The collection of Professor John Read (1884-1963), professor of chemistry at St Andrews from 1923 to 1963. It comprises c. 350 printed items and some mss which are almost entirely devoted to alchemy and older chemistry texts. The printed books are nearly all pre-1851; there is one incunabulum (Goff M-551) and c. 150 pre-1701 items. Especially notable for first and early editions (14) of works by Michael Maier (1568-1662). Includes prints, engravings, woodcuts, emblem books and catalogues.
A sheaf author catalogue and a typed list are available in Special Collections. Some of the collection is catalogued online and conversion of the records is proceeding. Classmarks for books in this collection have the prefix Alc, and all books from this collection currently on the online catalogue can be found here.