Vol 3 No 2 Suppl. 5 (2019)
Special Issue Article

A Book Collector’s View of the Periodic Table: Before Mendeleev.

Gregory S Girolami
School of Chemical Sciences, 600 S. Mathews Ave., University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, Urbana, 61801, US

Published 2019-12-16


  • Periodic table,
  • Mendeleev,
  • chemical elements,
  • rare books,
  • offprints,
  • bibliography
  • ...More

How to Cite

Girolami, G. S. (2019). A Book Collector’s View of the Periodic Table: Before Mendeleev. Substantia, 3(2), 109 - 124. https://doi.org/10.13128/Substantia-592


The present article identifies and discusses some of the books and scientific articles that played important roles in the development of the periodic law, before Mendeleev published his Periodic System in 1869.  For each book, information is given about the edition in which the discovery was made, and for each scientific article, information is given about the form in which it was issued, such as whether offprints were printed in addition to the journal appearance. Some observations of interest to book collectors are included, such as assessments of the availability of these documents on the rare book market. This paper may also be of use to those who wish to learn about (or to teach) the history of the periodic law from the original documents that first announced important advances toward its creation.