Abstract The non-ionized forms of tetradentate Schiff bases NN′-ethylenebis(salicylideneimine), H 2L and NN′-propane-1,3-diylbis(salicylideneimine), H 2L′ react with hydrated alkaline earth halide and nitrate to give complexes of the type: M(H 2L)Cl 2· nH 2O [M = Mg(II), Ca(II), Sr(II); n = 0–4], M(H 2L) 2Cl 2 [M = Ca(II), Sr(II), M(H 2L) n Br 2 [M = Ca(II), Sr(II); n = 2, 3 and Mg 2(H 2L) 3Br 4], M(H 2L) n I 2 [M = Mg(II), Ca(II), Sr(II), Ba(II); n = 2, 3)], M(H 2L) n (NO 3) 2 and M(H 2L′) n (NO 1) 2[M = Mg(II), Ca(II); n = 1, 2)]. Because of distinct spectral similarities with structurally known Ca(H 2L′)(NO 3) 2 compound, the Schiff bases are coordinated through the negatively charged phenolic oxygen atoms and not the nitrogen atoms of the azomethine groups, which carry the protons transferred from phenolic groups on complexation. Halide and nitrate are coordinated to the central metal ion except in 2:1 nitrato complexes where the presence of both ionic and coordinated nitrate groups are evident and also in 3:1 halide complexes where the presence of non-coordinated halide cannot be excluded. X-Ray powder photographs showed no marked similarities between Ca(H 2L′)(NO 3) 2 and Mg(H 2L′)(NO 3) 2 while there are some isomorphic features between the same types of halide complexes. Infrared spectra and other structural information revealed the polymeric nature of the complexes. Therefore the coordination numbers exhibited by the alkaline earth metal cations would be 4, 6 or 8 in these series of Schiff base complexes.