GMELIN HANDBOOK OF INORGANIC AND ORGANOMETALLIC CHEMISTRY
The Gmelin Handbook of Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry
is a comprehensive treatise of inorganic chemistry. It provides a
collection of data in the fields of inorganic, organometallic, and
physical chemistry. Also included are the areas of physics,
metallurgy, geochemistry, mineralogy, and crystallography. The
current 8th edition covers the entire field of inorganic chemistry
from the middle of the 18th century forward.
Gmelin was originally published only in German. In the 1950's
English translations of divisions and subdivisions appeared in the
margins throughout the volumes and table of contents were written
in both English and German. Later individual chapters were written
in English. Since 1982 Gmelin has been published entirely in
The original source of the data is referenced. The text also
includes tables of numerical data, curves, and other graphic
material, including diagrams of apparatus. An alphabetical list of
journal abbreviations is available in many of the volumes.
There are three basic parts to Gmelin, the Main Series
volumes, Supplements to the Main Series, and a New Supplement
Prior to 1978 all Gmelin volumes were shelved by a unique set
of numbers called "system numbers." The numbering sequence starts
with the rare gases and progresses to the heavier metals for a
total of 71 system numbers. The anion-forming elements have
smaller numbers than those forming cations. The substances are
arranged according to "latest possible entry." A compound is found
in the volume dealing with the element of the highest system
number. Therefore, under each system number all of the compounds
of the element that have lower-numbered elements will be described.
For example, zinc, system number 32, as well as all zinc compounds
with elements numbered from 1 to 31 are classified under number 32.
A compound or combination of elements is discussed only in the
volume assigned to the element having the highest system number.
In 1978 after the New Supplement Series appeared, all volumes
were arranged alphabetically by element symbol rather than by
system number. However, the system of "latest possible entry" is
still being used for classifying compounds.
The reverse of the title page for each volume contains the
latest date through which the literature for that system volume has
For each element or group of elements the text follows a
specific pattern: history, occurrence, physical properties,
chemical properties, and treatment of the compounds.
Until recently the only means of locating a compound was by
system number, element symbol, concept of "latest possible entry,"
or the table of contents. Subject and/or formula indexes have been
published for some individual elements or groups of elements. And
of these indexes, some may only cover a single section; others may
cover an entire system number. There is now a General Formula
Index arranged alphanumerically by element.
Hauptwerk = Hb = Main work or Main Series
Erganzungsband = Eb = Supplement volume to Main Series
Anhangband = Ab = Appended volume to Main Series
Erganzungswerk = Erg W = New Supplement Series
Teil = part
Lieferung = section
Bindung = binding (corresponds to a part of a volume
Nachdruck = reprints of older Main Series volumes--
English table of contents and marginal
headings and subheadings added--text not