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Chemistry: Subject Guide: Finding Spectra

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Where to Look For Spectra

Spectra Reference Books

Citing Spectra from SDBS

General help for searching SDBS can be found here: 

Spectra in the SDBS are mostly unique to that database. The SDBS FAQ suggests this citation information for your bibliography:

SDBSWeb : (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, date of access)

Check this format against the guidelines for Internet databases in ACS citation style.

Sadtler Standard IR Spectra

The Sadtler Standard Spectra Collection is the one of the largest print collections of chemical spectra available. If spectra are not available in our online resources, use the Sadtler Collections.

Sadtler Collections at GSU

Spectra Type


# Spectra


QC477 .S25



Microfiche Set
(MicrFic QC457 .S78)(LN1)



QC490 .S3



QC459 .S25


Indices are located with each collection. There is also a cumulative index for the entire spectra collection, as well as a 1980-88 supplement, located in the reference collection at Ref. QC453 .S323.

Using Sadtler Spectra

Each spectra collection has a set of indices. For more information on using the indices, consult Sadtler Standard Spectra Indices (Ref. QC453 .S326).

  • By Name: the compounds are arranged alphabetically by parent compound followed by derivatives and substitutents.
    • 4'-fluorochalcone is listed under chalcone, 4'-fluoro- .
    • 4-nitrodiphenylamine is listed under diphenylamine, 4-nitro- .
    • If you are still having trouble locating your compound, consult other resources that offer alternate chemical names. These include SciFinder Scholar, Names, Synonyms, and Structures of Organic Compounds (Ref. QD291 .N36 1995), and The Merck Index (Ref. RS51 .M4 2001).
  • By Molecular Formula: the compounds are arranged in Hill Order: C's, H's, and the remaining non-metals in alphabetical order (Br, Cl, F, I, N, O, P, S, and Si). Any other elements are listed in a final column as M.
  • Using Spectra to Identify an Unknown Compound: Sadtler Standard Spectra Indices (Ref. QC453 .S326) goes into more detail on how to use these resources.
    • Standard Grating Spec-Finder (part of the Infrared Grating Index)
    • NMR Chemical Shift Index (part of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectra Index)
    • Ultraviolet Spectra Locator (part of the Ultraviolet Spectra Index)

Example: Find the NMR, IR, and UV spectra for 4'-fluorochalcone.

To find multiple spectra, look up your compound in the cumulative index; for 4'-fluorochalcone, look under C for chalcone, 4'-fluoro. The numbers in the columns indicate which pages within the collections the spectra for this compound are located. Here, that would be Infrared Grating: 13754, UV: 15717, NMR: 7434. The IR Grating, UV and NMR indices are cross-referenced with each other, but the Fluorescence index is not.

The UV, Fluorescence and NMR collections are in green, loose-leaf binders on LS4. Please take the sheet out of the binder before you make a copy and return it immediately after copying.

The IR Grating spectra collection is under the College Catalog Collection in the microfiche cabinet in the Microforms Reading Room on LN1, but you must have the Grating number from the index to locate the correct page of microfiche.