Pure Sciences (500)

General Comments

This collection provides materials about the natural sciences and mathematics. The natural sciences include natural history, astronomy, physics, chemistry, earth sciences and the science of other worlds, paleontology, and the life sciences. This small collection's most pronounced emphasis is on zoology. Since the circulating 500s are relied upon to provide much of the library's science subject information, only subject overviews with some more specific foci (mineralogy and gems, weather, fossils and dinosaurs, ecology) are collected in reference.

Development Plan

  • R 500 Pure sciences. A collection providing a standard overview of general science, including histories and chronologies, but excluding natural history, is maintained.
  • R 510 Mathematics. A small collection consisting of dictionaries, small encyclopedias, handbooks of formulae, and other briefer sources is maintained. Handbooks of mathematical functions, formulae, etc. need future development.
  • R 520 Astronomy and allied sciences. This section is maintained to provide subject overview and coverage of numerous specific topics. A small encyclopedic source for improved subject overview in astronomy should be purchased.
  • R 530 Physics. A small overview collection is maintained. Additional subject overview materials need future development.
  • R 540 Chemistry and allied sciences. A small collection providing a basic overview of chemistry is maintained. A small mineralogy collection is maintained.
  • R 550 Earth sciences. Subject overview sources and coverage of numerous specific topics (some emphasis on weather, gemstones) are maintained. An improved subject overview source should be purchased.
  • R 560 Paleontology. A collection emphasizing general fossil and dinosaur sources is maintained.
  • R 570 Life sciences. A collection with a biological emphasis, providing subject overview, animal sources, and current ecology topics is developed and maintained.
  • R 580 Botanical sciences. A small subject overview collection is maintained.
  • R 590 Zoological sources. This collection is maintained to provide subject overview and more specific coverage including the classification level of orders.

Influencing Factors

Purchases and buying factors are determined in large part by:
  • electronic/Internet sources availability.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • patron requests.
  • present and potential relevance to the community.
  • shelf space.


  • Encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks are reviewed every three to five years.
  • Biographies are weeded after five to ten years.
  • Ecology topics that are of less contemporary interest are weeded.