Book reviews provide summaries, contemporary criticism, and succinct evaluations about published works. Here are a few ways to track down reviews at the Library.
Book reviews provide summaries, contemporary criticism, and succinct evaluations about published works. Reviews normally appear within a year of the date of publication; if this date is not known, it often can be ascertained by searching the title of the work in CATNYP, the online catalog of the research collections; if the publication is not found therein and was acquired by the Library before 1971, it is then necessary to check the Dictionary Catalog of the Research Libraries. If these two sources are unable to provide the desired information, please consult WorldCat, an international bibliographic database. In addition, feel free to speak to a librarian at the Information Desk.
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Sources for book review citations will provide the titles and dates of periodicals in which the reviews appear. To obtain the call numbers of the appropriate periodicals, first check CATNYP, the Library’s online catalog. If the periodical in question is not found in CATNYP, check the 800-volume Dictionary Catalog of the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library, listing materials acquired before 1972. Although the vast majority of the entries in the Dictionary Catalog are to be found in CATNYP, some titles, especially defunct periodicals of limited run, may be found only in the Dictionary Catalog. After determining the call number for the periodical, complete a blue and white call slip with the title of the periodical, the date of the article, and the call number. Do not include the title of the article or its author.
Basic Reference Sources
Book Review Digest Plus An index, with abstracts, to book reviews from publications in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. It covers the period from 1983 to the present.
Book Review Digest Retrospective Same as above but covers the period from 1905 through 1982. Both Book Review Digest Plus and Book Review Digest Retrospective may be searched by keyword, subject, title of book, author of book, author of review, Dewey Decimal Number, publication year, and ISBN.
Book Review Index Online Covering the period from 1965 to the present, this resource indexes book reviews appearing in British and American scholarly and general interest publications. This resource may be searched by keyword, author of book, author of review, title of book, and publication date.
Book Reviews in Retrospective Sources
Nineteenth-Century Masterfile is an electronic index to many resources printed in the nineteenth century. It is especially important for its inclusion of Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1881 which contains book reviews.
American Periodical Series and America’s Historical Newspapers are databases which can be searched by keyword. The former provides the full text of many periodicals, and the latter is the equivalent resource for newspapers; both cover the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Book reviews are found in both resources, and may be searched by title of the book, author of the book, or author of review.
The following print titles provide a resource for book reviews for the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a period which precedes the introduction of the standard book review indexing tools. Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974 (Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, 1982-1984), 10 vols. JFF 96-5182. Arranged alphabetically by author of the book and supplemented by title index.
Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals, 1886-1974 (Arlington, Va.: Carrollton Press, 1979-1982), 15 vols. JFF 96-5151. Arranged alphabetically by author of the book and supplemented by title index.
C.R.I.S.: The Combined Retrospective Index Set to Journals in History, 1838-1974 (Washington: Carrollton Press, 1977-1978), 11 vols. JFF 94-1576. Volumes one through four cover world history; volumes five through nine cover United States history, and volumes ten and eleven are author indexes.
C.R.I.S.: The Combined Retrospective Index Set to Journals in Political Science, 1886-1974 (Washington: Carrollton Press, 1977-1978), 8 vols. JLF 86-1799. Volume one covers international affairs, organizations, international relations, and trade; volume two covers general studies and methodology; volumes three to six cover public administration; and volumes seven and eight are the author index.
C.R.I.S.: The Combined Retrospective Index Set to Journals in Sociology, 1895-1974 (Washington: Carrollton Press, 1978), 6 vols. JLF 86-1798. Please see CATNYP for the arrangement by sub-discipline for each volume; volume 6 is the author index.
Book Reviews in Contemporary Sources
Many contemporary resources provide book reviews; they are available electronically and may be consulted on the Library’s Selected Electronic Resources page. Please check the description for each resource to determine the years covered as well as the availability of full text as opposed to citations. The following is a select list of these specialized resources.
EBSCO Research Databases provide full text or abstract for articles, including book reviews, appearing in scholarly, specialized, and general periodicals. Thousands of periodicals, representing a wide range of disciplines and subjects, are covered.
More specialized indexing tools include the following: Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; America: History and Life; Anthropological Literature; Art Full Text; Art Index Retrospective; ATLA Religion Database; Historical Abstracts; Humanities Abstracts; Social Sciences Abstracts; Sociological Abstracts; PsychArticles; PsychInfo. The book reviews indexed in these sources may be accessed by title of book, name of author of book, and name of reviewer
Selected Internet Sites
Book reviews, author profiles and interviews, excerpts, literary games and contests.
Reviews and book-related articles from the London Telegraph. Published online since 1996.
- H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online
An international, interdisciplinary consortium of scholars and teachers, H-Net creates and coordinates Internet networks in order to advance teaching and research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Site contains peer-reviewed essays, multimedia materials, and discussions aimed at colleagues and the interested public.
- London Review of Books
Website of the bimonthly London Review of Books features an extensive, full-text archive.
- New York Review of Books
Contains select full-text articles.
- Salon.com: Books
Daily book reviews, interviews with writers, and a weekly list of reading recommendations by celebrated authors.