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How to find . . .: book reviews

Book reviews in major databases

ProQuest journals database

  1. On the <Electronic Databases> page click the icon
  2. Choose the Advance Search option above the search box
  3. Choose "Review" from the list in the <Document type> box in "Search options".
  4. Enter your search terms in the boxes at the top of the screen

Ebsco journals database

  1. On the <Electronic Databases> page click the icon and choose "Academic Search Premier"
  2. Choose the "Advanced Search" link below the search box.
  3. In the "Search Options" and under "Limit your results," choose <Book Review> from the list.
  4. Enter your search terms in the boxes at the top of the screen

JSTOR journals database

  1. Click the icon on the <Electronic Databases> page.
  2. On the grey bar at the top of the screen choose "Search", then "Advanced Search".
  3. Click the "Reviews" box in the ITEM TYPE list in the middle
  4. Enter your search terms in the boxes at the top of the screen

Searching in online newspaper databases

The Paul Meek Library currently carries two newspaper databases online which provide book reviews as one of their features: The New York Times and the Washington Post. Both are accessable by clicking on the Electronic Databases button on the Library’s home page. On the alphabetical list click H or P for  ProQuest Historical Newspapers, and search the database from there.

  • New York Times: 1851 – 2001
  • Washington Post:1877 – 1988

Searching historical material

The Paul Meek Library has a large backfile of periodicals or magazines in paper and on microfilm in its Periodicals Collection. The Reference Collection contains a number of publications which index book reviews. Below is a list of printed indexes which reference book reviews.

Book Review Index. (REF. Z 1035 .A1 .B62). Coverage: 1965-present.
Beginning with the 1969-1979 cumulation, reviews can be searched by author/title. A list of sources cited is printed inside the front and back covers of each volume.

Book Review Digest. (REF. Z 1219 .C96). Coverage: 1904-present.
A selective index of reviews, arranging entries by author but with a subject and title index at the back of each volume. BRD provides summaries of book reviews along with citations.

Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature. (AI .R48). Coverage: 1900-present.
The Readers’ Guide indexes book reviews in magazines. Beginning in 1976, book reviews are in a separate section at the back of each issue and yearly compilation.

New York Times Index. (REF. AI 21 .N452). Coverage: 1851-present.
Reviews in the NYT are indexed under the subject heading “Book Reviews” during the year indicated on the volume; there are no multi-year cumulations. Be sure to confirm a book's year of publication.

Humanities Index. (REF. AI 3 .H85X). Coverage: 1974-present.

Social Science Index. (REF. AI 3 .S61X). Coverage: 1974-present.
A separate index to book reviews is at the back of each issue and yearly compilation for both of the indexes above.

Social Science and Humanities Index. (REF. AI 3 .R49). Coverage: 1965-1974.
Reviews are indexed by book author and subject.

International Index. (REF. AI 3 .R49). Coverage: 1907-1965.
Reviews are indexed by book author and subject.

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals, 1886 – 1974.
(REF. Z 1035 .A1 .C64). Coverage: 1886 to 1974.
For the period indicated, this 15-volume set contains more than a million references to book reviews appearing in scholarly journals in history, political science and sociology.

Searching in the Tenn. Electronic Library (TEL)

Click on the Tennessee Electronic Library logo or icon on the Full-Text Resources screen and the InfoTrac screen will come up, then click on the Proceed button. The Subject Guide Search screen will come up and in the Search window type in the title of the book for which reviews are sought followed by the word “and” and in parentheses type “book review”. Example: Pompeii and (book review). A general search can be done by typing in a book’s title followed by the words “and review” . But, as in an EBSCO search, this approach will bring up a lot of articles which may not be of use. Most of the book reviewing articles found in this database will be available in full-text on the computer. If a desired article is cited, but not available in full-text on the computer, save the citation for the reviewing article as it appears on the computer , then check the title of the journal or newspaper in which the review appears against the Periodicals Collection of the Paul Meek Library , it is possible that the library has that journal or newspaper in paper or on microfilm. If the Library does have the journal or newspaper in which the review appears, check the volume cited to see if the Library has that volume. To search the Periodicals Collection see “Searching for Book Reviews in Paper and Microfilm” below.