The preliminary search strategy for a NIOSH contract is reviewed. The paper describes chemical nomenclature, resources to be used, and scope of the search for 58 toxic chemicals. The data bases to be used in the search are explained. These include NIOSHTIC, TOXLINE, TOXBACK, CHEMCON/CHEM7071, and COMPENDEX. Other data bases involved in the search are POLLUTION, CAIN, LIBCON, BIOSIS, NTIS, CANCERLINE, and SSIE. With the exception of NIOSHTIC, CANCERLINE, and BIOSIS, all data bases are accessed through SDC ORBIT. Query statements are based on its manuals. Several indexes, which are to be searched manually, are also listed. These include Excerpta Medica, Biological Abstracts before 1972, Index Medicus before 1965, and Chemical Abstracts before 1970. Other indexes involved in the search are Engineering Index before 1970, Applied Science and Technology Index, and Bioresearch Index before 1972. Other literature, such as hygiene and analytical guides, is also considered. The terminology of chemicals is discussed. Each toxic chemical listing includes the name given, CAS registry number, and synonyms. Some of the chemicals involved in the search are benz(a)anthracene (56553), benzo(a)pyrene (50328), dimethyl-sulfate (77781), and urethane (51796). The authors conclude that these data bases and indexes provide good coverage of pertinent literature related to the chemicals involved in the search.