Searching for Spectra


Originally uploaded by MikeParker

A recent conversation with a chemistry faculty member has led me on a search for chemical spectra data resources.

I started with a pretty blank slate. I knew that SciFinder, from Chemical Abstracts services contained a large amount of spectra, but this faculty member was looking for more.

So where do I start? Where does anyone start a search for information? With Google, or course!

A basic search for spectral information revealed the SpecInfo for the Internet database from Wiley. This would meet the needs of my faculty member. Great! The only problem: the pricetag. As a small college, we can’t afford such a specialized database. Back to the drawing board.

Luckily for me, there are a lot of chemistry librarians at large research universities who have collected online subject guides related to spectral data. Two that I found useful are from the University of Texas and George Washington University.

These subject guides point to free resources from NIST, as well as available print resources. Hopefully this will work for the faculty member!