e-books

Search the Enterprise catalogue to find specific books or books on a topic.


Finding online book chapters

To find online book chapters on a topic search the Summon discovery service:

Videos: finding and borrowing a book

Citing books in the RSC style

In the text of your coursework insert a superscript number in sequence. Read more about this on the citing references page.

In your bibliography authored books should be referenced as:

  1. A. Surname, Title, Publisher, Place of publication, Edition (if not the first), year.
  2. P.W. Atkins, Chemistry: a very short introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015.

Edited books should be referenced as:

  1. Title, ed. A.N. Editor, Publisher, Place of publication, Edition (if not the first), year.
  2. Methods of surface analysis, ed. J.M. Walls, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989.

Chapters in edited books should be referenced as:

  1. A. Chapter Author, Title of book, ed. A.N. Editor, Publisher, Place of publication, Edition (if not the first), year, pages.
  2. M.J. White, Chemical Information for Chemists: A Primer, eds. J.N. Currano and D.L. Roth, RSC Publishing, Cambridge, 2014, 53-90.

For more information please see your programme handbook or contact your liaison librarian.

Key locations

3rd Floor

530  Physics
530.417 Surfaces 
540  Chemistry and allied sciences
540.18 Computers and chemistry
541  Physical and theoretical chemistry 
541.2  Chemical structure of matter 
542  Laboratory techniques, procedure, apparatus, and equipment 
543-545  Analytical chemistry 
544.6  Spectrochemical analysis  
546  Inorganic chemistry
546.1  Inorganic reactions 
546.2  Hydrogen and its compounds 
546.3  Metals, their compounds and mixtures 
546.391-546.75  Elements and their compounds 
547  Organic chemistry
547.1  Physical organic chemistry 
547.2  Organic synthesis 
547.3  Organic analysis 
547.45  Aliphatic metallic compounds (Organometallics) 
547.5 Cyclic compounds 
547.6  Aromatic compounds 
547.7  Chemistry of natural products
548  Crystallography 
549 Mineralogy
550 Earth sciences 
551.9  Geochemistry 
610 Medical sciences 
615.19 Pharmaceutical chemistry 
615.9  Toxicology 
660 Chemical technology (Industrial chemistry) 
660.6  Biotechnology

Alchemy 540.112
Amino acids 547.75
Atmospheric chemistry 551.51

Biochemistry 572
Bioinorganic chemistry 572.51
Bioremediation 628.5

Carbohydrates 547.78
Catalysis 541.395
Chemical bonds 541.224
Chemical kinetics 541.69
Chromatography 544.92
Colloids 541.345
Computational chemistry 540.18
Coordination chemistry 541.2242
Cosmetic chemistry 668.55

Drugs 615.1

Electrochemistry 541.37
Environmental chemistry 628.5
Enzymes 547.758

Food analysis 664.07
Food chemistry 644.00154
Forensic science 364.12

Heterocyclic chemistry 547.59

Lipids 547.438

Mass spectrometry 543.65
Medicinal chemistry 615.19
Molecules 541.22

Natural products 547.7
NMR 543.0877
Nucleic acids 547.596

Oxidation 547.23

Pharmaceutical chemistry 615.19
​Photochemistry 541.35
Pollution 628.5
Polymers, chemistry and physics 547.84
Proteins 547.75

Quantitative analysis 545
Quantum chemistry 541.383

Raman spectra 544.6
Reagents 543.01

Spectroscopy 535.84
Soil chemistry 631.41
Solid state chemistry 541.0421
Spectrochemical analysis 544.6
Surface chemistry 541.3453

Thermochemistry 541.36
Transition metals 546.6

Water chemistry 546.22
Water pollution 628.168

X-ray crystallography 548.83
X-ray spectroscopy 544.6

Getting books not held at Reading

Our Inter-Library Loans service can get books not held at Reading from other libraries (usually from the British Library).

For more information see our webpages:

Accessing online Library resources

If you are on campus you will be able to access most e-journals and e-books, and some databases, without entering a username and password because your IP address identifies you as being at the University of Reading.

For any that require a login, see the Off-campus tab.

Terms of Use

When you use our e-resources you are agreeing to our Terms of Use. Please take a moment to look at these by following the link below:

When you are off-campus you will need to login to identify yourself as a member of the University of Reading to gain access to our protected databases, e-books and e-journals. 

Your login details

You login in the same way as for Blackboard - via Microsoft. Just enter your University username followed by (e.g. and your password. If this is the first time you have logged in via this method when off-campus you will be asked to complete a Multi-Factor Authentication. For more information see:

Getting to the login page...

  • For most resources, if you follow a link from our website or catalogues your login will be picked up automatically or you will be prompted to login straightaway. 
  • If you access resources via another route you will need to look for a login option once you reach the resource you are trying to access. Look for an institutional or shibboleth login option and pick 'University of Reading' from a list of institutions. This will then pick up your login or prompt you to login. For more information about institutional login, please see the link below:
Logging in to Library resources

Watch this short video on how you login to use Library resources.

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Logging in to the Library video on YuJa (University username and password required)

New books