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Literary Research Guide  (2017)  by James L. Harner
Literature-Related Topics and Sources

Literature-Related Topics and Sources



Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary: A Guide to Acronyms, Abbreviations, Contractions, Alphabetic Symbols, and Similar Condensed Appellations. Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1960– . Biennial. (Title varies.) Online through Gale Virtual Reference Library (I535). P365.A28 423′.1.

  • Vol. 1: Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary. 4 pts.
  • Vol. 2: Reverse Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary. 4 pts.

A guide to acronyms and the like—derived from English-language terms and foreign ones in international use—from a variety of fields, including academic degrees, associations, books of the Bible, brand names, American and British government and military terms, colleges and universities, Library of Congress library symbols, WorldCat (E225) symbols, personal names, religious orders, titles and forms of address, television and radio call letters, and online databases. Vol. 1 is an acronym list; vol. 2, a list by source or phrase; vol. 2 includes both. Although not comprehensive, the work is the fullest guide to these frequently indecipherable coinages.

For foreign acronyms not in common international use, see International Acronyms, Initialisms, and Abbreviations Dictionary: A Guide to Over [number] International Acronyms, Initialisms, Abbreviations, Alphabetic Symbols, Contractions, and Similar Condensed Appellations in All Fields (Detroit: Gale, 1985–2001).




Directory. PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America (PMLA). 71.4–124.4 (1971–2009). PB6.M6 809.2. Online only as of 2010. <>.

An annual directory of names and addresses of members of the Modern Language Association (MLA members can now search this data, which is updated daily, through the MLA Web site); administrators in literature and language departments of four-year colleges and universities and of junior and community colleges, ethnic studies programs, language and area studies programs, women’s studies programs, and comparative literature programs; organizations of independent scholars; humanities research centers; and selected publishers and learned and professional societies. In addition, it identifies members of the MLA staff, Delegate Assembly, and committees and commissions, as well as executive committees of divisions and discussion groups; includes a concise guide to association activities and services; describes selected fellowships and grants available to language and literature scholars; and outlines the procedure for organizing meetings at the MLA Annual Convention. Although the Directory is a useful general source of information and addresses, some of the content is restricted to members. The following are more comprehensive: National Faculty Directory (U5070) for addresses of faculty members; Grants Register (U5940) for grants; and Publishers’ International Directory (U5090) for addresses of publishers.


Directory of Writers. Poets and Writers. Poets and Writers, 2013. 11 Jan. 2013. <>.

A directory of more than 9,500 published fiction or creative nonfiction writers, spoken word artists, and poets who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Excluded are children’s authors, playwrights, and journalists. Basic Search allows a keyword search of full text; Advanced Search allows a keyword search to be limited by type of writer, geographic locale (city, state, and country), book title, journal title, publisher, preferred audience, identity (e.g., race, religion, nationality), languages spoken, and willingness to travel to give a reading. In addition, entrants can be browsed by name, genre, and locale. An entry can include a brief biography; address, URL, and e-mail; phone number; identification as a poet, fiction writer, or performer; information about the fields in Advanced Search; links to reviews, recordings, and interviews; a few recent publications and prizes; and date of last update. This is the most current source for addresses of American writers published by legitimate (rather than vanity) presses.


National Faculty Directory: An Alphabetical List, with Addresses, of Nearly [number] Members of Teaching Faculties at Junior Colleges, Colleges, and Universities in the United States and at Selected Canadian Institutions. Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1970– . Annual. (Title varies.) L901.N34 378.1′2′02573. Online through Gale Directory Library (

A list of teaching faculty members at United States and Canadian institutions “that use instructional materials primarily in English.” Based on institutional catalogs and course lists and compiled from a database designed to generate mailing lists for textbook and academic publishers, the Directory excludes faculty members who do not have teaching responsibilities or who cannot be identified with a specific subject area. Entries provide name, department, institutional address, and telephone number. Although incomplete, this work is the most comprehensive source for addresses of faculty members at United States and several Canadian institutions.

Another source of addresses is Directory of American Scholars, 10th ed., ed. Caryn E. Klebba, 6 vols. (Detroit: Gale, 2002; online through Gale Biography in Context [J572]). Although less current and comprehensive, it does offer compact biographical entries that allow for the differentiation between persons of the same name. Since the sixth edition, entrants are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).

Faculty and staff directories are also available at many university Web sites.

See also[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Book Collecting/Directories of Book Dealers.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index (G365).

Contemporary Authors (J595).

Contemporary Dramatists (M2880).

Contemporary Novelists (M2845).

Contemporary Poets (M2895).

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television (Q4305).

Current Biography (J585).

International Authors and Writers Who’s Who (J595a).

International Who’s Who (J590).

Marquis Who’s Who on the Web (Q3395).

Twentieth-Century Children’s Writers (U5505).

Who’s Who (M1435).



Europa World of Learning. London: Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 1947–. Annual. Title varies. AS2.W6 060.25.

The Europa World of Learning: The International Guide to the Academic World. Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 2013. 3 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated quarterly.

A guide to learned organizations and institutions throughout the world. Following a list of international organizations, entries are organized by country, then classified as learned societies (by subject), research institutes (by subject), libraries and archives (including government, public, and university ones, organized by location), museums and art galleries (by location), or universities and colleges (by location). An entry typically includes a brief description of the organization or institution, address (along with e-mail and Web site), officers, and list of serial publications; entries for universities and colleges usually list major administrators and sometimes faculty members. Indexed by organizations and institutions. At the basic level the online version can be searched by keyword or browsed by country, institution, or subject; advanced search allows users to limit a full-text search by institution, person, or location or to search by institutions, people, or publication title. The lists are selective and entries vary considerably in detail (with no explanation of the criteria governing selection or reasons for variation) and currency of data; however, Europa World of Learning is a handy source of addresses of and basic information about a variety of learned organizations and institutions throughout the world.

See also[edit]

Sec. E: Libraries and Library Catalogs/Research Libraries/Guides to Libraries and Libraries and Library Catalogs/Research Libraries/Guides to Collections.

Archive Finder (F280).

Foster and Sheppard, British Archives (F283).



Associations Unlimited. InfoTrac. Gale-Cengage, 2012. 11 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated quarterly.

A database of not-for-profit associations that incorporates the following sources:

  • Encyclopedia of Associations: A Guide to More than [number] National and International Organizations, Including: Trade, Business, and Commercial; Environmental and Agricultural; Legal, Governmental, Public Administration, and Military; Engineering, Technological, and Natural and Social Sciences; Educational; Cultural; Social Welfare; Health and Medical; Public Affairs; Fraternal, Nationality, and Ethnic; Religious; Veterans’, Hereditary, and Patriotic; Hobby and Avocational; Athletic and Sports; Labor Unions, Associations, and Federations; Chambers of Commerce and Trade and Tourism; Greek Letter and Related Organizations; and Fan Clubs. 3 pts. Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1956– . Annual. (Title varies.)
  • Encyclopedia of Associations: International Organizations. 3 pts. Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1983– . Annual.
  • Encyclopedia of Associations: Regional, State, and Local Organizations. 5 vols. Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1987– . Biennial.
  • IRS data on not-for-profit organizations in the United States.

Entries, which are compiled from questionnaires as well as from other sources for organizations that could not be contacted directly, provide such information as organization name, acronym, address of permanent national headquarters or chief official, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail, Web site, chief official and title, founding date, number of members, annual budget, a brief description of purpose and activities, computerized and telecommunications services, official publications, affiliated organizations, name changes, and details of upcoming conventions and meetings. (For an explanation of entry fields click Elements in an Associations Unlimited Entry on the About Associations Unlimited page.) Entries can be searched through six screens: Association Name or Acronym Search, Location Search, Subject/Any Word Search, Custom Search (which allows searching combinations of record fields), Expert Search, and IRS Data on U.S. Nonprofit Organizations Search. Results of a search can be marked for e-mailing, printing, or generating mailing labels.

Updated quarterly (annually, for the IRS data), Associations Unlimited offers the most comprehensive source of information on not-for-profit organizations.

For associations in the British Isles, see the current edition of Directory of British Associations and Associations in Ireland (Beckenham: CBD, 1965– ; irregular; CD-ROM). Organized alphabetically by title, entries provide address and other basic information. Indexed by abbreviations and subjects.



Publishers’ International ISBN Directory. Berlin: de Gruyter Saur, 1964– . Handbook of Intl. Documentation and Information 7. Biennial. Z282.P8 070.5′025.

A directory of periodical and book publishers, including small presses, alternative presses, institutions, organizations, and several individuals. Publishers are organized by country, then alphabetically by official name. An entry includes address, telephone, fax, e-mail, Web site, and ISBN. Indexed by ISBN prefixes (a useful feature when one knows a publisher’s ISBN but not official name). As the most comprehensive source for addresses of publishers (especially outside the United States), the Directory is an essential resource for the addresses of publishers without Web sites.

The following works are less thorough but offer fuller information about United States and Canadian publishers:

  • Books in Print (Q4225).
  • Literary Market Place: The Directory of the American Book Publishing Industry with Industry Yellow Pages (LMP). Medford: Information Today, 1940– . Annual. Title varies. <>. Although it is a trade publication, some parts are of interest to literary researchers: a highly selective alphabetical list of United States and Canadian publishers (recording address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail, Web site, major editorial personnel, and subject interests), with the United States section indexed by states, kinds of publishers or types of books, and subjects; literary agents (with submission instructions); literary awards, contests, and grants; and book review and index journals. Criteria determining inclusion are unstated (except for the exclusion of vanity presses), and all lists are seriously incomplete. The online version (updated “continuously”) includes International Literary Market Place (Medford: Information Today, 1972– ; annual).
  • Publishers Directory: A Guide to New and Established, Commercial and Nonprofit, Private and Alternative, Corporate and Association, Government and Institution Publishing Programs and Their Distributors. Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1977– . Annual. Organized alphabetically by official name, entries list address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail, Web site, number of new titles and total titles in print, major editorial personnel, and subject interests of United States and Canadian publishers. Three indexes: publishers, imprints, and distributors; broad subjects; geographic location (by state or province, then city). The subject index can sometimes be helpful in identifying places to submit a manuscript.

Many publishers also maintain Web sites.

See also[edit]

Association of American University Presses Directory (U6383).

MLA Directory of Periodicals (K615).

Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works[edit]

General Introductions[edit]


Taylor, Archer, and Fredric J. Mosher. The Bibliographical History of Anonyma and Pseudonyma. Chicago: U of Chicago P for Newberry Lib., 1951. 289 pp. Z1041.T3.

A history of the study from the early Christian era to the mid-twentieth century of anonymous and pseudonymous writings. Especially valuable is the selective, annotated bibliography of dictionaries and lists of anonyma and pseudonyma. The list concludes with a guide classified by language or geographic area and subject. The text, but not the bibliography, is indexed by persons and anonymous works. Bibliographical History is now dated, but it remains a valuable guide to extensive early scholarship, much of which has not been superseded.



Halkett, Samuel, and John Laing. A Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Publications in the English Language (Halkett and Laing). Vol. 1: 1475–1640. Ed. John Horden. 3rd rev. and enl. ed. London: Longman, 1980. 271 pp. (Work on the 3rd edition has apparently been suspended.) Z1065.H18 014′.2.

———. Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature (Halkett and Laing). Ed. James Kennedy et al. New and enl. ed. 9 vols. Edinburgh: Oliver, 1926–62. Z1065.H17 014′.2.

  • Vols. 1–6: A–Z and Supplement. Ed. James Kennedy, W. A. Smith, and A. F. Johnson. 1926–32.
  • Vol. 7: Index and Second Supplement. Ed. Kennedy, Smith, and Johnson. 1934. 588 pp.
  • Vol. 8: 1900–1950. Ed. Dennis E. Rhodes and Anna E. C. Simoni. 1956. 397 pp.
  • Vol. 9: Addenda to Volumes I–VIII. Ed. Rhodes and Simoni. 1962. 477 pp.

A title list of English-language works (including translations and bilingual or multilingual publications with a significant portion in English) that were published anonymously or pseudonymously and whose authorship has been ascribed.

Second edition (1926–62). The second edition lists about 75,000 titles from 1475 through 1949 and includes some works of unattributed authorship. Entries, listed alphabetically by title, cite attributed author, format, pagination, source of the entry, and place and date of publication. Two indexes in vols. 7–9: authors; initials and pseudonyms. Locating an entry is usually time-consuming, since the indexes cite volume and page and researchers must hunt through a title entry to find a name or initials. Users should keep several points in mind: (1) because many entries are taken from other sources—especially the British Museum General Catalogue of Printed Books (see E250a) and Dictionary of National Biography (M1425a), both notoriously inaccurate in attributing authorship—there are numerous errors in transcription of titles (thus making impossible the location of some works) and identification of authorship, and works that are not truly anonymous are included; (2) although the source of an entry is usually recorded, evidence for attribution is not; thus, there is no immediate way of assessing the accuracy of an ascription; (3) because of the organization, books published between 1475 and 1900 are included in vols. 1–6 as well as the supplements in vols. 6, 7, and 9, and books published between 1900 and 1949 are in vols. 8 and 9. Although incomplete, inaccurate, and time-consuming to use, Halkett and Laing remains an essential, if untrustworthy, source for identifying the author of an anonymous or pseudonymous publication. It is partly superseded by the much improved third edition. For a history of the first and second editions, see the preface to vol. 1 of the third edition.

Third edition. The third edition—which was to have become Dictionary of Concealed Authorship: Publications in English, 1475–1700—is limited to separately published English-language works (including translations and bilingual or multilingual publications with a substantial portion in English) that appeared anonymously or pseudonymously between 1475 and 1700 and for which authorship has been established or ascribed. It excludes works falsely attributed or unattributed, although exceptions are made for any works listed in the second edition.

The new edition is a major improvement over its predecessor: along with defining scope more precisely, adding numerous works, correcting many errors, and basing descriptions on the actual examination of copies, the third edition records the evidence and its source for attributions, along with title, place and date of publication, and references to standard bibliographies. Editorial practices are clearly and fully explained in the introduction (pp. xxii–xliv) to vol. 1. Additions and corrections to vol. 1 appear on p. 221. Indexed by writers’ names, with a list of pseudonyms keyed to the index; in addition, vol. 1 prints useful concordances for entry numbers in Greg, Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration (M2135); Short-Title Catalogue (M1990; although references are not based on the final version of the second edition of vol. 1); and A. F. Allison and D. M. Rogers, A Catalogue of Catholic Books in English Printed Abroad or Secretly in England, 1558–1640, 2 pts. (Bognor Regis: Arundel, 1956; Bibliog. Studies 3.3–4).

The careful assimilation and evaluation of widely scattered evidence for attributions and many new ascriptions make this new edition of Halkett and Laing the indispensable starting point for identifying the authors of anonymously and pseudonymously published works (before 1700), and the worthy successor to a venerable but flawed reference work.

The National Union Catalogs (E235, E240, and E245) and British National Bibliography (M2775) are also useful sources for identifying the author of an anonymous or pseudonymous work.


Pseudonyms and Nicknames Dictionary: A Guide to 80,000 Aliases, Appellations, Assumed Names, Code Names, Cognomens, Cover Names, Epithets, Initialisms, Nicknames, Noms de Guerre, Noms de Plume, Pen Names, Pseudonyms, Sobriquets, and Stage Names of 55,000 Contemporary and Historical Persons, Including the Subjects’ Real Names, Basic Biographical Information, and Citations for the Sources from Which the Entries Were Compiled. Ed. Jennifer Mossman. 3rd ed. 2 vols. Detroit: Gale, 1987.

New Pseudonyms and Nicknames. 1988. 306 pp. (Gale has no plans to publish further supplements or editions.) CT120.P8 920′.02.

A dictionary of pseudonyms and the like of prominent individuals from all ages and walks of life, with the bulk of the entries for authors, entertainers, and athletes. Names are listed in a single alphabetical sequence, with the main entry (giving birth and death dates, sources for further information, nationality, occupation, and assumed names) under the real name and cross-references for other names. Although this is the fullest single international source for identifying assumed names, the following works include additional literary ones:

  • Atkinson, Frank. Dictionary of Literary Pseudonyms: A Selection of Popular Modern Writers in English. 4th ed. London: Lib. Assn.; Chicago: Amer. Lib. Assn., 1987. 299 pp. Indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).
  • Carty, T. J. A Dictionary of Literary Pseudonyms in the English Language. 2nd ed. London: Mansell; Chicago: Fitzroy, 2000. 844 pp.
  • Marshall, Alice Kahler. Pen Names of Women Writers from 1600 to the Present: A Compendium of the Literary Identities of 2,650 Women Novelists, Playwrights, Poets, Diarists, Journalists, and Miscellaneous Writers. Camp Hill: Alice Marshall Collection, 1985. 181 pp. Indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).
  • Sharp, Harold S., comp. Handbook of Pseudonyms and Personal Nicknames. 2 vols. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1972. First Supplement. 2 vols. 1975. Second Supplement. 1982. 289 pp.

Art and Literature[edit]

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and art, see Ulrich Weisstein, “Literature and the Visual Arts,” pp. 251–77 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955). Several works in section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies treat the relationship of art and literature.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Arntzen, Etta, and Robert Rainwater. Guide to the Literature of Art History. Chicago: Amer. Lib. Assn.; London: Art, 1980. 616 pp. Z5931.A67 [N380] 016.709.

Marmor, Max, and Alex Ross. Guide to the Literature of Art History 2. Chicago: Amer. Lib. Assn., 2005. 899 pp. Z5931.M37 016.7′09.

A guide to reference works, general studies, and exhibition catalogs (through 1977 in the original edition and 1998 in the supplement) important in the study of art history, especially architecture, sculpture, drawing, painting, prints, photography, and decorative and applied arts. Although international in coverage, Guide to the Literature of Art History emphasizes works in Western languages and excludes studies of individual artists. Entries are organized alphabetically by author in four divisions: general reference sources (including sections for bibliographies, visual resources, dictionaries and encyclopedias, and iconography); general primary and secondary sources (with a section on histories and handbooks); the individual arts; and serials. Most sections are extensively classified, generally by period and country. The annotations fully describe content (sometimes listing the table of contents of a work), and most include helpful evaluative comments. Two indexes in the first edition: authors and titles; subjects (however, the subject indexing is incomplete and frequently vague); the supplement has only an index of authors and titles. Arntzen-Rainwater and Marmor-Ross are the best general guides to reference works and important studies, but the absence of a subject index renders the supplement less accessible than it should be. Reviews: Margaret Girvan, Art Libraries Journal 6.3 (1981): 73–79; Alex Ross, Art Bulletin 65.1 (1983): 169–72.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford UP, 2007–13. 14 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated three times per year.

A database that continually expands and revises The Dictionary of Art, ed. Jane Turner, 34 vols. (New York: Grove, 1996); it is part of Oxford Art Online, which includes entries from other Oxford University Press art reference works such as The Oxford Companion to Western Art, ed. Hugh Brigstocke (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001; 820 pp.). Extensively illustrated and encompassing the visual arts (except for film) of all eras and countries, the more than 45,000 entries from Dictionary of Art and several hundred new ones—all by internationally recognized scholars, and many extending to several hundred pages—cover cultures, nations, schools, periods, artists, theories, methodologies, materials, places, theoretical issues, techniques, artistic genres, and related topics. Many of the lengthy entries consist of separately authored parts; all entries (and some parts) conclude with a bibliography. Search allows keyword searches to be limited to images; Advanced Search allows keyword searches to be limited to Grove Art Online, images, biographies, bibliographies, full text, entry titles, or contributors. In addition, users can browse lists of all entries, biographies, subject entries, or images. Although many images in Dictionary of Art are not available digitally or are more clearly reproduced therein than in Grove Art Online, the latter allows users to print or e-mail images. A masterly achievement, Grove Art Online / Dictionary of Art is the most authoritative and comprehensive of the numerous general encyclopedias of art.

The most comprehensive dictionary of artists is Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: Die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker, ed. Günter Meissner (München: Saur, 1992– ); however, as of January 2013 coverage had progressed only to vol. 77: Izaguirre–Jerace. For parts of the alphabet not yet covered, see Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, eds., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Thieme-Becker), 37 vols. (Leipzig: Seeman, 1907–50), and Hans Vollmer, ed., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler der XX. Jahrhunderts, 6 vols. (Leipzig: Seeman, 1953–62).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Serial Bibliographies[edit]


International Bibliography of Art (IBA). ProQuest. CSA-ProQuest, 2013. 14 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated monthly.

BHA and RILA. Getty Research Institute. Getty Research Inst., n.d. 14 Jan. 2013. <>.

BHA: Bibliography of the History of Art / Bibliographie d’histoire de l’art. Vandœuvre: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique; Los Angeles: Getty Research Inst., 1991–2000. Z5937.B53 [N7510] 016.7. CD-ROM.

Bibliographic databases of studies of European art from the fourth century AD to the present, American art from c. 1492 to the present, and non-Western art insofar as it influences European or American art; contemporary art, however, is selectively covered throughout the world. The result of a merger of Répertoire d’art et d’archéologie (RAA) (U5150) and RILA (U5155), BHA both continues and expands the coverage of its predecessors from 1990 through 2007. Entries are accompanied by abstracts in English or French. The CD-ROM includes records since the inception of the print version of BHA (9 vols., 1991–2000); the online version included records for 1973–89 from RAA and for 1975–89 from RILA.

When the Getty withdrew support for BHA at the end of 2009, it provided a free version on its Web site; however, BHA and RILA includes all records from BHA but only records with English-language abstracts and subject headings from RILA. The Getty currently has no plan to add records from RAA to the site.

IBA continues BHA and retains its editorial policies and record structure, incorporates records created during 2008–09, and uses its thesaurus. It can be searched only through ProQuest’s interface (see I519 for an evaluation of the interface).

Together, BHA and IBA offer the fullest, most accessible—but not the most current—coverage of the major art bibliographies.


ARTbibliographies Modern, [1969–2007]. Cambridge: ProQuest, 1969–2008. 2/yr. Former title: LOMA (Literature on Modern Art: An Annual Bibliography) (1969–71). Z5935.L64 016.709′04. <>. Updated monthly.

A bibliography of dissertations, exhibition catalogs, and other scholarship on art and related topics since 1900. (Vols. 4–18 [1973–87] cover 1800 to the present.) Since vol. 4 (1973), entries—accompanied by brief nonevaluative abstracts—are organized in a single subject list, which incorporates generous cross-references. (The earlier volumes are organized by artist, have little other subject access, and are limited to twentieth-century art.) Two indexes in each issue: authors; museums and galleries. Cumulative indexes (with expanded coverage of artists): vols. 1–5 (1984; 166 pp.); vols. 6–10 (1982; 264 pp.); vols. 11–15 (1987; 336 pp.); vols. 16–18 (1989; 232 pp.). Although ARTbibliographies offers the best coverage of modern and contemporary art, the lack of thorough subject indexing—especially of the abstracts—means that researchers looking for studies involving literary works or authors should search the electronic version. (For an evaluation of the ProQuest interface, see entry I519.) Review: Patricia E. Johner, Charleston Advisor 2.1 (2001): n. pag.; 14 Jan. 2013; <>.


Art Full Text. EBSCOhost. Wilson-EBSCO, 2013. 14 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated daily. CD-ROM. Updated monthly. (Also included in OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition [I512].)

Art Index, [1929– ]. New York: Wilson, 1930– . Quarterly, with annual and larger cumulations. Z5937.A78 016.7. <>. CD-ROM.

An author and subject index to articles in about 276 art periodicals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins (as of late June 2005), with coverage extending to archaeology, architecture, art history, crafts, films, graphic arts, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, museology, photography, and related fields. The serials indexed are determined by subscriber vote, but coverage is reasonably international. Articles are indexed by author and subject; exhibitions and reproductions, by artist. Since vol. 22 (1973–74), book reviews are listed separately at the end. Entries since September 1984 can be searched most effectively in the electronic version and in two related Wilson databases, available online and on CD-ROM: Art Abstracts (with abstracts beginning in spring 1994) and Art Full Text (which offers full text of some articles beginning in 1997); entries from 1929–84 can be searched online in Art Index Retrospective: 1929–1984. See entry I512 for an evaluation of the EBSCO search interface, which all the Art Index databases use. Although the work is the most selective in coverage and limited to articles, it is also the broadest, most current, and easiest to use of the art indexes and is particularly useful for locating a reproduction of an art work.


Répertoire d’art et d’archéologie (de l’époque paléochrétienne à 1939) (RAA). 93 vols. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1910–89. Z5937.R4 016.7. 15 Jan. 2013. <>; CD-ROM.

A bibliography of books, articles, and exhibition and auction catalogs on the history of art from the early Christian era through 1939. The scope and organization have altered considerably since 1910. Books are excluded until vol. 24 (1920); coverage of primitive and popular art is discontinued with the combined vols. 49–51 (1945–47), and Asian, Islamic, and classical art since ns 1 (1965). RAA was originally composed of a list of contents of journals organized by country of publication; since ns 9 (1973), entries are organized in five extensively classified divisions: general works (including sections for reference works, theory of art, and iconography); general art history; Middle Ages; Renaissance and seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The period divisions have sections for general studies, architecture, sculpture, painting and graphic arts, and decorative arts, with each subdivided by country. Three indexes in each issue since ns 9 (1973): artists; subjects; authors (each cumulated annually); earlier volumes are variously indexed by authors, artists, and places. Many entries in recent volumes are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations in French.

The online version offers the most convenient access to RAA for 1910–72. Recherche Simple offers basic keyword searching; Recherche Avancée allows keyword searching of full text, authors, subjects, journal title, place of publication, or date. Recherche Experte and Recherche par Liens allows searchers to combine keyword searches of the Recherche Avancée fields and type of document, ISSN, entry number, subject, and annotation. Clicking on the results of a search leads to a page capture of an entry in the printed volumes. Entries can be marked for e-mailing, saving as a PDF file, or adding to a list. Deciphering many of the abbreviated records will require access to the print version. Records for 1973–89 were part of the defunct BHA database (U5138a) but are not included in BHA and RILA.

Of the major art bibliographies, RAA offered the fullest coverage before its merger with RILA (U5155) to form BHA.


RILA: International Repertory of the Literature of Art / Répertoire international de la littérature de l’art (RILA). 15 vols. Williamstown: Getty Art History Information Program, 1975–89. Z5937.R16 [N7510] 016.7. Online through BHA and RILA (U5138); CD-ROM.

An abstracting service for publications (including dissertations and reviews of books and exhibitions from 1974 through 1988) on the history of Western art from the fourth century to the present. Entries are organized in seven classified divisions: reference works; general studies; medieval; Renaissance, baroque, and rococo; neoclassicism and modern (to 1945); modern (1945 to the present); collections and exhibitions. Where appropriate, each division has sections for general studies; architecture; sculpture; pictorial arts; decorative arts; and artists, architects, and photographers. The abstracts are descriptive, with several by document authors. Two indexes in each issue: authors; subjects; cumulative indexes: 1975–1979 (1982; 837 pp.); 1980–1984 (1987; 1,318 pp.); 1985–1989 (2 vols.; 1990). Entries with English-language abstracts and subject headings can be searched through BHA and RILA (U5138). Until its merger with RAA (U5150) to form BHA, RILA offered the most thorough subject indexing of the major art bibliographies.

See also[edit]

Humm, Annotated Critical Bibliography of Feminist Criticism (U6170).

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Huddleston, Eugene L., and Douglas A. Noverr. The Relationship of Painting and Literature: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1978. 184 pp. Amer. Studies Information Guide Ser. 4. Z5069.H84 [N66] 016.75913.

A checklist of paintings and analogous works of American literature and of English-language studies, through c. 1976, of the relationship between the two. Entries are organized in six divisions: analogous American paintings and American poems (organized by artist in six chronological periods, with a numbering system defining the closeness of the analogy); American poems on paintings (organized by poet); American poems on painters; American poems on unspecified paintings, painters, and related subjects; studies of the relationship between poetry and painting; studies of the relationship between fiction and painting. Additions to the last two divisions appear on pp. 147–49. A very few entries are annotated, and those are done inadequately. Three indexes: authors; painters; paintings, books, and poems. Highly selective and misleadingly titled, Relationship of Painting and Literature is only marginally useful as a starting point for research.


Lambrechts, Eric, and Luc Salu. Photography and Literature: An International Bibliography of Monographs. 2 vols. London: Continuum, 1992–2000. Z1023.L33 016.096′1.

A bibliography of approximately 5,966 books, dissertations, photonovels, catalogs, and special issues of magazines published between 1839 and 1999 that treat the relation between photography and literature, contain portraits of writers or places with literary associations, or print a literary text accompanied by photographs. Entries, listed alphabetically by photographer or author (with generous cross-references, including ones for editors and writers of prefatory matter in vol. 1), provide basic bibliographical information, an occasional note identifying type of work, number of photographs, and language. Two indexes: names; broad subject categories (users must be certain to consult the subheadings under Geographical Studies and Topical Studies). Although including only separately published works, Photography and Literature is the essential starting point for locating studies of the subject as well as identifying editions of literary works illustrated with photographs.

See also[edit]

“Bibliography on the Relations of Literature and the Other Arts” (U5965).

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Art,” “Painting,” and “Sculpture” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Rice, English Fiction, 1900–1950 (M2840).

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to photography theory.

Author Bibliographies[edit]

All major and numerous minor authors are the subject of at least one author bibliography. Because of their number, wide variation in quality, and ease of identification (in library catalogs, bibliographies of bibliographies, and serial bibliographies and indexes), individual author bibliographies are not listed in this Guide. (For a convenient list of separately published author bibliographies, consult Bracken, Reference Works in British and American Literature [M1357].)

Although it is generally the best place to begin extensive research on an author or specific work, an author bibliography, like any other reference work, must be used with due regard for its scope, limitations, and accuracy. As I point out in On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography (A30):

Several of these bibliographies are models of their kind: intelligent, accurate, thorough, efficiently organized works that foster scholarship by guiding readers through accumulated studies as well as implicitly or explicitly isolating dominant scholarly concerns, identifying topics that have been overworked, and suggesting needed research. Unfortunately, many are flawed in either conception or execution, and some are downright shoddy. (1)

Before searching out entries, users must study the prefatory explanation of scope and organization, become familiar with the index(es), and assess the accuracy of the work. A good bibliography will begin with a precise statement of what it includes and excludes, its chronological span, organization and content of entries, and relationship to other bibliographies. (Because many bibliographies are inexcusably vague about some or all of these matters, researchers will have no immediate way of determining how complete a work is.) An efficient, effective search of an author bibliography requires an understanding of the organization of entries and the nature of the index(es). For example, when searching for scholarship on a specific work in an author bibliography with sections for individual literary works, it is essential to know whether general studies are cross-referenced, accorded multiple listings, or accessible only through an index. Because judging accuracy is best accomplished through repeated use, researchers consulting a bibliography for the first time should search out reviews; unfortunately, too few author bibliographies are subjected to rigorous reviewing.

Because no bibliography is comprehensive and every one is outdated even before the last keystroke of the final draft is saved, researchers will also have to consult appropriate serial bibliographies and indexes listed throughout this Guide.

Bibliography and Textual Criticism[edit]

This section is devoted to analytical bibliography and the Anglo-American tradition of textual criticism. Several closely allied works appear in the immediately following section, Book Collecting.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Glaister, Geoffrey Ashall. Encyclopedia of the Book. 2nd ed. with new introd. New Castle: Oak Knoll; London: British Lib., 1996. 551 pp. Z118.G55 686.2′03.

A dictionary of technical terms, presses, binderies, organizations, awards, periodicals, printers, publishers, binders, calligraphers, booksellers, and other persons associated with the book, paper, printing, and publishing trades. The 3,932 entries, which range from a few lines to several pages, offer clear definitions or biographies, cite important scholarship, and provide extensive cross-references to related entries. Several are accompanied by illustrations; unfortunately, many of the black-and-white ones are unclear. Four appendixes: selected type specimens; Latin place-names in imprints of early books; British proof correction symbols; a selected bibliography. Generally authoritative and accurate, Glaister is the essential glossary of terminology related to the history and production of books and manuscripts. The 1996 edition reprints the second edition (Glaister’s Glossary of the Book: Terms Used in Papermaking, Printing, Bookbinding, and Publishing, with Notes on Illuminated Manuscripts and Private Presses, 2nd ed. [London: Allen, 1979; 551 pp.]) with an introduction by Donald Farren on the genesis and evolution of the encyclopedia; the first edition—An Encyclopedia of the Book (Cleveland: World, 1960; 484 pp.); Glossary of the Book (London: Allen, 1960; 484 pp.)—remains useful for entries and illustrations subsequently dropped. Reviews: (1st ed.) Times Literary Supplement 3 Feb. 1961: 78; (2nd ed.) Paul S. Koda, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 75.2 (1981): 219–21; G. Thomas Tanselle, Printing History 4 (1982): 78–79.

Occasionally useful complements are the following:

  • Feather, John. A Dictionary of Book History. New York: Oxford UP, 1986. 278 pp. Entries cover the book trade, printers, publishers, booksellers, bibliographers, presses, libraries, collectors, printing, paper, binding, periodicals, reference books, organizations, and bibliographical terminology. The selection is miscellaneous and the explanations less thorough and far less reliable than in Glaister, but the entries typically cite related sources or studies.
  • Peters, Jean. The Bookman’s Glossary. 6th ed., rev. and enl. New York: Bowker, 1983. 223 pp. The entries for terms used in publishing, book manufacturing, bookselling, and the antiquarian trade are much briefer than those in Glaister or Feather.


The Oxford Companion to the Book. Ed. Michael F. Suarez and H. R. Woudhuysen. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. Z4.O946 002.09. Online through Oxford Reference (I530).

A collaborative history of the book and dictionary of terms associated with it; coverage is impressively international and spans the ancient to the modern world. The separately authored essays in the first part of vol. 1 include 19 thematic studies (e.g., missionary printing, printed ephemera, and the electronic book) and 32 regional or national histories. Each begins with an outline and concludes with a selective bibliography (with some entries keyed to the list of abbreviations [1: lxiii–lxv]); in the body of an essay, cross-references to entries in the dictionary are variously marked with an asterisk or printed in small caps.

The dictionary includes 5,160 entries (ranging from brief definitions to nearly 2,000 words) for people, publishers, kinds of books and manuscripts and parts thereof, libraries, organizations, periodicals, auction houses, specific books and manuscripts, manuscript hands, technical terms—in short virtually anything connected to the history of the book. Two indexes: a thematic index of entries (1: xxix-lxii); a general index (at the end of vol. 2) of people, businesses, and titles of books and manuscripts that do not have an entry in the dictionary.

Impressive in its scope and its contributors (many are leading authorities in their respective fields), Oxford Companion to the Book is the most authoritative conspectus of book history worldwide. Reviews: William Baker, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 105.3 (2011): 407–13; David Finkelstein, Victorian Studies 58.3 (2011): 528–31; Arthur Freeman, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 5 Feb. 2010: 7–8.


Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens (LGB2). 8 vols. and Register zu den Bänden I–IV: “A” bis “Lyser”. Ed. Severin Corsten et al. 2nd ed. Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1985– . (Published in fascicles.) Z1006.L464 020′.331.

An encyclopedia of all aspects of the history of the book, including its production, distribution, reception, and related topics. The approximately 16,000 signed entries cover illustration and illustrators, publishers, printers, bibliographers, libraries, associations and societies, periodicals, booksellers, terminology, technical processes, book collectors, and binding. Most entries conclude with a brief list of additional sources. The most extensive and thorough of the encyclopedias of the book, Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens is near completion.

See also[edit]

Carter and Barker, ABC for Book Collectors (U5340).

General Introductions[edit]


Greetham, D. C. Textual Scholarship: An Introduction. Corr. rpt. New York: Garland, 1994. 561 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1417. Z1001.G7 010′.44.

A historical and methodological introduction to textual scholarship. Following an introductory discussion of terminology, successive chapters focus on the process of textual scholarship: finding the text (enumerative and systematic bibliography); making manuscript and printed books (analytical bibliography); describing the text (descriptive bibliography); reading the text (paleography and typography); evaluating the text (textual bibliography [i.e., ways in which the process of making a manuscript or printed book can affect content of the text]); criticizing the text (textual criticism); editing the text. Concludes with an appendix illustrating types of scholarly editions and an extensive selected bibliography (updated and substantially enlarged in the corrected reprint). Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects. Firmly grounded in the history, theory, and practice of each area it treats and replete with examples and illustrations, Textual Scholarship offers the best introduction to the field. Reviews: T. H. Howard-Hill, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 86.4 (1992): 477–79; B. J. McMullin, Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 19.1 (1995): 52–60, with a reply by Greetham, 167–93.


Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Rpt. with corrections. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1985. 438 pp. (Readers should avoid the uncorrected second printing of the American edition [New York: Oxford UP, 1975], since it omits several passages and duplicates others. The corrected second printing begins with “were” rather than “for” on p. 11.) Z116.A2 G27 686.2′09.

An introduction to the technical processes of book production from 1500 to 1950 in Great Britain and America. The bulk of the work consists of a history of book production organized in two extensively illustrated divisions: the handpress period (1500–1800) and the machine press period (1800–1950). The first discusses the technical details of printing type, composition, paper, imposition, presswork, the warehouse, binding, decoration and illustration, patterns of production, and the English book trade; the second, plates, type from 1800 to 1875, paper, edition binding, printing machines, processes of reproduction, mechanical composition and type from 1875 to 1950, printing practices, and the book trade in Britain and America. Following the history is a too-brief section on bibliographical applications: the identification of edition, impression, issue, and state; bibliographical description (with sample descriptions printed as an appendix); and textual bibliography (with two analyses of transmission of texts in an appendix). Another appendix reprints Ronald McKerrow’s discussion of Elizabethan handwriting (see below). Concludes with a useful, but now dated, selected bibliography that evaluates important scholarship through the early 1970s. Thoroughly indexed by persons and subjects. Although it is better in its treatment of the machine press era and the eighteenth century than the earlier period, inadequate in its attention to analytical bibliography and demonstration of the applications of physical bibliography to the transmission of texts, and densely written in many places, this work provides the best basic introduction to the technical aspects of book production and a necessary prelude to Bowers, Principles of Bibliographical Description (U5205), and Gaskell, From Writer to Reader (U5220). For the inception and evolution of the Introduction, see David McKitterick’s introduction to the 1994 reprint (Winchester: St. Paul’s Bibliogs.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 1994). Reviews: Fredson Bowers, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 67.2 (1973): 109–24; Albert H. Smith, Library 5th ser. 28.4 (1973): 341–44; G. Thomas Tanselle, Costerus ns 1 (1974): 129–50.

(Researchers who must use the uncorrected second printing should obtain Corrections to the 1975 “Second Printing” American Edition of Gaskell’s New Introduction to Bibliography [New York: Book Arts, School of Lib. Science, Columbia U, 1975; 3 pp.; Occasional Pub. 4].)

Although now dated in some respects, Ronald B. McKerrow, An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students, 2nd impression with corrections (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1928; 359 pp.), has not been superseded in its integration of the history of book production, bibliographical theory, and application to textual matters in handpress books of the period 1560–1660. (See Vander Meulen, “Revision in Bibliographical Classics: ‘McKerrow’ and ‘Bowers’” [U5205a] for an examination of changes, usually unidentified, that occurred in reprintings.) McKerrow and Gaskell must be read together.

An essential complement to both Gaskell and McKerrow is Mark Bland, A Guide to Early Printed Books and Manuscripts (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010; 236 pp.), which—in sections devoted to paper, format and structure (including binding), production, analysis of evidence, variants, and the book trade—addresses the methods and processes used to examine and describe late-sixteenth- and early-seventeenth-century books and manuscripts as material objects.


Williams, William Proctor, and Craig S. Abbott. An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies. 4th ed. New York: MLA, 2009. 188 pp. Z1001.W58 010′.42.

An introduction to the methods and applications of twentieth-century Anglo-American textual and bibliographical scholarship. Chapters discuss analytical bibliography, descriptive bibliography, transmission of texts, and textual criticism; a selective bibliography concludes the work. Particularly informative are the description of the process of preparing a critical edition and the appendix on textual notation, a convenient guide for readers puzzled by the symbols and lists in the editorial apparatus of a critical edition. Although not a substitute for Gaskell, New Introduction to Bibliography (U5195), and McKerrow, Introduction to Bibliography (U5195a), this is an admirably clear introduction for the reader who needs a basic understanding of bibliography and textual criticism and their applications in literary scholarship. Reviews (1st ed.): Hugh Amory, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 80.2 (1986): 243–53; John Feather, Library 6th ser. 9.2 (1987): 196–97.

See also[edit]

Tanselle, “Copyright Records and the Bibliographer” (Q3260).

Descriptive Bibliography[edit]


Bowers, Fredson. Principles of Bibliographical Description. 1949. Winchester: St. Paul’s Bibliogs.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 1994. 505 pp. Z1001.B78 010.1.

A detailed guide to the principles and methods of descriptive bibliography that consolidates scattered scholarship, offers a rationale for the field, and establishes norms for bibliographical description. The 12 chapters provide exacting, detailed treatment of the nature of descriptive bibliography; edition, issue, and state and ideal copy in the handpress period; the bibliographical description of books of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries; the transcription of title pages and other features; format and collation formula; reference notation; statement of signing, pagination and foliation, and other elements of a description; special considerations for the description of eighteenth-century books; incunabula; the bibliography of nineteenth- and twentieth-century books; the determination of publication, edition, impression, issue, and state in the machine press period; and the description of nineteenth- and twentieth-century books. Three important appendixes conclude the work: a digest of the collation and pagination or foliation formulas; sample descriptions of books of different periods; collation formulas for incunabula. Indexed by persons, subjects, and titles. Principles of Bibliographical Description is more thorough in its treatment of books published before 1700 and has been modified and extended in some areas by recent scholarship; nevertheless, it remains the indispensable guide to the theory and practice of descriptive bibliography. The 1994 reprint includes an introduction by G. Thomas Tanselle, who traces the inception, reception, and reputation of the book and notes important recent studies.

Essential complements are Tanselle, “A Sample Bibliographical Description, with Commentary,” Studies in Bibliography 40 (1987): 1–23, which consolidates and illustrates modifications made to Bowers’s principles; Tanselle, Bibliographical Analysis: A Historical Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009; 167 pp.), which discusses the analysis of the manufacture and design of books; David L. Vander Meulen, “The History and Future of Bowers’s Principles,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 79.2 (1985): 197–219, which surveys modifications and extensions, as well as summarizes the reception and impact of this magisterial work; B. J. McMullin, “Bowers’s Principles of Bibliographical Description,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 15.2 (1991): 53–59, which identifies portions needing revision and which is supplemented by Tanselle, “Bowers’s Principles: Supplementary Notes on Issue, Format, and Insertions ,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin 23.2 (1999): 107–09; and Vander Meulen, “Revision in Bibliographical Classics: ‘McKerrow’ and ‘Bowers,’” Studies in Bibliography 52 (1999): 215–45, an examination of the changes, usually unidentified, that occurred in reprintings of Principles and McKerrow’s Introduction to Bibliography (U5195a).

Because Principles of Bibliographical Description requires a sound knowledge of printing practices and bibliographical techniques, readers should first master Gaskell, New Introduction to Bibliography (U5195), and McKerrow, Introduction to Bibliography. Those daunted by Bowers’s detailed instructions for transcribing title pages and other parts of a book, determining format, and recording collation and pagination will find M. J. Pearce, A Workbook of Analytical and Descriptive Bibliography (London: Bingley, 1970; 110 pp.), a helpful beginning guide. (Gaskell’s section on bibliographical description is also helpful, but it adopts several modifications to Bowers that have not gained wide acceptance.)

Textual Criticism[edit]

Leah S. Marcus, “Textual Scholarship,” pp. 143–59 in Nicholls, Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures (A25), offers a succinct, balanced overview of textual criticism and associated activities.


Greg, W. W. “The Rationale of Copy-Text.” Studies in Bibliography 3 (1950–51): 19–36. Reprinted with minor changes in Greg, Collected Papers, ed. J. C. Maxwell (Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1966) 374–91.

The classic formulation of the theory of copy-text (a text chosen as an expedient guide in formal matters for a critical edition) and the distinction between substantive readings (those “that affect the author’s meaning or the essence of his expression”) and accidental readings (those that affect mainly the formal presentation of the text). Although sometimes misunderstood and misapplied, Greg’s theory, its subsequent modifications, and the debates engendered by the theory are central to modern Anglo-American textual editing. For a history and critique of the responses and modifications to Greg’s theory and evaluation of writings on textual theory, see G. Thomas Tanselle, “Greg’s Theory of Copy-Text and the Editing of American Literature,” Studies in Bibliography 28 (1975): 167–229; “Recent Editorial Discussion and the Central Questions of Editing,” Studies in Bibliography 34 (1981): 23–65; “Historicism and Critical Editing,” Studies in Bibliography 39 (1986): 1–46; “Textual Criticism and Literary Sociology,” Studies in Bibliography 44 (1991): 83–143; “Textual Instability and Editorial Idealism,” Studies in Bibliography 49 (1996): 1–60; and “Textual Criticism at the Millennium: 1995–2000,” Studies in Bibliography 54 (2001): 1–80. (The preceding are conveniently reprinted in Textual Criticism since Greg: A Chronicle, 1950–2000 [Charlottesville: Bibliog. Soc. of the U of Virginia, 2005; 373 pp.].)


Committee on Scholarly Editions (CSE). MLA, 26 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10004-1789. <>.

The Committee on Scholarly Editions, the successor to the Center for Editions of American Authors (CEAA; see below), was established in 1976 to encourage the highest standards in scholarly editing of all kinds of works or documents by distributing information about scholarly editing and editorial projects (see the CSE Approved Editions link for a list of CSE- or CEAA-approved volumes); advising and consulting with editors on request; awarding emblems to qualified volumes submitted for review; and promoting dissemination of reliable texts for classroom use and among general readers.

The standards and procedures for obtaining the CSE emblem are described in “Guidelines for Editors of Scholarly Editions” and “Review Process of the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions” (both have links on the CSE Web page; an earlier version of the first is also printed in Electronic Textual Editing [U5217], on pp. 23–49). Although the committee does not prescribe an editorial methodology or procedure, it does insist that an editor “establish and follow a proofreading plan that serves to ensure the accuracy of the materials presented,” strongly recommend that an edition include a textual essay and apparatus, and require that the edition undergo formal inspection by a CSE representative.

The CEAA was established to oversee the preparation of critical editions of American literature (primarily of the nineteenth century). Standards and procedures that governed CEAA-approved editions are explained in Statement of Editorial Principles and Procedures: A Working Manual for Editing Nineteenth-Century American Texts, rev. ed. (New York: MLA, 1972; 25 pp.). Although it is addressed to those editing nineteenth-century American literary works and although the principles underlying CEAA editions engendered considerable debate, the manual remains a valuable source of practical advice for those editing literary texts.


Electronic Textual Editing. Ed. Lou Burnard, Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe, and John Unsworth. New York: MLA, 2006. 419 pp. and CD-ROM. PN162.E55 808′.027.

A collection of essays addressing the applications, principles, and procedures of electronic textual editing, especially in projects that adhere to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) guidelines (provided on the accompanying CD-ROM). Along with case studies are discussions of methods of inputting text; using levels of transcription; maintaining textual reliability; managing documents and files; representing special characters; documenting markup choices; storing, retrieving, and rendering text; knowing when not to use TEI; transforming a printed editorial project into an electronic one; dealing with rights and permissions; and preserving an electronic edition. Full of sound practical advice from many of the leading practitioners in the field, Electronic Textual Editing is required reading for those contemplating an electronic edition or evaluating one.


Gaskell, Philip. From Writer to Reader: Studies in Editorial Method. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1978. 268 pp. PN162.G3 808′.02.

A collection of case studies that demonstrate how textual evidence can be used to produce editions for various kinds of audiences. The 12 examples—which range from 1591 to 1974 and encompass poetry, drama, nonfiction prose, and fiction—are effectively chosen to illustrate the kinds of problems that confront an editor and to show that each textual situation is unique. For each example, Gaskell characterizes the surviving forms and their relationship, discusses the choice of copy-text, proposes emendations, and suggests an appropriate kind of edition or examines an existing one. The introduction briefly discusses authorial intention, copy-text, techniques of presentation and annotation, regularization, and works not intended for publication as a printed book. Indexed by persons and subjects. Designed to complement New Introduction to Bibliography (U5195), From Writer to Reader presumes a knowledge of the history of printing and the basic concepts and theories underlying textual criticism. Although reviewers have raised serious objections to several of Gaskell’s assertions, this work is a valuable illustration of the range of problems facing editors. Reviews: Vinton A. Dearing, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 3.2 (1979): 105–16; D. F. Foxon, Review of English Studies ns 30.118 (1979): 237–39; Daniel Karlin, Essays in Criticism 30.1 (1980): 71–78; G. Thomas Tanselle, Library 6th ser. 2.3 (1980): 337–50 (essential reading for its exposure of numerous weaknesses in the work).


Kline, Mary-Jo, and Susan Holbrook Perdue. A Guide to Documentary Editing. 3rd ed. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 2008. 329 pp. Z113.3.K55 808′.027. <>.

A guide to the principles and practices of editing documents, especially unpublished materials such as letters, journals, diaries, speeches, and ledgers. Following an overview of American documentary and critical editing, chapters proceed more or less in order of the tasks facing an editor: organizing a project; locating, collecting, and organizing materials; maintaining records; determining the scope and organization of an edition; evaluating and transcribing the source text; deciding on the presentation of the text, with discussions of type facsimiles, diplomatic transcriptions, electronic publication, and inclusive, expanded, and clear texts; using editorial symbols (for interlineations, deletions, and the like, with a helpful list on pp. 153–58 of symbols that have been employed) and writing textual notes; understanding general rules and their exceptions, emending the text, and handling variant forms of a document; dealing with the mechanics of establishing a text; preparing an edition for the printer (including writing annotations, indexing, and drafting a statement of editorial method); and handling relations with the publisher (with attention to electronic publication). Each chapter concludes with a helpful list of suggested readings; current lists, discussions of new technological advances, and additional examples of editorial techniques can be found on the Web site. An appendix prints sample inquiries addressed to librarians, booksellers, and auction houses. Based on a solid command of editorial theory and extensive familiarity with related scholarship and published editions, this work combines theory and practical advice to produce the best overall guide to documentary editing. The discussion of transcription must be supplemented by David L. Vander Meulen and G. Thomas Tanselle, “A System of Manuscript Transcription,” Studies in Bibliography 52 (1999): 201–12. Kline and Perdue is addressed primarily to those working with historical documents, but editors of all kinds will benefit from the sound advice about all aspects of the organization, preparation, and production of an edition. Review: Esther Katz and Ann D. Gordon, Documentary Editing 21.2 (1999): 29–32.

For examples of how editors have handled transcription, presentation, annotation, and indexing, see Michael E. Stevens and Steven B. Burg, Editing Historical Documents: A Handbook of Practice (Walnut Creek: Alta Mira–Sage, 1997; 264 pp.; Amer. Assn. for State and Local Hist. Book Ser.). While the photographic reproduction of examples of solutions to transcription and presentation problems is quite effective, the agglomeration of fonts and point sizes in the discussion of other topics is disconcerting and constitutes a serious flaw in the design of the book.

Robert Halsband, “Editing the Letters of Letter-Writers,” Studies in Bibliography 11 (1958): 25–37, remains the best general introduction to the editing of correspondence.


Shillingsburg, Peter L. Scholarly Editing in the Computer Age: Theory and Practice. 3rd ed. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1996. 187 pp. Editorial Theory and Lit. Criticism. PN162.S45 808′.027.

An introduction to the use of computers in the preparation of scholarly editions. The first part surveys the principles underlying textual criticism in chapters on the concept of textual authority, the forms (or details of presentation) of a text, authorial intention, the “ontological status of literary works,” authorial expectations (in relation to editing by a publisher), artistic closure, and the concept of ideal text. The second part discusses the selection of copy-text, emendation, and types and arrangement of apparatus. Using the CASE programs developed for the Thackeray edition as an example, the last part addresses the practical applications of computers to collation, manuscript preparation, typesetting, and electronic editions. Indexed by persons and subjects. Scholarly Editing is not a manual, but it does offer substantial practical advice on using a computer to prepare a critical edition. Review: T. H. Howard-Hill, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 2.2 (1988): 73–77.


Thorpe, James. Principles of Textual Criticism. San Marino: Huntington Lib., 1972. 209 pp. PR65.T5 801′.959.

A discussion of the importance and imperfection of textual criticism that stresses the need for aesthetic judgment by an editor. Successive chapters draw on a wide range of examples from British and American literature to examine basic principles of textual criticism: the aesthetics of textual criticism (favoring the argument that textual criticism is a system of perfectible details rather than a science); the ideal of textual criticism (“to present the text which the author intended”); the province of textual criticism (especially its relations to bibliography); the basic principles of textual analysis; the treatment of accidentals; and the establishment of the text. Indexed by persons and subjects. Although some of Thorpe’s assertions have occasioned disagreement among textual critics, this work is essential reading for those who would edit or use critical editions.

Other important discussions are in the following:

  • Bowers, Fredson. Bibliography and Textual Criticism. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1964. 207 pp. The Lyell Lectures, Oxford, Trinity Term, 1959. In his argument for the importance of analytical bibliography in textual analysis, Bowers emphasizes the assessment of textual evidence.
  • Dearing, Vinton A. Principles and Practice of Textual Analysis. Berkeley: U of California P, 1974. 243 pp. A highly technical discussion of mathematical methods for determining relations among forms of a text.
  • McGann, Jerome J. A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1983. 146 pp. McGann argues that many principles of modern textual criticism—especially the emphasis on an author’s final intentions—ignore the complex social nature of literary production. An important critique of McGann is David J. Nordloh, “Socialization, Authority, and Evidence: Reflections on McGann’s A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism,” Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 1.1 (1987): 3–12, with a response by Craig S. Abbott, 13–16.
  • Tanselle, G. Thomas. A Rationale of Textual Criticism. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1989. 104 pp. Explores the nature of texts and the distinctions between texts of documents and of works.

See also[edit]

Guide to Editing Middle English (M1760).

Book Trade, History of the Book, and Publishing History[edit]

Suggestions for research are offered in “Research Opportunities in the Early English Book Trade,” Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 3.3 (1979): 165–200, a special section consisting of three articles on the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, and in David D. Hall and John B. Hench, eds., Needs and Opportunities in the History of the Book: America, 1639–1876 (Worcester: Amer. Antiquarian Soc., 1987; 280 pp.), which reprints surveys of research on printing, publishing, distribution, books and popular culture, and bibliography and textual study from Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society 94.2–96.1 (1984–86).

Wallace Kirsop, “Booksellers and Their Customers: Some Reflections on Recent Research,” Book History 1 (1998): 283–303, surveys the state of research on bookselling (primarily in France and English-speaking countries) and offers suggestions for future work. Mirjam J. Foot does the same for bookbinding in “Bookbinding Research: Pitfalls, Possibilities, and Needs,” Eloquent Witnesses: Bookbindings and Their History, ed. Foot (London: Bibliog. Soc.; London: British Lib.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 2004): 13–29.

Research Methods[edit]


Finkelstein, David, and Alistair McCleery. An Introduction to Book History. 2nd ed. New York: Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 2013. 166 pp. Z4.F49 002′.09.

An introduction to the developing field of book history, with chapters on major theories and debates, the history of writing, continuities between manuscript and print culture, changes in concepts of authorship, cultural agents that affect book production, the reader and reading, and the future of the book. Includes a selective bibliography. Indexed by names, titles, and subjects. Each chapter formulaically states its thesis, maps the evolution of its topic while introducing major or representative scholarship, and summarizes conclusions. Addressed to readers new to the field (many of whom would benefit from more attention to methodology), the work fulfills the promise of its title.

The same cannot be said of Ronald J. Zboray and Mary Saracino Zboray, A Handbook for the Study of Book History in the United States (Washington: Center for the Book, Lib. of Congress, 2000; 155 pp.), which offers little in the way of actual guidance on how to go about research in the field. In addition, glaring errors (e.g., the “685 volumes” of the “National Union Catalog [i.e., NUC, Pre-56 (E235)] . . . represent the book, pamphlet, map, atlas, and music holdings in the Library of Congress”) and omissions (e.g., WorldCat [E225] and RLG Union Catalog) hardly inspire confidence. Review: Daniel Traister, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 96.2 (2002): 310–15.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Oxford Companion to the Book (U5191).



Albinski, Nan Bowman. A Guide to Publishers’ Archives in the United States. SHARP, 2013. 31 Dec. 2014. <> (path: Resources/Archives and Collections/Publishers’ Archives: Albinski List ). (Revision of “Guide to the Archives of Publishers, Journals, and Literary Agents in North American Libraries,” Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1993 [1994]: 202–25.)

Locates the archives of publishers, journals, and literary agents—primarily from the United States and Great Britain—held in North American libraries. Entries are listed alphabetically in three lists: book publishers, journal publishers, and literary agents.

Much of Albinski’s information on twentieth-century United States publishers is subsumed in Martha Brodersen, Beth Luey, Audrey Brichetto Morris, and Rosanne Trujillo, A Guide to Book Publishers’ Archives (New York: Book Industry Study Group, 1996; 140 pp.; the updated electronic copy formerly at is no longer available, though a copy may eventually be posted on In covering company archives as well as papers of editors, founders, and others closely associated with the publisher, the authors interpret “book,” “publisher,” “archive,” and “United States” inclusively. The approximately 600 publishers are listed alphabetically (with cross-references for alternative names, imprints, and corporations). A full description includes details about size, years covered, contents, finding aids, restrictions on use, and location, but since descriptions are based on a variety of sources, the amount of information varies (with unverified details noted). Indexed by persons and imprints, but the indexing is not thorough. Review: Barbara A. Brannon, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 91.2 (1997): 249–54.

Archives of many English-language Canadian publishers can be found in the Canadian Publishers’ Records database (


Weedon, Alexis. British Book Trade Archives, 1830–1939: A Location Register. N.p., n.d. 12 Feb. 2013. <>. (A revision of Weedon and Michael Bott, British Book Trade Archives, 1830–1939: A Location Register [Bristol: Eliot, 1996; 75 pp.; Hist. of the Book: On Demand Ser. 5].)

A location register of book trade archives in Britain and Dublin (and a few in the United States). Entries are organized alphabetically in six sections: publishers and printers, stationers and booksellers, literary agents, professional associations, bookbinders, and Dublin book trade archives. A typical entry includes the location of the archive, dates of coverage, references to microforms or catalog entries, cross-references to other entries, source for the entry, and locations of related material. Indexed by names. Admittedly a preliminary survey, British Book Trade Archives nevertheless offers the fullest guide to the location of archives essential to the history of publishing in Britain.



British Book Trade Index (BBTI). University of Birmingham. U of Birmingham, 2012. 18 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

A database of individuals active by 1851 in the book trade in England and Wales. Records can be searched through two search screens: the Normal Search Page (any combination of personal name, date, county, town, trade, or trade descriptor); the Advanced Search Page (the preceding combination of options plus address, non–book trade descriptors, and keywords in the notes to records). Users should read the Important Search Information page (click the Search link). A typical record includes name, address(es), biographical and trading dates, trade (both book trade and non–book trade occupations), notes, and the source(s) of information. The database is still very much a work in progress (users are invited to contribute or amend data). This work will eventually incorporate (and render more accessible) most of the standard published indexes as well as information from archival materials and private files. Quadrat: A Periodical Bulletin of Research in Progress on the History of the British Book Trade (1995–2011; now online: provides updates on the project.

The Scottish Book Trade Index (which can be browsed or downloaded as a series of PDF files from covers the Scottish book trade to c. 1850. Still very much a work in progress, the index draws from the National Library of Scotland collection as well as city directories and bibliographies of Scottish books.

Surveys of Research[edit]


Tanselle, G. Thomas. “The Historiography of American Literary Publishing.” Studies in Bibliography 18 (1965): 3–39. Z1008.V55.

An evaluative survey of scholarship about and sources for the history of literary publishing in the United States. In emphasizing how to reconstruct a list of works by a publisher, Tanselle treats national, regional, and other bibliographies; unpublished papers; reminiscences of publishers; and histories of firms. Authoritative evaluations, practical advice, and numerous suggestions for research make “The Historiography of American Literary Publishing” an essential introduction to a neglected area of scholarship.



The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain. John Barnard, D. F. McKenzie, David McKitterick, and I. R. Willison, gen. eds. 7 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999– . Z8.G7 C36 002′.0941. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (

  • Vol. 1: 600–1100. Ed. Richard Gameson. 2012. 827 pp.
  • Vol. 2: 1100–1400. Ed. Nigel Morgan and Rodney M. Thomson. 2008. 615 pp.
  • Vol. 3: 1400–1557. Ed. Lotte Hellinga and J. B. Trapp. 1999. 743 pp.
  • Vol. 4: 1557–1695. Ed. Barnard and McKenzie. 2002. 891 pp.
  • Vol. 5: 1695–1830. Ed. Michael F. Suarez and Michael L. Turner. 2009. 1,020 pp.
  • Vol. 6: 1830–1914. Ed. McKitterick. 2009. 808 pp.
  • Vol. 7: The Twentieth Century. Ed. Willison.

Offers essays by major scholars on all aspects of the book trade, collecting and ownership, audiences, book production, and the use of books. Each volume concludes with a bibliography; some include statistical appendixes. Variously indexed (the online volumes do not include indexes). Reviews: (vol. 3) Alexandra Gillespie, Notes and Queries 48.1 (2001): 11–14; (vol. 6) Leslie Howsam, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 106.1 (2012): 99–109.


A History of the Book in America. David D. Hall, gen. ed. 5 vols. Worcester: Amer. Antiquarian Soc.; Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 2000–10.

  • Vol. 1: The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World. Ed. Hugh Amory and Hall. 2000. 638 pp. Z473.C686 381′.45002′0973.
  • Vol. 2: An Extensive Republic: Print, Culture, and Society in the New Nation, 1790–1840. Ed. Robert A. Gross and Mary Kelley. 2010. 697 pp. Z473.E98 381′.45002097309034.
  • Vol. 3: The Industrial Book, 1840–1880. Ed. Scott E. Casper, Jeffrey D. Groves, Stephen W. Nissenbaum, and Michael Winship. 2007. 539 pp. Z473.I53 381′.45002097309034.
  • Vol. 4: Print in Motion: The Expansion of Publishing and Reading in the United States, 1880–1940. Ed. Carl F. Kaestle and Janice Radway. 2009. 669 pp. Z473.P75 381′.450020973.
  • Vol. 5: The Enduring Book: Print Culture in Postwar America. Ed. David Paul Nord, Joan Shelley Rubin, and Michael Schudson. 2009. 618 pp. Z473.E53 381′.450020973.

A collaborative history made up of individually authored essays on printing, publishing, bookselling, reading, types of books, periodicals, copyright, and literary culture; some volumes conclude with a selective bibliography, bibliographical essay, and statistical appendix.

History of the Book in America is complemented by John Tebbel, A History of Book Publishing in the United States, 4 vols. (New York: Bowker, 1972–81), an extensive history of book publishing from 1630 to 1980, with discussions of printing, bookselling, economics of the trade, publishers, copyright, bestsellers, illustration, production, censorship, and specialized types of publishing (especially religious, children’s, music, private press, book club, and university press). In some volumes, these topics are broken down by geographic area. Five appendixes: (in vol. 2) a year-by-year breakdown by category of American publishing from 1880–1918, tables depicting book publication, and directory of publishers for 1888, 1900, and 1919; (in vol. 3) an economic overview and a list of bestsellers. Indexed in each volume by persons, places, titles, subjects, and publishers. Valuable for its accumulation of information rather than its interpretation, the History must be used cautiously because of uncritical reliance on sources and numerous errors. Reviews: (vol. 3) Gordon B. Neavill, Publishing History 6 (1979): 107–11; Susan O. Thompson, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 75.2 (1981): 230–33.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]


Greetham, D. C., ed. Scholarly Editing: A Guide to Research. New York: MLA, 1995. 740 pp. PN162.S24 808′.027.

A collection of surveys of the state of textual criticism in several literatures, classical to modern. Following an initial chapter on the varieties of scholarly editing, individual treatment is accorded the Hebrew Bible, the Greek New Testament, Greek literature (classical to the Renaissance), classical Latin literature, Old English literature, Middle English literature, Renaissance nondramatic literature, non-Shakespearean Renaissance drama, Shakespeare, eighteenth-century British literature, nineteenth-century British poetry and prose, nineteenth-century British fiction, colonial and nineteenth-century American literature, twentieth-century British and American literature, Old French literature, early modern French literature, Italian literature, medieval Spanish literature, German literature, Russian literature, Arabic literature, Sanskrit literature, and folk literature. The chapters—by major scholars in the fields—typically survey the editorial tradition, consider theoretical and practical problems peculiar to the literature or period, comment on major editions, and conclude with a bibliography. Two indexes: subjects; names and titles. Scholarly Editing admirably fulfills its intent of providing the neophyte with an authoritative introduction to the state of scholarly editing within a national literature or period.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

G. Thomas Tanselle, “The Periodical Literature of English and American Bibliography,” Studies in Bibliography 26 (1973): 167–91, identifies where English-language bibliographical journals are indexed. Tanselle’s survey is complemented by B. J. McMullin, “Indexing the Periodical Literature of Anglo-American Bibliography,” Studies in Bibliography 33 (1980): 1–17, an evaluation of the indexing of bibliographical scholarship in the 1974 volumes of ABHB: Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book (U5275), Bibliographic Index (D145), British Humanities Index (G370), Essay and General Literature Index (G380), Humanities Index (G385), Internationale Bibliographie der geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Zeitschriftenliteratur (G390), Library Literature, ABELL (G340), and MLAIB (G335). McMullin’s conclusion that ABELL is “the most satisfactory index to Anglo-American bibliography” must be modified because of the introduction of subject indexing with the MLAIB for 1981. However, there is still no serial bibliography that thoroughly covers bibliographical scholarship.

For an evaluation of the indexing of studies in the history of the book, see John van Hook, “The Indexes to Current Work on the History of the Book: A Review Article,” Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 6.1 (1992): 10–19.


Book History Online (BHO). Ed. Matthew McLean. Brill Online Bibliographies. Brill, 2012. 18 Jan. 2013. <>.

ABHB: Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book and Libraries: [1970–2000] (ABHB). Dordrecht: Springer, 1973–2006. Annual. Z117.A55 016.00155′2.

A bibliography of scholarship (including dissertations and reviews) on the history of the printed book since the fifteenth century and the arts, crafts, and techniques involved in its production, distribution, and description throughout the world. ABHB excludes discussions of manuscripts before the invention of printing and modern technical processes, as well as most textual studies. Entries are organized in 12 divisions: general; paper, inks, printing materials; calligraphy, type design, type founding; layout, composition, printing, presses; illustration; binding; book trade and publishing; book collecting; libraries and librarianship; legal, economic, and social aspects of book history; newspapers, periodicals, and journalism; other subjects. Except for the last—which is organized by Dewey Decimal Classification—each division has sections for general studies and countries, with the latter subdivided by century and then persons, places, or subjects, depending on the topic of the division. Two indexes: scholars and anonymous titles; geographic and personal names discussed. Cumulative index: vols. 1–17, Cumulated Subject Index, ed. Hendrik D. L. Vervliet, vol. 17a (1989): 209 pp. ABHB was sometimes far behind in coverage (with volumes typically including several retrospective entries), inconsistent in indexing journals ostensibly scanned on a regular basis, and frequently inaccurate in transcription and classification (though its accuracy in both areas improved in the later volumes). For a detailed evaluation of ABHB, see B. J. McMullin, “Indexing the Periodical Literature of Anglo-American Bibliography,” Studies in Bibliography 33 (1980): 1–17.

Book History Online both cumulates and continues ABHB (although the records from early volumes have not yet been added to the database). Search allows for a keyword search of the entire record; Advanced Search allows searches of full text, author, title, publisher, ISBN, ISSN, and DOI. Results, which are listed in ascending order by date, can be filtered in various ways (e.g., document type, language, subject keyword), depending on the content of records returned. The search interface used for Brill Online Bibliographies is not sophisticated enough to permit refined searches, but the welcome revival of BHO in 2013 means that book historians are no longer without an adequate bibliography of international scholarship.

Selected studies before 1970 are listed in these works:

  • Myers, Robin. The British Book Trade from Caxton to the Present Day: A Bibliographical Guide Based on the Libraries of the National Book League and St. Bride Institute. London: Deutsch, 1973. 405 pp. Although this work is a highly selective and sometimes idiosyncratic list of English-language books, it is far superior to Paul A. Winckler, History of Books and Printing: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale, 1979; 209 pp.; Books, Publishing, and Libs. Information Guide Ser. 2), which omits too many significant works and is replete with errors.
  • “A Selective Check List of Bibliographical Scholarship for [1949–72].” Studies in Bibliography 3–27 (1950–74). A list of works on printing and publishing history, bibliography, and textual criticism, with an emphasis on Western literature, especially English and American. Although selective, it is the best general bibliography of pre-1970 scholarship. The bibliographies for 1949 through 1955 are reprinted with corrections and a cumulative index as vol. 10 (1957); those for 1956 through 1962 are reprinted with a cumulative index as Selective Check Lists of Bibliographical Scholarship, Series B, 1956–1962, ed. Howell J. Heaney and Rudolf Hirsch (Charlottesville: UP of Virginia for Bibliog. Soc. of the U of Virginia, 1966; 247 pp.).

Additional reviews are listed in Index to Reviews of Bibliographical Publications: An International Annual, [1976–85] (Troy: Whitston, 1977–91; vol. 1 was also published as Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 1.4 [1977]), an index of reviews (published in 300 to 400 journals) of general bibliographical books and articles; studies of the book trade and printing history and of bibliographies, editions, concordances; and manuscript studies of English and American literature.


Bibliographie der Buch- und Bibliotheksgeschichte, [1980–2003] (BBB). Bad Iburg: Meyer, 1982–2004. Annual. Z4.B54 016.002.

A bibliography of books, articles, and reviews on bibliography and the history of the book and libraries. Although originally limited to scholarship on German-speaking countries, coverage was international at its demise. Entries are organized in eight variously classified divisions: general studies (including sections for bibliographies of bibliographies, national bibliographies, and analytical and descriptive bibliography); individual authors; book production (including sections for handwriting and typography, composition, printing, paper, illustration, and binding); types of printed works (including children’s books, periodicals, newspapers, and ephemera); bookselling, publishing, book collecting, libraries, and bookplates; readers and reading; curiosa; and reviews. Five indexes: scholars; reviewers; persons as subjects; places; subjects. Although it overlaps considerably with ABHB: Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book (U5275), BBB was somewhat more current and accurate (however, like ABHB, it contains numerous errors, misclassifications, and omissions). The two should be used together. Reviews: B. J. McMullin, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 79.2 (1985): 260–62; 80.2 (1986): 263–65; 81.1 (1987): 81–82.

See also[edit]

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): Bibliography division.

MLAIB (G335): See the Bibliographical heading in the General division in volumes for 1935–52; General III: Bibliographical in the volumes for 1953–55; General IX: Bibliographical in the volumes for 1956–66; General VI: Bibliographical in the volumes for 1967–69; General V: Bibliographical in the volumes for 1970–80; and the Bibliographical division in pt. 4 of the later volumes. Researchers must also consult the headings beginning “Analytical Bibliography,” “Bibliographical,” “Bibliography” “Textual,” “Print,” “Printed,” “Printer’s,” “Printing,” and “Publishing” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes or in the online thesaurus.

YWES (G330): Chapter on Reference, Literary History, and Bibliography since vol. 66 (for 1985).

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Baker, William, and Kenneth Womack, comps. Twentieth-Century Bibliography and Textual Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport: Greenwood, 2000. 262 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in Lib. and Information Science 13. Z1002.B28 016.011.

A selective, annotated bibliography of twentieth-century English-language studies (published through 1998) relating to Anglo-American bibliography and textual studies. The 769 entries are organized alphabetically by author under six divisions: general bibliographical or textual studies; analytical bibliography; descriptive bibliography; textual criticism; historical bibliography; and enumerative bibliography. The annotations are descriptive, though the ones for collections of essays simply list authors and titles; most users would benefit from more attention to how a particular work fits into developments in editorial theory, bibliographical concepts (such as copy-text), and textual issues (e.g., authorial intention). Selection is generally judicious, except in the enumerative bibliography division, which includes an unsystematic sprinkling of enumerative bibliographies among works about the subject. Three indexes: authors; titles; subjects (which offers the best access to works about a topic). Although the lack of a list of journal acronyms will prevent some users from locating articles, Twentieth-Century Bibliography and Textual Criticism provides a much-needed guide to the theory and method of bibliography and textual criticism.

The fullest lists of publications on bibliography and textual criticism are G. Thomas Tanselle, Introduction to Scholarly Editing: Seminar Syllabus, 18th rev. (Charlottesville: Book Arts, 2002; 257 pp.) and Introduction to Bibliography: Seminar Syllabus, 19th rev. (2002; 370 pp.); both are online at


Index to Selected Bibliographical Journals, 1933–1970. London: Bibliog. Soc., 1982. 316 pp. Z1002.I573 016.002.

Barr, Bernard. “The Bibliographical Society: Index to Selected Bibliographical Journals (Addenda).” Library 6th ser. 9.1 (1987): 44–52.

Feather, John. An Index to Selected Bibliographical Journals, 1971–1985. Oxford: Oxford Bibliog. Soc., 1991. 134 pp. Occasional Pub. 23. Z1002.I5732 016.002.

An author and subject index to signed articles, notes, and some letters—but not reviews—published for the most part from 1933 through 1969 in 11 major bibliographical journals, with coverage for 6 continued for 1971–85 in Feather’s supplement. Under each author or subject, 1933–1970 lists entries alphabetically by journal, then chronologically by publication date; Feather lists entries alphabetically by title under author heads, by author under subject heads. Because 1933–1970 is derived from a Bodleian Library card index that was compiled over several years by various persons, there are numerous errors in transcriptions, oversights (e.g., an entire volume of Library was omitted, although it is indexed in Barr’s addenda), and inconsistencies in subject headings. Subject indexing is frequently superficial or inaccurate because of the reliance on title keywords. Feather offers superior subject indexing but unaccountably fails to continue coverage of Studies in Bibliography and Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America—two of the most important bibliographical journals—or to replace journals no longer published with AEB: Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography or TEXT: An Interdisciplinary Annual of Textual Studies. The general untrustworthiness of 1933–1970, the failure to index volumes published in 1970, and the unacceptable reduction in coverage offered by 1971–1985 underscore Feather’s prefatory remark that “bibliography has not been well served by indexers.” Indeed, it is unfortunate to have to say that 1933–1970, Barr’s addenda, and Feather constitute the single best index to this body of publications. They must, however, be supplemented by the serial bibliographies in section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Bibliography and Textual Criticism/Guides to Scholarship/Serial Bibliographies. Review: (1933–1970) B. J. McMullin, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 78.1 (1984): 57–67. A major desideratum remains a full and accurate index to bibliographical publications.


Luey, Beth. Editing Documents and Texts: An Annotated Bibliography. Madison: Madison House, 1990. 289 pp. Z5165.L83 [PN162] 016.808′027.

A highly selective bibliography of English-language publications (through 1988) on the editing of postclassical historical documents and literary texts. Although prefatory matter to editions is excluded, some reviews of editions are listed. The approximately 900 entries are organized in a single alphabetical author list. Each entry consists of the citation, a list of keywords that serve as headings in the subject index, and a brief descriptive annotation. There is a list of mystery novels in which documents, manuscripts, or editors figure prominently. Indexed by subject. Several entries are for inconsequential or outdated discussions, there are some significant omissions, most annotations are too brief or general to convey an adequate sense of a work’s content or place in the controversy over a topic or the development of scholarly editing, readers would benefit from more cross-references, and through-numbering would allow for easier location of entries; yet Luey serves as a convenient preliminary guide to the basic works on the theory and practice of textual editing. The prefatory “Suggestions for Teaching” offers useful advice for those preparing a course in editing. Review: Mary Ann O’Donnell, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography ns 4.2 (1990): 134–37.


Tanselle, G. Thomas. Guide to the Study of United States Imprints. 2 vols. Cambridge: Belknap–Harvard UP, 1971. Z1215.A2 T35 016.015′73.

A bibliography of published research through 1969 on printing and publishing in the United States. Entries are organized geographically and then chronologically by date of coverage or publication in most of the nine divisions: regional lists; genre lists (by type, form, or subject); author lists (limited essentially to descriptive bibliographies or lists of editions); published copyright records; important or representative auction, booksellers’, exhibition, and library catalogs; retrospective book trade directories; studies of individual printers and publishers; general studies; checklists of secondary material. Some entries cite selected reviews. An appendix lists 250 essential works on printing and publishing in the United States. Indexed by persons, publishers, and subjects. Users must be certain to read the introduction, which clearly outlines the scope and organization of each division, cites additional sources, and offers valuable advice on the uses of each type of work listed and on research procedures. Tanselle, while not comprehensive, nonetheless offers the fullest list of published research through 1969 on printing and publishing in the country and is an important source for locating reference works that will identify a particular printed book. For studies published after 1969, consult ABHB: Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book (U5275). Review: Hensley C. Woodbridge, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 67.3 (1973): 351–56.

See also[edit]

Howard-Hill, Index to British Literary Bibliography (M1355).

Leary, Articles on American Literature (Q3295).

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (M1385).

Woodress, Dissertations in American Literature, 1891–1966 (Q3320).

Book Collecting[edit]

The preceding section, Bibliography and Textual Criticism, includes many works closely allied to book collecting.

Scholars needing to consult materials in private collections will benefit from the advice in Gordon N. Ray, “The Private Collector and the Literary Scholar,” The Private Collector and the Support of Scholarship: Papers Read at a Clark Library Seminar, April 5, 1969, by Louis B. Wright and Ray (Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Lib., 1969) 25–84, and conveniently reprinted in Ray, Books as a Way of Life, ed. G. Thomas Tanselle (New York: Grolier Club and Pierpont Morgan Lib., 1988) 233–77.

Research Methods[edit]


Pearson, David. Provenance Research in Book History. Rpt. with new introd. London: British Lib.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 1998. 326 pp. British Lib. Studies in the Hist. of the Book. Z994.G7 P43 002.0941.

A guide to identifying ownership marks—including signatures, mottoes, bookplates, armorial binding stamps, and other marks in books—and to tracing the location, at some point in time, of a book owned by an individual or institution. Although the focus is on books from the fifteenth through the nineteenth century in British collections, works related to foreign provenance are also recorded. Following an overview of problems involved in establishing provenance, devotes chapters to identifying inscriptions, mottoes, and other manuscript marks (including booksellers’ codes); bookplates, labels, and bookstamps; armorial and other bindings; auction catalogs; booksellers’ catalogs; private library catalogs; provenance indexes (published and unpublished); and works on heraldry, paleography, biography, book collecting, and library history useful in provenance research. Most chapters include helpful illustrations and annotated bibliographies (the introduction to the 1998 reprint cites additional sources). A wonderfully practical handbook, Provenance Research is the essential starting point for anyone interested in identifying ownership marks in a book or a volume from the library of an individual or institution in Britain. A similar guide is needed for North America. Review: Nigel Ramsay, Library 6th ser. 19.1 (1997): 73–75.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Carter, John, and Nicolas Barker. ABC for Book Collectors. 8th ed., corrected. New Castle: Oak Knoll; London: British Lib., 2010. 234 pp. Z1006.C37 002′.075. <>.

A dictionary of terms used by book collectors and the antiquarian book trade in Great Britain and the United States. Carter excludes foreign language terms except for those in common use or without an English equivalent. The sometimes detailed entries, based on Carter’s years of experience as collector and member of the trade and on Barker’s experience as editor of Book Collector, offer clear definitions (frequently leavened with wit) and make effective use of the book itself for illustrating some terms. Instructive and entertaining, ABC for Book Collectors is the essential companion for collectors or occasional readers of auction and booksellers’ catalogs.

For foreign language terms, see Menno Hertzberger, ed., Dictionnaire à l’usage de la librairie ancienne pour les langues française, anglaise, allemande, suédoise, danoise, italienne, espagnole, hollandaise, japonaise / Dictionary for the Antiquarian Booktrade in French, English, German, Swedish, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Japanese ([Paris?]: Intl. League of Antiquarian Booksellers, 1978; 202 pp.). A shorter list—Edgar Franco, Dictionnaire de termes en usage dans le commerce des livres anciens en français, anglais, allemand et italien / Dictionary of Terms and Expressions Commonly Used in the Antiquarian Booktrade in French, English, German, and Italian ([Hilversum]: LILI/ILAB, 1994; 76 pp.)—can be downloaded from the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers Web site (


Zempel, Edward N., and Linda A. Verkler, eds. First Editions: A Guide to Identification: Statements of Selected North American, British Commonwealth, and Irish Publishers on Their Methods of Designating First Editions. 4th ed. Peoria: Spoon River, 2001. 669 pp. Z1033.F53 F57 016.094′4.

A guide to the phrases, devices, symbols, and other marks used by about 4,200 American, British, and Irish publishers to designate a first printing or impression. Organized alphabetically by firm, entries consist of publishers’ statements outlining practices through 2000 or 2001. A section on book club editions concludes the work. Although incomplete and not always accurate, Zempel and Verkler is the best guide to identifying a first printing or impression.

Henry S. Boutell, First Editions of Today and How to Tell Them: American, British, and Irish, 4th ed., rev. and enl. by Wanda Underhill (Berkeley: Peacock, 1965; 227 pp.), remains an important complement for practices between 1947 and 1964. Statements from earlier editions no longer protected by copyright are reprinted in Zempel and Verkler.

See also[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Bibliography and Textual Criticism/Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias.

General Introductions[edit]


Carter, John. Taste and Technique in Book Collecting. Rpt. with additions. London: Private Libs. Assn., 1970. 242 pp. Z987.C35 020′.75′08.

A study of the relationship between taste and technique in book collecting. Following a prefatory definition of book collector, chapters (replete with examples) are divided between two parts: the evolution of book collecting from 1812 to the early 1900s in Great Britain and the United States; a discussion of method, including the education of a collector, tools and terminology, bookstores and auction rooms, the concept of rarity, and the importance of condition. The 1970 reprint has corrections and notes on pp. 203–05 and an epilogue covering 1928–69 (pp. 209–42). Because Taste and Technique presumes a familiarity with the terminology of bibliography and book collecting, the beginning collector should have a copy of Carter and Barker, ABC for Book Collectors (U5340), in hand. Although not a manual, Taste and Technique remains the classic introduction to book collecting.

Among the numerous manuals, the best complements to Carter are the following:

  • Peters, Jean, ed. Book Collecting: A Modern Guide. New York: Bowker, 1977. 288 pp. A collection of essays on buying from dealers and auctions; the antiquarian book market; manuscript collecting; descriptive bibliography; fakes, forgeries, and facsimiles; the physical care of books and manuscripts; organizing a collection; appraisal; the book collector and the world of scholarship; and the literature of book collecting (for the last, see entry U5355).
  • ———, ed. Collectible Books: Some New Paths. New York: Bowker, 1979. 294 pp. A series of essays that describe unexplored and nontraditional areas for collecting.
  • Rees-Mogg, William. How to Buy Rare Books: A Practical Guide to the Antiquarian Book Market. Oxford: Phaidon, 1985. 159 pp. Christie’s Collectors Guides. A practical guide for the beginning collector; topics include catalogs, relations with dealers, tastes and trends in collecting (with emphasis on the traditional subjects and expensive books), the physical makeup of a book, and care and conservation.
  • Winterich, John T., and David A. Randall. A Primer of Book Collecting. 3rd rev. ed. New York: Crown, 1966. 228 pp. Emphasizes the fundamentals of collecting, with discussions of kinds of collectible books, rarity, condition, the mechanics of collecting, bibliographical points, and reference works.

Beginning collectors should be especially wary of the numerous publications that stress book collecting as an investment. None of these works is adequate as a guide to either collecting or investing.

The best introduction to the related field of manuscript collecting remains Charles Hamilton, Collecting Autographs and Manuscripts (Santa Monica: Modoc, 1993; 425 pp.). Among the extensively illustrated chapters are discussions of building a collection, making finds, detecting forgeries, and collecting various kinds of materials, including literary manuscripts. Although it is addressed to the beginning collector and emphasizes American manuscripts, Hamilton is an entertaining and instructive introduction by one of the foremost dealers. Also useful is Mary A. Benjamin, Autographs: A Key to Collecting, corrected and rev. ed. (New York: Benjamin, 1963; 313 pp.).

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


Tanselle, G. Thomas. “The Literature of Book Collecting.” Book Collecting: A Modern Guide [entry U5350a]. Ed. Jean Peters. New York: Bowker, 1977. 209–71. Z987.B68 020′.75.

An evaluative survey of general introductions and manuals; glossaries; histories of printing and allied trades; histories of collecting and bookselling; guides to and studies of collectors; periodicals; bibliographies; auction, booksellers’, exhibition, and library catalogs; guides to prices; directories of dealers and collectors; works on conservation, bookplates, and manuscripts; and guides to further reading. Unfortunately, many of the authors and works cited are excluded from the index to the volume. Judicious selection and authoritative evaluation make Tanselle’s survey the best guide to works about or essential in book collecting. An important complement is Tanselle’s essay review of six book-collecting manuals in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 72.2 (1978): 265–81.

See also[edit]

ABELL (G340): Bibliography division in volumes for 1920–33; Bibliography/Book Production, Selling, Collecting, Librarianship, the Newspaper (with variations in the title) in the volumes for 1934–72; Bibliography/Booksellers’, Exhibition, and Sale Catalogues in the volumes for 1973–84; and Bibliography/Collecting and the Library in the volumes for 1973–present.

ABHB: Annual Bibliography of the History of the Printed Book (U5275).

Bibliographie der Buch- und Bibliotheksgeschichte (U5280).

MLAIB (G335): In volumes before 1981, studies of collecting and collectors are sometimes listed with bibliographical scholarship (see p. 627 for an outline of that section). In volumes after 1980, researchers must consult the “Book Collecting,” “Book Collection,” “Book Collectors,” and “Collection Study” headings in the subject index and in the online thesaurus.

Directories of Book Dealers[edit]

Individuals searching for a specific book should log on to,, or, which search the major Internet bookseller sites, or to, which searches the inventory of members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

For early dealers in the United States, see Madeleine B. Stern, Antiquarian Bookselling in the United States: A History from the Origins to the 1940s (Westport: Greenwood, 1985; 246 pp.), which concludes with a brief survey of primary sources and scholarship. For a survey of American and British directories, see John Bidwell, “Biographical Dictionaries of the Book Trades,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 102.4 (2008): 421–44.


American Book Trade Directory. Medford: Information Today, 1915– . Biennial. Z475.A5 655.473.

A directory of the retail and wholesale book trade in the United States and its territories and in Canada. Of most interest to literary scholars is the division listing retail and antiquarian booksellers. Organized alphabetically by state (with United States territories and Canadian provinces following the list of states), city, then store or bookseller, entries note kind of store, address, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, Web site, name of owner, number of volumes in stock, subject specializations, and services (such as searching for specific titles). Other divisions list auctioneers, appraisers, and dealers in foreign language books. Two indexes: types of stores; dealers. Although American Book Trade Directory offers the fullest list of United States and Canadian antiquarian booksellers, inadequate indexing makes it nearly impossible to identify stores specializing in an author, period, or subject.

Members of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers can be identified by specialization at the league’s Web site (


Sheppardsworld. Joseph, 2010. 20 Jan. 2013. <>.

Sheppard’s British Isles: A Directory of Antiquarian and Secondhand Book Dealers in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and the Republic of Ireland. Torrington: Joseph, 1952– . Irregular. Title varies. Z327.D57 070.5′025′41.

Sheppard’s Book Dealers in North America: A Directory of Antiquarian and Secondhand Book Dealers in the U.S.A. and Canada. Farnham: Joseph, 1954– . Irregular. Z475.B63.

Sheppard’s Book Dealers in Europe. Farnham: Joseph, 1967– . Irregular. (Title varies.) Z291.5.E96.

Sheppard’s Book Dealers in Australia and New Zealand: A Directory of Antiquarian and Secondhand Book Dealers in Australia, New Zealand, and Parts of the Pacific. Farnham: Joseph, 1991– . Irregular. Z533.4.S48 381′.45002′02594.

Geographic directories of bookstores and private dealers. A typical entry includes name of business, address, proprietor, Web site, e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers, hours, a very general indication of size and nature of stock, specializations, and number of catalogs issued each year. Among the indexes are ones for business names, proprietors, and subject specializations. More current information can be found in Sheppardsworld, which allows subscribers to search by subject and locale. Although the subject specialization headings are too broad, these are important guides to book dealers, especially the smaller shops and private dealers.

Biographical Dictionaries of Collectors[edit]


Dickinson, Donald C. Dictionary of American Book Collectors. New York: Greenwood, 1986. 383 pp. Z989.A1 D53 002′.075′0922.

A biographical dictionary of 359 American book collectors who died before 31 December 1984 and whose collections were “distinguished by the quality, unity, . . . superior physical condition,” and intrinsic importance of the books. An entry notes the disposition of the collection by auction or by sale or gift to an institution; provides basic biographical information; comments on the collector’s major interests, the development and influence of the collection, and noteworthy items; and concludes with a selective bibliography of catalogs and studies of the collection as well as works by or about the collector. Two appendixes: a list of collectors by areas of specialization; a chronological list of important American book auctions from 1860 through 1984. Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). As the most complete biographical dictionary of important American collectors, Dickinson is a valuable source for tracing the disposition of a collection and thus locating individual copies. Review: Madeleine B. Stern, American Book Collector ns 7.9 (1986): 39–41.

Carl L. Cannon, American Book Collectors and Collecting from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Wilson, 1941; 391 pp.), treats additional collectors, but the topical organization and essay format make it difficult to locate information on minor collectors. Some collectors are profiled in two collections edited by Joseph Rosenblum: American Book-Collectors and Bibliographers: First Series (Detroit: Gale, 1994; 408 pp.; Dictionary of Lit. Biography 140) and American Book Collectors and Bibliographers: Second Series (Detroit: Gale, 1997; 431 pp.; Dictionary of Lit. Biography 187).


Quaritch, Bernard, ed. Contributions towards a Dictionary of English Book-Collectors: As Also of Some Foreign Collectors Whose Libraries Were Incorporated in English Collections or Whose Books Are Chiefly Met with in England. 14 pts. London: Quaritch, 1892–1921. Z989.Q1 020′.75.

A collection of separately authored profiles of 78 collectors from the thirteenth through nineteenth centuries. The individual entries, which appear in no particular order, typically consist of two parts: (1) a biography of the collector and discussion of the nature, highlights, and dispersal of the collection; (2) a list of important manuscripts and printed works, a few of which record current owners. Many of the entries, which vary considerably in informativeness and length, were written by dealers involved in the formation of the collection or individuals acquainted with the collector. Part 12 is a preliminary list of several hundred collectors from 1316 to 1898. Quaritch remains the most comprehensive guide to English book collectors and is still valuable for tracing the provenance of important items. Additional collectors are treated in Seymour de Ricci, English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts (1530–1930) and Their Marks of Ownership (New York: Macmillan; Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1930; 203 pp.), and in three collections edited by William Baker and Kenneth Womack: Nineteenth-Century British Book Collectors and Bibliographers (Detroit: Gale, 1997; 531 pp.; Dictionary of Lit. Biography 184), Pre-Nineteenth-Century British Book Collectors and Bibliographers (1999; 487 pp.; Dictionary of Lit. Biography 213), and Twentieth-Century British Book Collectors and Bibliographers (1999; 393 pp.; Dictionary of Lit. Biography 201). The time is ripe, however, for a dictionary of British book collectors similar to Dickinson, Dictionary of American Book Collectors (U5370).

See also[edit]

Tanselle, “The Literature of Book Collecting” (U5355), lists additional directories (pp. 266–67).

Booksellers’ and Auction Catalogs[edit]

Booksellers’ and auction catalogs are among the most underutilized scholarly resources. Although they are frequently difficult to locate (even in libraries that hold major collections) and (in the case of booksellers’ catalogs) are rarely indexed, these catalogs are valuable for identifying hitherto unrecorded printed works, editions, or manuscripts; finding descriptions (and sometimes reproductions or transcriptions) of unique items no longer locatable; tracing the provenance of a copy (and thus possibly locating it); and reconstructing an individual’s library.

For a discussion of the importance of auction catalogs and the pitfalls involved in using them, see Michael Hunter, “Auction Catalogues and Eminent Libraries,” Book Collector 21.4 (1972): 471–88. On the use of catalogs and other resources for tracing provenance, see Robert Nikirk, “Looking into Provenance,” A Miscellany for Bibliophiles, ed. H. George Fletcher (New York: Grastorf, 1979) 15–45, and Pearson, Provenance Research (U5330), with advice on identifying and locating auction and booksellers’ catalogs. Of major value would be a series of indexes to manuscript material and association copies in catalogs issued by at least the major booksellers.

Histories and Surveys[edit]


Taylor, Archer. Book Catalogues: Their Varieties and Uses. 2nd ed. Rev. by Wm. P. Barlow, Jr. New York: Beil, 1987. 284 pp. Z1001.T34 011′.3.

An examination of the types, history, and uses of catalogs of booksellers, auction houses, private collections, institutions, and publishers. Taylor emphasizes catalogs published before 1900 of printed books, and for the most part excludes unpublished catalogs and those of manuscripts. The revised edition reprints the first edition (Chicago: Newberry Lib., 1957; 284 pp.), with a prefatory list of corrections and additions that unfortunately does not incorporate scholarship since the mid-1950s. The first chapter describes the kinds of catalogs—especially their varieties and historical development—and surveys bibliographies based on them; the second details the uses of catalogs in scholarly research; the third surveys bibliographies of catalogs, emphasizing their uses and historical development; the last chapter prints an annotated list of important private library catalogs published before 1824. Four indexes: dealers, institutions, owners, and publishers; kinds of books and subjects listed in catalogs; subjects treated in catalogs and compilations based on them; compilers, editors, collectors, and bibliographers of catalogs. Although now dated, Taylor remains important as a general history of early catalogs, an account of individual ones, and a guide to their uses in research.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]


McKay, George L., comp. American Book Auction Catalogues, 1713–1934: A Union List. Rpt. with supplements. Detroit: Gale, 1967. 560 pp. Z999.M15 018.3.

A chronological list of about 10,000 book auction catalogs (including some miscellaneous catalogs having more than five pages of books) issued in the United States from 1713 through 1934. Organized chronologically by opening date of sale, entries cite (when known) date, owner(s), auction firm, number of pages and lots, and locations of copies (noting priced or marked ones) or source of information for those unlocated. Many entries for eighteenth-century catalogs are based on newspaper advertisements or other sources, and a sizable number probably are for manuscript inventories. A separate grouping of auctions listed in newspaper advertisements that do not specify issuance of a catalog appears on pp. 461–91; additions and corrections to the main list are printed on pp. 493–95; the two supplements from Bulletin of the New York Public Library (50.3 [1946]: 177–84; 52.8 [1948]: 401–12) are reprinted after the index. An introduction, by Clarence S. Bingham, is entitled “History of Book Auctions in America” (pp. 1–37). Indexed by owners. Despite flaws—the work is incomplete, records a limited number of locations, and offers no indication of contents—it does provide the fullest list of United States auction catalogs from 1801 through 1934. Earlier catalogs are more thoroughly and accurately described by Winans, Descriptive Checklist of Book Catalogues Separately Printed in America (U5410).


Alston, R. C., comp. Inventory of Sale Catalogues of Named and Attributed Owners of Books Sold by Retail or Auction, 1676–1800: An Inventory of Sales in the British Isles, America, the United States, Canada, and India. 2 vols. Yeadon: Privately printed, 2010. Z1000.A47.

An inventory of 4,659 auction and booksellers’ catalogs—extant and ones known only from newspaper advertisements—of named or attributed owners held in nearly 600 libraries. Catalogs are listed chronologically by date of commencement of the sale. A full entry provides owner(s), date and location of the sale, sources of information, title of catalog and format, auctioneer or bookseller(s), type of sale (e.g., auction or retail), locations of copies (including some shelf numbers) in about 600 libraries, references to other bibliographies, and information about advertisements and reprints. Indexed by owners. The most thorough list of catalogs of the period, the Inventory is invaluable for identifying a catalog of the library of an individual and for locating copies (which are not only scarce but also difficult to identify in most library catalogs).

Alston supersedes A. N. L. Munby and Lenore Coral, comps. and eds., British Book Sale Catalogues, 1676–1800: A Union List (London: Mansell, 1977; 146 pp.). On the history and progress of 1801–1900 see Coral, “Towards the Bibliography of British Book Auction Catalogues, 1801–1900,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 89.4 (1995): 419–25. Until it appears, List of Catalogues of English Book Sales, 1676–1900, Now in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1915; 523 pp.) offers the most complete list of nineteenth-century auction catalogs. (According to Pearson, Provenance Research [U5330], Munby’s marked copy of the British Museum list is in Cambridge University Library, with photocopies held by the British Library and the Bodleian Library [p. 140].) Although these publications are easier to identify in the online Explore the British Library (E250) than in the British Library General Catalogue of Printed Books (see E250a), List of Catalogues remains an important source of shelf numbers for the extensive collection, which includes several auctioneers’ priced sets.


Winans, Robert B. A Descriptive Checklist of Book Catalogues Separately Printed in America, 1693–1800. Worcester: Amer. Antiquarian Soc., 1981. 207 pp. Z1029.W56 018.

A chronological list of 689 separately published booksellers’, publishers’, and auction catalogs and circulating, private, social, and college library catalogs. The catalogs are listed by year of publication, then alphabetically by author, auctioneer, bookseller, or title of anonymous work. The 278 located catalogs have full entries that include author; title; publication information; collation; pagination; list of contents; notes on the type of catalog, number and kind of entries, organization, and other matters, including the presence of prices and the basis for dating undated publications; references to other bibliographies and scholarship; reprints; and locations of copies (primarily in East Coast libraries). Entries for unlocated items are, of course, much briefer and cite references in other sources; entries for what are probably manuscript inventories listed in McKay, American Book Auction Catalogues (U5400), merely cite McKay. Thoroughly indexed by authors, owners, printers, cities, and subjects. Complemented by Winans, “The Beginnings of Systematic Bibliography in America up to 1800: Further Explorations,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 72.1 (1978): 15–35. Admirably thorough and accurate in its bibliographical descriptions but insufficiently informative in notes on contents, Winans supersedes McKay, American Book Auction Catalogues, for auction catalogs before 1801 and is an invaluable source for identifying and locating catalogs essential in bibliographical research, book trade history, and cultural studies. Review: Stephen Botein, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 76.2 (1982): 223–26.

See also[edit]

Taylor, Book Catalogues (U5395).


American Book Prices Current. Bancroft-Parkman, 2007–13. 20 Jan. 2013. <>. CD-ROM; flash drive.

American Book Prices Current, [1894–2004] (ABPC). Washington: Bancroft-Parkman, 1895–2005. Annual. Z1000.A51 018′.3. <>.

A list of books and manuscripts sold in the principal European and North American auction houses. Until vol. 64 (1958), ABPC covers only auctions in the United States; after vol. 73 (1967), it gradually becomes more international but is still selective in reporting sales outside North America and the United Kingdom. Currently, most items that bring less than $100 or the equivalent in another currency, books in lots, and incomplete sets and runs of periodicals are excluded. Entries are organized in two parts: autographs and manuscripts (including original illustrations for books, documents, letters, corrected proofs, and signed photographs) and books (including single sheets, broadsides, and uncorrected proofs). Works are listed alphabetically by author; title of anonymous work; or (when it is the main interest) private press, publisher, or printer. Entries record title, place and date of publication, edition, size, binding, condition, important features (such as provenance, bibliographical points, inscriptions, or marginalia), auction house, date of sale and lot number, price, and (since vol. 66 [1960]) purchaser (when reported on a price list). The publisher claims that entries for books have been independently verified, but the nature of this verification is not made clear. The fastest access to entries is through the online version (for volumes since September 1975) or the cumulative indexes: 1916–22, comp. Philip Sanford Goulding and Helen Plummer Goulding (1925; 1,397 pp.); 1923–32, comp. Eugenia Wallace and Lucie E. Wallace (1936; 1,007 pp.); 1933–40, comp. and ed. Edward Lazare (1941; 765 pp.); 1941–45, comp. and ed. Colton Storm (1946; 1,126 pp.); 1945–50, comp. and ed. Lazare (1951; 1,404 pp.); 1950–55, ed. Lazare (1956; 1,709 pp.); 1955–60, ed. Lazare (1961; 1,533 pp.); 1960–65, ed. Lazare (1968; 2,085 pp.); 1965–70, ed. William James Smith, 2 pts. (1974; 2,545 pp.); 1970–75, ed. Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab, 2 pts. (1976; 2,061 pp.); 1975–79, ed. Leab and Leab, 2 pts. (1980; 2,325 pp.); 1979–83, ed. Leab and Leab, 2 pts. (1984; 2,246 pp.); 1983–87, ed. Leab and Leab, 2 pts. (1988; 2,286 pp.); 1987–91, ed. Leab and Leab, 2 pts. (1992; 2,320 pp); 1991–95, ed. Leab and Leab, 2 pts. (1996; 2,335 pp.).

The online ABPC includes records since 1975 divided among two files: books and other print material; autographs, manuscripts, documents, and other handwritten material. Search Books allows searches by keyword, author or main entry, and title to be sorted by author or main entry, price, title, year sold, or imprint year. Search Manuscripts allows searches of kewords, author or main entry, date, and category (e.g., letters and postcards, corrected proof) to be sorted by author or main entry, price, category, or year sold. Search results are limited to 1,000 records. Records can be selected for e-mailing, downloading, or printing.

Although ABPC is more scholarly, current, comprehensive, and trustworthy than Book Auction Records (U5420), the two are ultimately complementary works and invaluable as indexes to auction catalogs and as aids for identifying and tracing unique items (especially manuscripts and association copies). Those using ABPC or Book Auction Records to evaluate books must remember that prices now do not reflect buyers’ premiums or taxes (denominated for each auction house in the explanatory notes to individual volumes of ABPC) and depend on condition and other factors.

Some additional British and American sales (with coverage of the latter beginning in vol. 30 [1916]) are indexed in Book-Prices Current: A Record of the Prices at Which Books Have Been Sold at Auction, from [December, 1886 to August, 1956], 64 vols. (London: Witherby, 1888–1957, with cumulative indexes for vols. 1–10, 11–20, and 21–30). Beginning in vol. 35 (1921), Book-Prices Current includes some manuscripts. The early volumes are organized by auction house, then sale, with entries providing minimal information. Later volumes consist of a single alphabetical list, with entries citing author, title, publisher, condition, important features, auction house, date of sale, lot number, price, and sometimes buyer. If more than one copy was sold during the season, those copies with noteworthy features have full entries; for others, only auction house, date, and price are recorded. Because so many copies receive truncated entries, American Book Prices Current and Book Auction Records are superior indexes to sales covered in common.

Those searching for manuscripts should also consult the annual “Manuscripts at Auction: [January 1986– ]” (English Manuscript Studies, 1100–1700, 1–  [1989– ]), a selective list of manuscripts sold at the principal London and New York auction houses or (beginning with vol. 2 [1990]) listed in major booksellers’ catalogs.


Book Auction Records: A Priced and Annotated Annual Record of International Book Auctions, [1902–97] (BAR). Folkestone: Dawson, 1903–99. Annual. Z1000.B65 017.3.

An index to books, other printed materials, and some manuscripts sold at auction, originally in London, then in Great Britain, the United States (vols. 12–18 [1915–21], 37–95 [1940–97]), and, since vol. 64 (1968), other countries. Only items selling for more than £95, $200, or the equivalent of £150 in foreign currencies are included in the later volumes. Entries are listed alphabetically by author, title of anonymous work, press, or subject heading. Vols. 77–94 (1981–96) divide entries between two parts: printed books and atlases; printed maps, charts, and plans. Early volumes are organized by sale; those from vol. 43 (1945–46) through vol. 50 (1952–53) place important manuscripts in a separate section. A typical entry records author, title, date of publication, press, important features such as provenance or binding, auction house, date of sale, lot number, price, and (sometimes) buyer. Early volumes provide significantly less information. The most convenient access is through the cumulative indexes: vols. 1–9, William Jaggard (1924; 1,142 pp.); vols. 10–20, ed. Kathleen L. Stevens (1928; 1,467 pp.); vols. 21–30, ed. Kathleen L. Stevens (1935; 1,314 pp.); vols. 31–40, ed. Henry Stevens and Henry R. Peter Stevens (1948; 1,022 pp.); vols. 41–45, ed. Patricia B. Sargent (1951; 955 pp.); vols. 46–55, ed. Henry Stevens and J. G. Garratt (1962; 1,536 pp.); vols. 56–60, ed. Virginia Clarke and Garratt (1966; 1,146 pp.); vols. 61–65, ed. Dorothy C. Batho (1971; 1,739 pp.); vols. 66–69, ed. Batho (1977; 1,129 pp.); vols. 77–81, ed. Batho (1985; 1,008 pp.); no index is planned for vols. 70–76.

Although BAR is less accurate than American Book Prices Current (U5415), the two must be used together, since Book Auction Records covered more European and provincial English sales.


Bookman’s Price Index: A Guide to the Values of Rare and Other Out of Print Books (BPI). Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1964– . 2–4/yr., with cumulative indexes for vols. 1–6, 7–12, 13–19, 20–26, 27–36, 37–46, 47–54, 55–61, 62–67, 68–73, 74–79, 80–85, 86–91, and 92–97. Z1000.B74 018′.4.

A list of selected rare and antiquarian books offered for sale in recent catalogs of a small group of established dealers in Great Britain and North America. Each volume selectively indexes the catalogs of 40 to 180 dealers, which change over the course of the volumes. Books are listed alphabetically by author or title of anonymous work, then alphabetically by title, with editions following in chronological order. Each entry provides author, title, place and date of publication, a brief description of the copy offered (noting, for example, provenance, binding, condition, and important bibliographical points), dealer’s name, catalog and item number, and selling price. Since vol. 32 (1986), there are separate lists of association copies, bindings, and fore-edge paintings. A directory of dealers prefaces each volume. BPI covers only a small number of the thousands of dealers (and omits many of the more important ones), lacks any statement of principles governing the selection of dealers or books listed, and is full of misprints; still, it is the only index of frequently valuable but ephemeral sources of information and is an essential source for tracking down inscribed or annotated copies, books owned by authors or important collectors, and other unique items. Researchers using BPI as a source for evaluating the worth of a book must remember that the retail prices quoted vary widely among dealers and are based on a variety of factors such as condition, provenance, and edition. Reviews: (vol. 1) Walter Goldwater, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 60.1 (1966): 110–14; (vols. 1–12) Paul S. Koda, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 2.1 (1978): 76–80.

Bookman’s Price Index: Subject Series lasted for only one volume: Modern First Editions (1987), a cumulation of entries from the 1984–86 volumes of BPI.

See also[edit]

Cripe and Campbell, American Manuscripts, 1763–1815: An Index to Documents Described in Auction Records and Dealers’ Catalogues (Q3235).

Tanselle, “The Literature of Book Collecting” (U5355), lists additional indexes and price guides (pp. 259–64).

Children’s Literature[edit]

Research Methods[edit]


Grenby, M. O., and Kimberley Reynolds, eds. Children’s Literature Studies: A Research Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2011. 234 pp. PN1009.A1 808.068.

An introduction to methods of reseach in children’s literature, with sections devoted to basic research skills; archives, collections, and resources; visual texts; historical research; research and theory; and changing forms and formats. In each section separately authored essays or case studies address research tools for identifying primary and secondary sources, strategies for working with kinds of material, critical approaches, and challenges posed by literature for children. Much of the advice is sound and most of the case studies are instructive, but too many works essential to research in the field go unmentioned, such as Haviland, Children’s Literature: A Guide to Reference Sources (U5440); Watson, Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English (U5450); Hendrickson, Children’s Literature: A Guide to the Criticism (U5480); and Children’s Literature Abstracts (U5490). Review: Suzanne Brierley, Children’s Literature in Education 43.2 (2012): 184–86.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Haviland, Virginia. Children’s Literature: A Guide to Reference Sources. Washington: Lib. of Congress, 1966. 341 pp. Haviland and Margaret N. Coughlan. First Supplement. 1972. 316 pp. Second Supplement. 1977. 413 pp. (Although some reference guides cite a Third Supplement [1982], no such supplement was ever published.) Z1037.A1 H35 016.8098′928′2.

A guide to reference works and general studies (including dissertations) through 1974 that are important to the study of children’s literature. Although the work is international in scope, Haviland emphasizes British and North American literature. Entries are listed alphabetically by author, editor, or title in eight classified divisions: history and criticism, authorship (including sections on writing for children, individual authors, and biographical dictionaries), illustration (including studies of illustrators), bibliographies, books and children (including storytelling, folklore, nursery rhymes, poetry, and magazines; a section on pedagogy was added in the first supplement), libraries and children’s books, international studies, and national studies (with sections on Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Asia; ones for the Near East and Africa were added in the first supplement, and for French Canada in the second supplement). Concludes with a directory of associations and agencies. The full annotations are largely descriptive, although some offer evaluative comments. Indexed by persons and some titles. Haviland is now dated but remains the best guide to reference works and international scholarship through 1974.

For recent publications, see Rahn, Children’s Literature (U5485); Hendrickson, Children’s Literature (U5480); Margaret W. Denman-West, Children’s Literature: A Guide to Information Sources (Englewood: Libs. Unlimited, 1998; 187 pp.; Reference Sources in the Humanities Ser.), which focuses on works published 1985–97 but which must be consulted with an awareness that the evaluative comments—which typically read like blurbs—are usually too generous and frequently erroneous; John T. Gillespie, The Children’s and Young Adult Literature Handbook: A Research and Reference Guide (Westport: Libs. Unlimited–Greenwood, 2005; 393 pp.; Children’s and Young Adult Lit. Reference Ser.), which omits many essential reference works, is poorly organized, and lacks rigor in its evaluations; and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. A major desideratum remains a current, trustworthy guide to reference sources for the study of children’s literature.

See also[edit]

Beugnot and Moureaux, Manuel bibliographique des études littéraires (S4905).

Gohdes and Marovitz, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of the Literature of the U. S. A. (Q3180).

Histories and Surveys[edit]


Darton, F. J. Harvey. Children’s Books in England: Five Centuries of Social Life. Rev. Brian Alderson. 3rd ed. rpt. with corrections. London: British Lib.; New Castle: Oak Knoll, 1999. 398 pp. PR990.D3 011′.62.

A social history of literature written to entertain children. Ranging from the Middle Ages to c. 1901, the chapters on periods, major types of children’s literature, topics, publishers, and authors emphasize social, historical, literary, and commercial contexts. Each chapter concludes with an annotated list for further reading. While retaining Darton’s text as much as possible, the third edition makes numerous factual corrections and provides fuller documentation, additional illustrations, and supplementary appendixes, including one devoted to late nineteenth-century works. Concludes with a selected, annotated bibliography (which is updated in the 1999 reprint). Fully indexed by persons, subjects, and titles. The classic history of children’s literature in England before 1900, this is especially strong in its treatment of the eighteenth century. Reviews: Julia Briggs, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 26 Mar. 1982: 341–42; Andrea Immel, Library 7th ser. 1.4 (2000): 446–48.

Essays on the history of several forms of children’s literature (e.g., picture books, graphic novels, poetry) can be found in Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature, ed. Shelby A. Wolf, Karen Coats, Patricia Enciso, and Christine A. Jenkins (New York: Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 2011) 179–314.

See also[edit]

Literary History of Canada (R4565).

Tebbel, History of Book Publishing in the United States (U5260a).

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Watson, Victor, ed. The Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. 814 pp. Online through Gale Virtual Reference Library (I535) and through Credo Reference ( PR990.C36 820.9′9282′03.

An encyclopedia of authors, illustrators, and works published in English since pre-Norman times that have had significant influence, anywhere in the world, on young readers or that have “in some way influenced the production of children’s books.” Ranging well beyond what is thought of as “children’s literature” and the Books in the title, the signed entries include critics, technical terms, topics (e.g., movable books, child authors, and superheroes), drama, television series, comics, media texts, illustration techniques, awards, genres, organizations, folktales, fairy tales, periodicals, and genres. An appendix lists winners of selected literary prizes. Although ostensibly limited to works in English, there are entries for several Anglo-Saxon authors of Latin works (e.g., Ælfric and Aldhelm), whereas Beowulf only appears as a cross-reference. Impressive in its breadth of coverage and attention to the political, social, and commercial forces affecting what young persons read and view, Cambridge Guide to Children’s Books in English is now the standard desktop companion in its field.

It readily supplants Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard, The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1984; 587 pp.), a dictionary of British and North American children’s literature, as well as foreign works important to the English-language tradition, through May 1983 (although coverage is less thorough for post-1945 publications and persons). The approximately 2,000 entries encompass works, authors, genres, critics, scholars, publishers, illustrators, organizations, characters, magazines, awards, fairy tales, folklore, and children’s literature in various languages and countries. Entrants are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Entries are sometimes uneven, inaccurate, or conservative in their criticism, and there are notable omissions (especially for North American writers and works). Reviews: Brian Alderson, Library 6th ser. 8.2 (1986): 187–89; Hugh Brogan, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 4 May 1984: 505–06; Irving P. Cummings, Children’s Literature 14 (1986): 187–93.


Hahn, Daniel. Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015. 663 pp. PN1008.5 809.'89282.

This is the second edition of a 1984 companion by Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard (U5450a). Alphabetically arranged entries include updates of the original text as well as 900 new entries. Hahn truncated many of the original entries to make room for changes in the landscape of children’s literature over the past thirty years.

Entries run from roughly 50 to 1,500 words and are cross-referenced exhaustively (e.g., a twenty-nine-line entry can extend exponentially for a researcher who follows the cross-references). Yet there are the occasional, older, short entries that supply minimal information; in these cases, having access to both editions would be beneficial for ease of research.


International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. Ed. Peter Hunt. 2nd ed. 2 vols. London: Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 2004. PN1008.5.I57 809′.89282′03.

A compendium of 112 separately authored essays on children’s literature worldwide. Organized in five parts—theoretical and critical approaches, forms and genres, contexts (a hodgepodge treating publishing, scholarly journals, censorship, television, film, research collections, and statements about the field by authors), applications (e.g., teaching, selecting books, and librarianship), and national surveys—that variously address the history or development of a topic, explain methodologies, survey the state of research, or illustrate applications; most conclude with a list of suggested readings. Although the essays inevitably vary in quality and accuracy (e.g., in “Bibliography,” M. O. Grenby erroneously asserts that there are “only two full-scale print-format bibliographies of children’s literature studies”) and, for historical reasons, many are anglocentric, International Companion Encyclopedia offers an important overview of the current state of the field of children’s literature.

A valuable complementary work is The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, ed. Jack Zipes, 4 vols. (New York: Oxford UP, 2006; online through Oxford Reference [I530]). International in scope (but emphasizing the Anglo-American tradition from the Middle Ages to the present), its more than 3,200 signed entries cover forms, genres, regions, groups, terms, characters, periodicals, illustrators, and—predominantly—authors; many conclude with a selective bibliography. Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects. Review: Jan Susina, Marvels and Tales 22.2 (2008): 331–35.



Bingham, Jane, and Grayce Scholt. Fifteen Centuries of Children’s Literature: An Annotated Chronology of British and American Works in Historical Context. Westport: Greenwood, 1980. 540 pp. Z1037.A1 B582 [PN1009.A1] 028.52.

An annotated chronology of important or representative books written for or appropriated by children in Great Britain and the United States from 523 to 1945. The entries are organized in six periods, each of which is prefaced by a superficial and frequently inaccurate discussion of historical background, the development of books, and attitudes toward and treatment of children. English-language books are listed by date of publication; a foreign work is listed by the year it was introduced into Great Britain or the United States; works by a prolific or popular author are grouped under the year of his or her first important or popular publication (a practice that results in some lengthy, incomplete, and generally useless lists). A typical entry includes author, illustrator, translator, or editor; title; publisher or printer; annotation (with a brief description of content and list of other books by the person); and locations of copies in a limited number of collections. Three appendixes: a chronological list of American periodicals for children, 1789–1941; a chronological list of British periodicals for children, 1757–1941; an incomplete list of facsimiles and reprints of works cited in the chronology (which should have been incorporated into the individual entries). A selective bibliography of scholarship concludes the work. Two indexes: persons; titles. Marred by the uncritical inclusion of numerous works that hardly qualify as children’s literature, uneven annotations, incomplete publication information for several works, numerous factual errors, and the unfortunate practice of grouping works by an author under one year, Fifteen Centuries of Children’s Literature is useful for isolating only very broad trends (especially after 1800). Scholars still need an adequate chronology of children’s literature. Reviews: Brian Alderson, Phaedrus 8 (1981): 87–88; Irving P. Cummings, Children’s Literature 14 (1986): 187–93.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]


Ingles, Bibliography of Canadian Bibliographies (R4585).

Nilon, Bibliography of Bibliographies in American Literature (Q3225).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Guides to Collections[edit]


Special Collections in Children’s Literature. Ed. Dolores Blythe Jones. 3rd ed. Chicago: Amer. Lib. Assn., 1995. 235 pp. Z688.C47 S63 026.8088′99282.

A subject guide to collections of children’s literature in various media held by 419 public institutions in the United States, Canada, and forty other countries. Entries are divided into two parts: United States collections; international collections. Entries (organized alphabetically by state or country, then city, then name of institution) typically provide address information, contact person, details of cataloging or finding aids, and a description of holdings (usually fuller for United States collections). Since entries are based on responses to questionnaires, descriptions vary in accuracy and depth. Only the first part is indexed by subjects and persons (but the absurd decision to use National Union Catalog abbreviations for libraries makes locating entries unnecessarily time-consuming since one must either know a symbol or find it in a prefatory list); the concluding index of collections is more sensibly indexed by page number. Although the descriptions tend to be brief and the subject indexing is utterly inadequate, Jones offers the fullest guide to specialized collections of children’s literature. Coverage is supplemented by Karen Nelson Hoyle, “Libraries, Research Collections, and Museums,” pp. 722–30 in International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature (U5453) and “Archives and Special Collections Devoted to Children’s and Young Adult Literature,” pp. 386–92 in Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature (U5445a). To identify other collections, see section E: Libraries and Library Catalogs/Research Libraries/Guides to Collections.



Fraser, James H., comp. Children’s Authors and Illustrators: A Guide to Manuscript Collections in United States Research Libraries. New York: Saur, 1980. 119 pp. Phaedrus Bibliog. Ser. 1. Z6611.L76 F73 [PN1009.A1] 028.52.

A guide to collections of manuscripts and original illustrations held in United States libraries and other institutions. Organized alphabetically by author or artist, the descriptions typically indicate the general kind and amount of manuscript material and describe the content of a collection. (Additions appear on p. 83.) There is a separate list of authors represented in the Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota. Since they are based on reports from institutions, published descriptions, or entries in National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (F295), the entries vary considerably in detail and sophistication. (To understand the descriptions, users must become familiar with the explanation of terminology on p. x.) Concludes with a directory of institutions. Indexed by titles. Although Fraser is incomplete, cites collections of adult material for some writers, is based almost solely on reports or secondary sources, and emphasizes American writers, it at least offers an initial guide to the location of manuscripts and illustrations by children’s authors. It must be supplemented with National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections and other works listed under the heading “Manuscripts” in the various sections of this Guide.

See also[edit]

Sec. F: Guides to Manuscripts and Archives.

Printed Works[edit]

For an overview of bibliographies of primary works, see M. O. Grenby, “Bibliography,” pp. 202–21 in International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature (U5453).


Children’s Books in Print. Amenia: Grey House, 1969– . Annual. Z1037.A1 C482 028.52. Online through Books in Print (Q4225).

Author, title, illustrator, and subject indexes to currently available children’s books published or distributed in the United States. Produced from Books in Print (Q4225), Children’s Books in Print excludes textbooks, toy books, and workbooks but otherwise leaves the definition of “children’s book” to the publishers who supply information; the Books in Print database includes DVDs, e-books, videotapes, and audio books and offers access to reviews in selected library journals. In Books in Print users must check the header Children under Audience on the Advanced Search screen. Since entries are based on information supplied by publishers, some are incomplete or inaccurate, and names and titles are not standardized. Identifying books about a topic is much easier and faster in Books in Print than in the subject guide to Children’s Books in Print, which utilizes some broad or inexact headings. The print version also includes a directory of publishers. Although not exhaustive and lacking any explanation of the kinds of materials included or excluded, this work is the standard guide to children’s books currently for sale in the United States. Most entries for imaginative works through 1985 are incorporated into Fiction, Folklore, Fantasy, and Poetry for Children (U5475).


Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD). CLCD, n.d. 31 Dec. 2014. <>. Updated monthly.

A database that currently includes MARC records for about 2,000,000 “children’s books, video and audio recordings, and other children-focused media” and c. 365,000 reviews. The search screen allows users to limit keyword full-text searches by such fields as category (i.e., fiction or nonfiction), genre, illustrator, language, publisher, and date (and combinations of the preceding). The source of the MARC records is not specified (probably the Library of Congress); the database includes a substantial number of records for works that can hardly be classified as books for children (e.g., a search for Shakespeare returns hundreds of records for material not targeting children); many of the older records offer minimal details; there is no explanation of editorial principles and practices; there is no indication of the date when coverage of publications or reviews begins (c. 1900 and c. 1989, respectively, it seems). In short, Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database is an unsophisticated resource that relies heavily on automatic reproduction of cataloging records to populate its database and map searches; its chief value for literature researchers lies in its reproduction of reviews and ability to isolate works for children by subject, genre, illustrator, or prizes. Children’s literature scholars deserve a far more sophisticated resource.


Fiction, Folklore, Fantasy, and Poetry for Children, 1876–1985. 2 vols. New York: Bowker, 1986. Z1037.A2 F53 [PN1009.A1] 016.80806′8.

Author, title, and illustrator lists of editions and reprints of imaginative books for children published or distributed in the United States between 1876 and 1985. Incorporates records in the American Book Publishing Record (Q4110) and Children’s Books in Print (U5470) databases—as well as from other sources—with selection largely determined by Library of Congress classifications and subject tracings. The author and title indexes provide full entries that, when the information is available, cite author, editor, illustrator, title, series, pagination, size, publication date, grade level, edition, LC card number, ISBN, publisher, and selected list of awards. Details vary with changes in Library of Congress cataloging rules and are frequently incomplete for early works. Entries in the illustrator index cite title, author, publisher, date, and selected awards. A separate list of winners of 20 children’s books awards is also included. Although incomplete in its coverage and sometimes inaccurate (and subject to many of the same shortcomings as the cumulative American Book Publishing Record), Fiction, Folklore, Fantasy, and Poetry is the fullest single list of imaginative works for children published in the United States between 1876 and 1985.

Although limited to the “best” books (as determined by panels of librarians), the following are useful for their descriptive annotations and subject indexing of books for children as well as about children’s literature, all but a few of which are in print:

  • Children’s Core Collection. Ed. Anne Price. 20th ed. New York: Wilson, 2010. 2,318 pp. Core Collection Ser. (Annual supplements between editions.) Title varies. <>.
  • Middle and Junior High Core Collection. Ed. Price. 10th ed. New York: Wilson, 2009. 1,595 pp. Core Collection Ser. (Annual supplements between editions.) Title varies. <>.
  • Senior High Core Collection. Ed. Raymond W. Barber and Patrice Bartell. 18th ed. Ipswich: Wilson-EBSCO, 2011. 1,671 pp. Core Collection Ser. (Annual supplements between editions.) Title varies. <>.

Each work organizes nonfiction by Dewey Decimal Classification, followed by an author list of fiction, and then short story collections. An entry is accompanied by a description of contents or quotations from reviews. Indexed by authors, titles, and subjects. Earlier editions remain useful for their subject access to works subsequently dropped; several of these are included in the online versions. For the Core Collection Series selection policy, see See entry I512 for an evaluation of the EBSCO search interface, which all the Core Collection databases use.

See also[edit]

Cheung and Yogi, Asian American Literature (Q3940).

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vols. 2–4 (M1385).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]


Children’s Literature Research: International Resources and Exchange. München: Saur, 1991. 247 pp. PN1008.3.C45 809′.89282.

A series of reports, prepared for the first International Youth Library conference in 1988, that assess the state of research in more than 25 countries or geographic areas. The individual reports vary considerably in content, but many survey available reference tools, historical or critical studies, and current periodicals; describe current projects and research needs; note research centers; and conclude with a selective bibliography. Although the surveys are far from systematic and highly variable in the adequacy of their coverage, the collection is valuable for its international perspective.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

Unfortunately, work on the CLIP (Children’s Literature in Periodicals) database sponsored by the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books has been suspended. For a description of the project, see Lena Törnqvist and Anne de Vries, “The CLIP Project; or, Coming of Age as a Discipline,” Bookbird 31.4 (1993): 20–23. Some journal articles and essays in edited collections published after 1998 can be identified through ELSA, the institute’s online catalog (


“Bibliography, [1982, 1987–97].” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 8 (1983), 14–24 (1989–99). Title varies. PN1008.2.C48 809′.89282.

An annotated bibliography of studies of children’s and young adult literature that is primarily derived from Children’s Literature Abstracts (U5490). The entries are listed in 18 divisions (only a few of which are subdivided): authors and illustrators, awards, prizes, and organizations; bibliographies, reading lists, and reference works; canon, censorship, and stereotypes; collections, exhibitions, and libraries; critics and critical approaches; curriculum, instruction, and bibliotherapy; fantasy and science fiction; folklore, fable, fairy tale, myth, and storytelling; historical and sociological studies; illustration, design, comics, and picture books; media and theater; mimetic fiction and series; national and minority literatures and multiculturalism; nonfiction; periodicals; poetry; publishing and bookselling; and young adult. Indexed by critics. Although several entries are taken from other bibliographies, the majority are accompanied by descriptive annotations; unfortunately, however, the lack of a subject index—coupled with minimal cross-referencing and subclassification—renders the bibliography much less accessible than it should be. Once the most important serial bibliography in children’s literature, its coverage and annotations were scaled down so drastically with the bibliography for 1990 (17 [1992]) that researchers were far better served by Children’s Literature Abstracts.

See also[edit]

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): English Literature/General/Literature for Children in volumes since that for 1975, and the Literature for Children section in period divisions since the volume for 1985.

Bibliographie der Buch- und Bibliotheksgeschichte (U5280).

MLAIB (G335): General IV/Children’s Literature in the volumes for 1976–80. In later volumes, researchers must consult the “Children—as Audience” or “Children’s Literature” headings in the subject index and “Children’s Literature” in the online thesaurus.

Victorian Database Online (M2490).

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Hendrickson, Linnea. Children’s Literature: A Guide to the Criticism. Boston: Hall, 1987. 664 pp. Reference Pub. in Lit. Z2014.5.H46 [PR990] 011′.62. <>.

An annotated bibliography of significant English-language books, articles, and dissertations (through the mid-1980s) on imaginative works written for or read by children. (The online version includes “a few corrections.”) Although the work is international in scope and covers some classics published before 1900, Hendrickson emphasizes twentieth-century works in English. The entries are organized alphabetically in two divisions: individual authors (with highly selective lists for those who are not principally children’s authors); subjects, themes, genres, and national literatures (along with a substantial section on critical theory). The brief descriptive annotations frequently do not offer clear outlines of content. Two indexes: critics; authors, subjects, and titles of children’s books. Hendrickson is wider in scope, fuller in coverage (especially of twentieth-century literature), and more current than Rahn, Children’s Literature (U5485). However, the principles governing the selection of both primary authors and scholarship are unclear; subject headings and the classification of entries are frequently imprecise; and there are numerous significant omissions. Hendrickson and Rahn should be used together (especially because of the latter’s superior annotations and coverage of older scholarship).

Although dated, Anne Pellowski, The World of Children’s Literature (New York: Bowker, 1968; 538 pp.), remains a useful complement to Hendrickson and Rahn, Children’s Literature, because of its annotations of foreign scholarship.


Rahn, Suzanne. Children’s Literature: An Annotated Bibliography of the History and Criticism. New York: Garland, 1981. 451 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 263. Z1037.R15 [PR990] 011′.62.

A selective bibliography of important English-language scholarship published through c. 1979 on imaginative works written expressly for children. Rahn excludes dissertations and theses, as well as studies of educational works and adult literature appropriated by children. The 1,328 entries are organized alphabetically in four divisions: discussions of the definition and aims of children’s literature, historical studies and annotated catalogs of collections (inadequately organized in sections for general histories and specialized ones), genres (extensively classified by type and including magazines), and important authors (with sections for individuals and for multiple-author studies and collections of essays). An appendix describes important scholarly journals. The full descriptive annotations usually include comments on the quality or importance of a work. Indexed by persons. The cross-references that conclude each section do not compensate for the lack of subject indexing and the imprecise classification system. Although selective and insufficiently precise and detailed in its classification of entries, Rahn is nevertheless valuable for its judicious annotations. It must be supplemented by Haviland, Children’s Literature (U5440), Hendrickson, Children’s Literature (U5480), and the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. Review: Selma K. Richardson, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 9.1 (1984): 44–45.

See also[edit]

Boos, Bibliography of Women and Literature (U6600).

Greenwood Guide to American Popular Culture (U6295).

Haviland, Children’s Literature (U5440).

Lindfors, Black African Literature in English (R4425).

New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature, vols. 2–4 (M1385).



Children’s Literature Abstracts. Austin: Intl. Federation of Lib. Assns., Children’s Libs. Sect., 1973–2001. Quarterly, with cumulative index and two supplements. Z1037.C5446 [PN1009.A1] 028.52.

An abstract service for scholarship on children’s literature. The international coverage extends to a wide range of journals and a few newspapers; beginning in late 1984, books and pamphlets are abstracted in two supplements each year. Entries are organized in classified divisions for authors and illustrators; awards, prizes, and organizations; bibliographies, reading lists, and reference works; canon, censorship, and stereotyping; collections, exhibitions, and libraries; critics and analytical approaches; curriculum, instruction, and bibliotherapy; environment; fantasy and science fiction; folklore, fable, fairy tale, myth, and storytelling; historical and cultural studies; illustration, design, picture books, and comics; media and theater; mimetic fiction, school stories, and historical novels; national and minority literatures; nonfiction; poetry; publishing, bookselling, and periodicals; and young adult literature. The English-language abstracts, prepared by a team of international contributors, tend to be brief but adequately descriptive. On the history of Children’s Literature Abstracts, see Gillian Adams, “Halfway to the Future: Children’s Literature Abstracts,” Bookbird 31.4 (1993): 15–19. Although it is not comprehensive—especially in its coverage of books—its international scope makes Children’s Literature Abstracts the most important source for identifying studies of children’s literature. It should be used with the surveys in Phaedrus: An International Annual of Children’s Literature Research (1973–88), which are sometimes more comprehensive for individual countries.

With the demise of Children’s Literature Abstracts and of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly “Bibliography” (U5478), researchers face a field with no adequate bibliographical control of its scholarship.

Review Indexes[edit]


Children’s Book Review Index. Detroit: Gale-Cengage, 1975– . Annual, with cumulation for 1965–84. Z1037.A1 C475 028.52. Online through Book Review Index (G415).

An author or editor list of reviews of children’s books (print and electronic) and book-related media that is cloned from Book Review Index (G415), which offers more current information on recent titles. Although it is restricted in its coverage of periodicals and does not distinguish between substantive reviews and brief descriptive notices, Children’s Book Review Index does index the important serials that regularly review books for children.

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]



Children’s Authors and Illustrators: An Index to Biographical Dictionaries. Ed. Joyce Nakamura. 5th ed. New York: Gale, 1995. 811 pp. Gale Biographical Index Ser. 2. Z1037.A1 N18 016.809.

An index to some 200,000 biographies of about 30,000 writers and illustrators of English-language children’s books (including translations) in approximately 650 standard biographical dictionaries, including several not confined to children’s literature. Each entrant is followed by a coded list of dictionaries that include entries about him or her. Cloned from Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565) and suffering from many of the same editorial shortcomings, Children’s Authors and Illustrators provides some additional entries and attempts to differentiate those of the same name and to cross-reference pseudonyms (but without eliminating duplicate entries). Although lacking an explanation of the criteria governing the selection of works indexed and not discriminating between substantial biographical discussions and brief entries, this work is a time-saving source for determining what dictionaries to consult for biographical information about children’s authors and illustrators.

Complemented by Writers for Young Adults: Biographies Master Index: An Index to Sources of Biographical Information about Novelists, Poets, Playwrights, Nonfiction Writers, Songwriters and Lyricists, Television and Screenwriters Who Are of Interest to High School Students and to Teachers, Librarians, and Researchers Interested in High School Reading Materials, ed. Joyce Nakamura, 3rd ed. (Detroit: Gale, 1989; 183 pp.; Gale Biographical Index Ser. 6). It indexes some 16,000 entries from about 600 dictionaries but suffers from a lack of clear focus and criteria governing selection of entrants.

Entries in these two indexes that also appear in Biography and Genealogy Master Index can be searched more efficiently through the online version of BGMI.

See also[edit]

Sec. J: Biographical Sources/Biographical Dictionaries/Indexes.

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]


St. James Guide to Children’s Writers. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. 5th ed. Detroit: St. James-Gale, 1999. 1,406 pp. St. James Guide to Writers Ser. PN1009.A1 T9 820.9′9282.

A biographical, bibliographical, and critical dictionary of established twentieth-century writers and illustrators of English-language literature for children. A typical entry consists of three parts: biographical information, including address or agent; a list of separately published works (including those for adults); a signed critical essay. Some entries also note the location of manuscript collections, list selected criticism, and print a comment by the entrant. Important nineteenth-century writers are grouped in an appendix. Concludes with a very selective list of foreign authors whose works have been translated into English. Indexed by titles of books for children; entrants are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). The brief critical commentaries vary considerably in quality, but St. James Guide to Children’s Writers is a useful source of basic biographical and bibliographical information about established children’s authors. The Dictionary of Literary Biography (J600) volumes on children’s literature are superior sources of information for those writers and illustrators in common.

See also[edit]

Sec. J: Biographical Sources/Biographical Dictionaries/General Biographical Dictionaries.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (J600).


Guides to Primary Works[edit]


Kelly, R. Gordon, ed. Children’s Periodicals of the United States. Westport: Greenwood, 1984. 591 pp. Hist. Guides to the World’s Periodicals and Newspapers. PN4878.C48 051′.088054.

A collection of separately authored profiles of about 100 representative American children’s periodicals from 1789 to 1980. Entries, listed alphabetically by title, typically provide an overview of contents and publishing history; a selected list of scholarship, indexing sources, and locations; and a record of title changes, frequency, publisher(s), place(s) of publication, and editor(s). The preface surveys the state of general scholarship on children’s periodicals. Three appendixes: title, chronological, and geographic lists of 423 American children’s periodicals. Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects. While the work is flawed—it lacks an adequate statement of criteria governing selection, is admittedly weak in coverage of religious publications, excludes foreign language periodicals, and is uneven in the quality of individual essays—it still offers some of the fullest discussions of children’s periodicals published in the United States.



Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Index to Children’s Poetry: A Title, Subject, Author, and First Line Index to Poetry in Collections for Children and Youth. Comp. John E. Brewton and Sara W. Brewton. New York: Wilson, 1942. 965 pp. First Supplement. 1957. 405 pp. Second Supplement. 1965. 451 pp. Index to Poetry for Children and Young People, 1964–1969. Comp. Brewton, Brewton, and G. Meredith Blackburn III. 1972. 574 pp. 1970–1975. Comp. J. E. Brewton, G. M. Blackburn, and Lorraine A. Blackburn. 1978. 472 pp. 1976–1981. 1984. 317 pp. 1982–1987. Comp. G. M. Blackburn. 1989. 408 pp. 1988–1992. Comp. G. M. Blackburn. 1994. 358 pp. 1993–1997. Comp. G. M. Blackburn. 1999. 461 pp. PN1023.B7 821.0016.

An author, title, subject, and first-line index to English-language poems and translations for readers through grade 12 and printed in single-author collections and anthologies published from the early twentieth century through 1997. Selection is by vote of a committee of consulting librarians and teachers. The title entries cite author or translator, variant titles, and first line when needed to differentiate poems with the same title; other entries are more abbreviated; all refer by code to a prefatory list of collections indexed. Although limited in scope, the Index is a convenient source for identifying children’s poems on a subject and locating texts.

Subject access to some additional poems is offered by Subject Index to Poetry for Children and Young People, comp. Violet Sell et al. (Chicago: Amer. Lib. Assn., 1957; 582 pp.); supplement, 1957–1975, comp. Dorothy B. Frizzell Smith and Eva L. Andrews (1977; 1,035 pp.).

Composition and Rhetoric[edit]

This section is limited to works that emphasize composition at the postsecondary level and to reference sources in historical rhetoric of value in composition research or literary criticism.

Research Methods[edit]


Kirsch, Gesa, and Patricia A. Sullivan, eds. Methods and Methodology in Composition Research. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1992. 354 pp. PE1404.M47 808′.042′072.

An introduction to the theory and techniques of research in composition, with individual chapters on historical, feminist, linguistic, socioethnographic, case study, ethnographic, cognitive, teacher-research, experimental, pluralistic, and collaborative approaches. Contributors generally address epistemological assumptions, practical matters, and ideological issues, illustrating their discussions with examples from their own research. Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects. Blending theory and practice, the collection offers researchers a solid introduction to both traditional and new approaches. Review: Mary Minock, Rhetoric Society Quarterly 22.3 (1992): 70–73.

Complemented by Working in the Archives: Practical Research Methods for Rhetoric and Composition, ed. Alexis E. Ramsey, Wendy B. Sharer, Barbara L’Eplattenier, and Lisa S. Mastrangelo (Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 2010; 317 pp.), with essays on locating archives, searching for letters, and finding primary works on the Internet.

More general overviews of research methods in composition can be found in Lillian Bridwell-Bowles, “Research in Composition: Issues and Methods,” An Introduction to Composition Studies, ed. Erika Lindemann and Gary Tate (New York: Oxford UP, 1991), 94–117, and David Bartholomae, “Composition,” pp. 103–25 in Nicholls, Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures (A25); both offer an overview of objects of inquiry, types of research, major methodological approaches, and issues that need to be addressed.

See also[edit]

Olson and Taylor, Publishing in Rhetoric and Composition (U6381).

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Scott, Patrick, and Bruce Castner. “Reference Sources for Composition Research: A Practical Survey.” College English 45.8 (1983): 756–68. PE1.C6 820′.7′1173.

Scott, Patrick. “Bibliographical Resources and Problems.” An Introduction to Composition Studies. Ed. Erika Lindemann and Gary Tate. New York: Oxford UP, 1991. 72–93. PE1404.I57 808′.042′07.

Evaluative surveys of reference sources essential to research in historical rhetoric and composition. In both, the detailed evaluations are accompanied by valuable advice on research procedures and searching serial bibliographies. Until someone produces the much-needed detailed guide to research methods and reference sources in composition, “Reference Sources” and “Bibliographical Resources” offer the best introduction.

In describing the obstacles hindering bibliographic control of composition research and the need for systematic coverage, Scott, “Bibliographical Problems in Research on Composition,” College Composition and Communication 37.2 (1986): 167–77, provides valuable, if implicit, guidance on techniques for identifying scholarship.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition: Communication from Ancient Times to the Information Age. Ed. Theresa Enos. New York: Garland, 1996. 803 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1389. PN172.E53 808′.003.

An encyclopedia of persons, concepts, terms, methodologies, historical periods, and applications associated, in American higher education, with the history and practice of rhetoric and composition. Many of the 467 signed entries are written by established scholars and most conclude with a selective bibliography. Although lacking any explanation of how topics were selected, Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition offers the best guide to rhetoric and composition as understood and practiced in the United States. Review: Gerard A. Hauser, Quarterly Journal of Speech 83.2 (1997): 243–46.


Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik. Ed. Gerd Ueding. 11 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1992– . PF3410.H5 808.003. <>. (Scheduled for completion in 2014.)

A dictionary of rhetorical terms and concepts from classical antiquity to the present. The signed essays—many of them quite extensive—include an etymology and equivalents in languages other than German, a definition, a historical overview (with several entries subdivided by period), and, when appropriate, uses in specific disciplines or geographic areas; most conclude with a bibliography and liberal cross-references. Vol. 10 includes addenda to the preceding volumes. For an outline of the work and its editorial principles, see Ueding, “Das Historische Wörterbuch der Rhetorik,” Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte 37 (1994): 7–20. Impressive in its breadth and the quality of its contributors, Historisches Wörterbuch der Rhetorik is the best dictionary of rhetorical terminology. Review: (vol. 1) Brian Vickers, Rhetorica 13.3 (1995): 345–58.

Encyclopedia of Rhetoric, ed. Thomas O. Sloane (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001; 837 pp.), offers the best short guide to elements of rhetoric, schema, related subjects, strategies and principles, and the history of the subject. The approximately 200 signed entries (ranging from about 100 to 16,000 words) emphasize depth over breadth, favor the traditional aspects of the discipline over the new and unconventional, and conclude with a selective bibliography (that frequently offers evaluative comments). Review: Glen McClish, Rhetoric Society Quarterly 32.4 (2002): 117–20.

Bernard Dupriez, A Dictionary of Literary Devices: Gradus, A–Z, trans. and adapt. Albert W. Halsall (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1991; 545 pp.), offers a fuller guide to rhetorical terms, classical through contemporary, that draws from linguistics, prosody, rhetoric, and philology. A typical entry consists of a definition and citations to important studies, followed by one or more sections devoted to examples, definitions proposed by others, synonyms, antonyms, analogous terms, and remarks (e.g., on usage, characteristics, or explanations by others; many entries include several separate remarks, each accompanied by examples). Concludes with a bibliography. Indexed by terms and persons. The full (but occasionally idiosyncratic) discussions, extensive use and range of examples, and liberal cross-references make this one of the best guides to rhetorical devices.

Students needing less extensive discussions will find Richard A. Lanham, A Hand-list of Rhetorical Terms, 2nd ed. (Berkeley: U of California P, 1991; 205 pp.), a useful handlist of basic rhetorical terms, most of them classical but extending through the mid-seventeenth century (A Hypertext Handlist of Rhetorical Terms for Macintosh Computers [1997] is obsolete). In the alphabetical list, a typical entry indicates pronunciation, offers a brief definition or cross-reference to a synonymous term, summarizes differing interpretations when necessary, and sometimes cites an example. Following the alphabetical list are sections that outline the divisions of rhetoric and classify the terms by type. Clear, brief explanations make Lanham a useful desktop companion for the interpretation of rhetorical terminology.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]


Gaillet, Lynée Lewis, ed. The Present State of Scholarship in the History of Rhetoric: A Twenty-First Century Guide. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 2010. 258 pp. PN183.P7 016.808.

Surveys of scholarship (principally since the late 1980s) accompanied by selective bibliographies on rhetoric, classical to contemporary. The earlier edition (Winifred Bryan Horner, ed., The Present State of Scholarship in Historical and Contemporary Rhetoric, rev. ed. [Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1990; 260 pp.]), which remains valuable for its survey of earlier scholarship, emphasized British and American traditions; the new edition is more global and interdisciplinary, centers less on academic rhetoric, and offers more attention to composition studies. Essays focus on periods—classical, Middle Ages, Renaissance, eighteenth century, nineteenth century, and twentieth century. Although varying in organization, essays typically survey primary works (noting editions and translations), bibliographies, and important scholarship; provide an overview of major concerns in the period; suggest areas for research; and conclude with a selective bibliography. Three indexes: authors; rhetors; themes. Addressed specifically to the literature scholar, Gaillet is a valuable introductory survey of the most important primary works and scholarship. It should, however, be supplemented with Horner, Historical Rhetoric (U5600).


Research on Composition: Multiple Perspectives on Two Decades of Change. Ed. Peter Smagorinsky. New York: Teachers Coll. P, 2006. 308 pp. Lang. and Literacy Ser. PE1404.S596 808′.042′071.

Surveys of scholarship from 1984 through 2003 designed to continue the coverage by Hillocks and Braddock, Lloyd-Jones, and Schoer (see below). Individual essays assess the state of scholarship on, theoretical bases of, and research methods for preschool through elementary writing, middle and high school composition, postsecondary-level writing, teacher research in writing classrooms, second-language composition and teaching, rhetoric, family and community literacies, writing in the professions, and historical studies of composition. Each concludes with what is intended to be a complete bibliography of published research during the two decades. Boasting contributions by leading scholars of their respective topics, Research on Composition is an essential first source for anyone working in the field.

Earlier scholarship is surveyed in the following:

  • Braddock, Richard, Richard Lloyd-Jones, and Lowell Schoer. Research in Written Composition. Champaign: NCTE, 1963. 142 pp. (Covers the early twentieth century through 1962.)
  • Hillocks, George, Jr. Research on Written Composition: New Directions for Teaching. Urbana: Natl. Conf. on Research in English, 1986. 369 pp. (Surveys empirical studies from 1963 through c. 1982 and concludes with an extensive bibliography.)
  • McClelland, Ben W., and Timothy R. Donovan, eds. Perspectives on Research and Scholarship in Composition. New York: MLA, 1985. 266 pp. (Coverage extends through c. 1984.)
  • Moran and Lunsford, Research in Composition and Rhetoric (U5575).
  • Tate, Teaching Composition (U5580).

Moran, Michael G., and Ronald F. Lunsford, eds. Research in Composition and Rhetoric: A Bibliographic Sourcebook. Westport: Greenwood, 1984. 506 pp. Z5818.E5 R47 [PE1404] 016.808′042′07.

Selective surveys of scholarship (through c. 1982) designed to complement the first edition of Tate, Teaching Composition (U5580). The 16 essays cover the writing process; psychology of composition; writing blocks, anxiety, and apprehension; philosophy and rhetoric; literature, literary theory, and the teaching of composition; reading and writing; research methods; grading and evaluation; preparing assignments; basic writing; the sentence; the role of spelling in composition for older students; vocabulary development; punctuation; usage; and the paragraph. The chapters vary in organization, depth, and rigor of evaluation; some suggest topics for further research. Appendixes evaluate textbooks and usage manuals. Two indexes: authors; subjects. Along with Tate (which is less thorough and accessible), this is an important overview of early research in rhetoric and composition. Reviews: Kenneth Dowst, Rhetoric Review 4.2 (1986): 239–43; Richard Fulkerson, Teaching English in the Two-Year College 13.1 (1986): 51–57; Nancy Shapiro, Literary Research 11.1 (1986): 71–73.


Tate, Gary, ed. Teaching Composition: Twelve Bibliographical Essays. Rev. and enl. ed. Fort Worth: Texas Christian UP, 1987. 434 pp. PE1404.T39 808′.042′07.

A collection of selective surveys of scholarship (through c. 1985) on rhetoric and composition that revises Teaching Composition: Ten Bibliographical Essays (1976; 304 pp.). Chapters by leading scholars examine rhetorical invention; structure and form in nonnarrative prose; approaches to the study of style; aims, modes, and forms of discourse; tests of writing ability; basic writing; language varieties and composition; literacy, linguistics, and rhetoric; literary theory and composition; the study of rhetoric and literature; writing across the curriculum; and computers and composition. The essays vary considerably in organization, rigor of assessment, and scope, with some authors merely updating rather than revising their original contributions. Three indexes: persons; subjects; titles. Because of the difficulty in determining which essay treats a particular topic, users should generally approach the work through the subject index. As Tate points out in his preface, both this work and Moran and Lunsford, Research in Composition (U5575), “are unsystematic and incomplete,” yet both are important overviews of early research in rhetoric and composition. In general, Moran and Lunsford is more effectively organized and thorough than Tate. Review: Chris Anderson, Rhetoric Review 6.2 (1988): 220–24.

Although the essays in A Guide to Composition Pedagogies, ed. Tate, Amy Rupiper, and Kurt Schick (New York: Oxford UP, 2001; 256 pp.), focus on pedagogy, each concludes with a selective bibliography that supplements coverage of parts of Tate and of Moran and Lunsford.

See also[edit]

Greenblatt and Gunn, Redrawing the Boundaries (M1383).

Serial Bibliographies[edit]


ComPile: An Inventory of Publications in Writing Studies, including Post-secondary Composition, Rhetoric, Technical Writing, ESL, and Discourse Analysis: 1939– . Comp. Dylan Dryer and Rich Haswell. Haswell and Blalock, 2004–12. 29 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

A database of books, articles, and essays from collections, published in English about composition and rhetoric and related fields between 1939 and the present. In Advanced Search, the 104,073 records (as of January 2013) can be searched by keyword in boxes for Author, Title, Date, Book (that is, publisher as well as editor[s] and title of an edited collection of essays), Journal, Pages, Search Term (which maps to a record field of index terms; it does not search the preceding fields), and Annotation; filling in more than one box automatically triggers the Boolean and. Quick Search is limited to a keyword search of one of the preceding fields. Because of the search engine’s processing of punctuation, use of special symbols, treatment of multiple words and names of authors within one search box, and automatic wildcarding of the beginning and end of a keyword (e.g., searching direct in the Title box will return records with directions, directive, indirect, etc., in the title field), users must be certain to read the Search Tips page. Although it would benefit from a less idiosyncratic search interface, ComPile offers the best access to the scholarship on composition and rhetoric after 1939. Review: Donna J. Gunter, Charleston Advisor 8.1 (2006): 21–23 (

For publications dated 2000 and after, MLAIB (G335) is an important complement to ComPile.

Although less thorough in its coverage, CCCC Bibliography of Composition and Rhetoric, 1984–1999, ed. Todd Taylor (, does index video and audio recordings and electronic resources, and it offers brief abstracts (though some information is supplied by publishers rather than contributors’ personal examinations). The ability to search by keyword remedies the utterly inadequate subject indexing of the printed CCCC Bibliography of Composition and Rhetoric, [1984–95] (Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1987–99; former title: Longman Bibliography of Composition and Rhetoric, [1984–86] [1987–88]); however, the search interface was not functioning on three separate occasions in June 2011 or on 12 September 2012 or 22 January 2013.

Some additional publications are listed in the following:

  • “Current Bibliography from American Book Publishing Record” (title varies) in most issues of Rhetoric Society Quarterly 3.3–24.1–2 (1973–94), a minimally classified list of books copied from American Book Publishing Record (Q4110).
  • “Selected Bibliography of Scholarship on Composition and Rhetoric, [1973–78, 1986–87],” College Composition and Communication 26–30, 38–39 (1975–79, 1987–88), a highly selective annotated bibliography on composition and rhetoric at the postsecondary level.

“Annotated Bibliography of Research in the Teaching of English, [1966– ].” Research in the Teaching of English 1 (1967)– . (As of 45.2 [2010] the bibliography is available only as a PDF file accessible through the online version of the journal.) PE1066.R47 420.07.

A highly selective bibliography of research on all aspects of the teaching of English; installments once appeared in the May and November issues, but beginning in vol. 38 (2004) only the November issue includes the bibliography. The taxonomy has changed considerably over the years (most notably with vols. 18 [1984], 26.2 [1992], 31.2 [1997], 38.2 [2003], and 44.2 [2009]); entries are currently organized in divisions for digital or technology tools; discourse or cultural analysis; literacy; literary response, literature, or narrative; media literacy or use; professional development or teacher education related to teaching English; reading; second-language literacy; and writing. These titles, however, as well as the scope of the bibliography, are prone to change without notice or explanation. Beginning with 38.2 (2003), the annotated entries in each division are followed by an unannotated list headed Other Related Research. Since 45.2 (2010), annotated entries include keyword tags to facilitate searching; see the introduction to the first PDF-only version for an explanation of the tags. Until 26.2 (1992), many of the descriptive annotations are too brief to offer an adequate sense of content. Although coverage of books and articles is not especially thorough (in some issues most entries come from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses [H465], and there is no explanation of the criteria governing selection) and classification seems haphazard at times, this was, for many years, the only serial bibliography that systematically covered research in composition.


ERIC [Education Resources Information Center]. U.S. Department of Education. Inst. of Educ. Sciences, US Dept. of Educ., n.d. 22 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated weekly.

An information network established in 1966 to index, abstract, and disseminate research in education, ERIC is now a digital library of journal articles and reviews, books, dissertations, and unpublished material such as conference papers, curriculum guides, and research reports. The citations and abstracts in the ERIC database are available in printed form as the following:

  • CIJE: Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE). Phoenix: Oryx, 1969–2001. Monthly, with semiannual cumulations; available on CD-ROM as CIJE on Disk. An index to education and related journals (currently about 980). Organized by subject area, then in order of processing, entries consist of ERIC document number, bibliographical citation, a list of descriptors (based on the current edition of Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors) and identifiers (terms not in the Thesaurus) used to create the subject index, and an abstract. Three indexes in each issue and cumulation (subjects; authors; journal contents); cumulative index: CIJE: Current Index to Journals in Education: Cumulated Author Index, 1969–1984 (1985; 2,218 pp.).
  • Resources in Education (RIE). Washington: GPO, 1967–2002. Monthly, with annual cumulation. (Former title: Office of Education Research Reports, [1956–65], 1967.) An index to books, dissertations, theses, audiovisual materials, computer programs, and a variety of unpublished materials such as conference papers, research reports, and curriculum guides—in short, material on education not indexed in CIJE. Organized like CIJE, entries include ERIC document number, bibliographical information, type of document, subject descriptors and identifiers, and abstract. Four indexes: subject; author; institution; and document type. Because ERIC abstracts virtually all the unpublished materials submitted, RIE includes far too many substandard papers, reports, guides, and the like. Many documents (but not journal articles) can be downloaded as PDF files from the ERIC database; in addition, several libraries maintain a collection of all ERIC documents reproduced in microfiche.

Because of their lack of organization, the print versions of CIJE and RIE—if one has to consult ERIC in this form—must be approached through their thorough subject indexes, which should be consulted with the current edition of Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors in hand. Much more effective and efficient is an electronic search of the ERIC database: access is free through the ERIC Web site, and many libraries offer access through one or more of the major Internet providers, including FirstSearch (E225a), EBSCO (I512), Ovid (, and ProQuest (I519).

The ERIC database is of interest to language and literature scholars for its indexing of works on composition and rhetoric—and occasionally on literature in journals not covered by the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Although less extensive in coverage, Education Index (New York: Wilson, 1929– ; 10/yr., with annual and larger cumulations); Education Full Text (; updated daily; includes Education Abstracts; also accessible through OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition [I512]); and Education Index Retrospective: 1929–1983 ( offer author and subject indexing of publications before 1966 and are much more accessible than CIJE and RIE for post-1966 works. See entry I512 for an evaluation of the EBSCO search interface. Education is also covered in International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (I519).

See also[edit]

MLAIB (G335): Literary Forms/Rhetoric section in the General part, Stylistics/Rhetoric (as well as the Stylistics/Rhetoric section in individual language divisions) in the Linguistics part since 1981, and the Rhetoric and Composition division in pt. 4 since 2000. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Composition,” “Rhetoric,” or “Rhetorical” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies[edit]

Although the Conference on College Composition and Communication planned a bibliography that would cover 1900 through 1973, the project has been abandoned. However, the result of the search of one decade is available as Nancy Jones, ed., Bibliography of Composition, 1940–1949 (Rhetoric Society Quarterly, special issue 2 (1987): 1–75; Rhetoric Society Quarterly Bibliogs. in the Teaching of Composition 1), an author list and subject classification of 612 works in the theory, practice, and teaching of composition.


Horner, Winifred Bryan, ed. Historical Rhetoric: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Sources in English. Boston: Hall, 1980. 294 pp. Reference Pub. in Lit. Z7004.R5 H57 [PN187] 016.808.

A highly selective bibliography of primary works and scholarship (through c. 1978) important to the study of rhetoric through the nineteenth century. Although encompassing some classical and European writers, Horner emphasizes English-language works on English and American literature. The entries are listed in five separately compiled divisions (classical, Middle Ages, Renaissance, eighteenth century, and nineteenth century), each with separate lists of primary and secondary works preceded by an introductory overview and statement of scope and limitations. The divisions vary considerably in their coverage (especially of foreign language scholarship) and in the quality of their descriptive annotations. Indexed by persons, primary works, and subjects (but there are omissions and inaccuracies). Addressed to the novice, Historical Rhetoric is a convenient source for identifying the major primary works and studies, but it must be supplemented with Gaillet, Present State of Scholarship (U5565). Review: Victor J. Vitanza, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 6.1 (1982): 25–28.


Guides to Primary Works[edit]


Anson, Chris M., and Bruce R. Maylath. “Searching for Journals: A Brief Guide and 100 Sample Species.” Teacher as Writer: Entering the Professional Conversation. Ed. Karin L. Dahl. Urbana: NCTE, 1992. 150–87. PN147.T328 808′.02′024372.

A title list of 100 journals devoted to the study and teaching of composition. A typical entry includes title, auspices or organization responsible for publication, frequency, audience and circulation, areas of emphasis, subscription price, address for submissions, subscription address, degree of interest in publishing articles on writing and literacy, ratio of articles on writing and literacy to total number of articles published during the past five years, and advice from the editor on submitting manuscripts. For information on editorial policies and submission requirements, researchers should check a recent issue. The inclusion of major as well as regional periodicals makes this useful to those wanting to identify journals specializing in a particular area or searching for an appropriate place to submit an article.

For an evaluative survey of major periodicals, see Robert J. Connors, “Journals in Composition Studies,” College English 46.4 (1986): 348–65.

Computers and the Humanities[edit]



A Companion to Digital Humanities. Ed. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, and John Unsworth. Malden: Blackwell, 2004. 611 pp. Blackwell Companions to Lit. and Culture. AZ105.C588 001.3′0285.

A multidisciplinary collection of essays intended to document the evolution of humanities computing and its present state and to suggest future directions for research and applications. Of most interest to users of this Guide will be the essays on literary studies, performing arts, databases, marking up texts, text encoding, audiences for and purposes of electronic texts, stylistic analysis and authorship studies, preparation and analysis of linguistic corpora, electronic editing, textual analysis, thematic digital collections, print scholarship and digital resources, digital media and the analysis of film, cognitive stylistics, designing sustainable projects and publications, converting primary sources to digital form, tools for text analysis, and interfaces. Predictably, the essays vary in quality: the best offer clear, practical introductions or overviews (“Text Tools”), but some are too heavily theoretical at the expense of the historical (“Literary Studies”), others are too technical (“Databases”) or simplistic (“How the Computer Works”), and some are ponderous (“History of Humanities Computing”); even so, Companion to Digital Humanities offers the best general introduction to this amorphous field.

Despite its title, Willard McCarty, Humanities Computing (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2005; 311 pp.), never moves much beyond an unsuccessful attempt to theorize the field.

See also[edit]

Sec. I: Internet Resources.

Electronic Textual Editing (U5217).

Howard-Hill, Literary Concordances (U5680).

Shillingsburg, Scholarly Editing in the Computer Age (U5230).

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


Humanities Computing Yearbook, [1988–90]: A Comprehensive Guide to Software and Other Resources. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1988–91. Annual. Z699.5.H8.H85 016.0013′0285.

A survey of scholarship, software, and other resources for computing in the humanities. The first volume covers materials through 1987. Entries are divided among 29 divisions: archaeology; art history; biblical studies; computational linguistics; creative writing; dance; drama; English-language instruction; folklore; historical studies; law; lexicography; linguistics; musicology; natural languages and literatures (classified by language, with English subdivided by historical period); philosophy; bibliographic databases; editing and publishing; information management; programming languages; second-language instruction; statistics; text analysis; text-processing techniques; bibliographies; electronic texts; general guides and history; optical character recognition; people and places. Each division or section consists of three parts: an overview of the topic; a selected, descriptively annotated bibliography of publications; and a list of software and databases. Several entries are annotated, some extensively; however, descriptions of software are usually based on information from vendors rather than independent evaluation. Many software entries helpfully cite reviews or related materials. Indexed by persons, product names, companies, and subjects. The volume for 1989–90 successfully addressed many of the problems that plagued the one for 1988: inadequate indexing, inconsistencies in classifying entries, use of several nonmutually exclusive sections, lack of cross-references, and generally shoddy editing. Humanities Computing Yearbook offers admirably broad coverage of software and publications (scholarly as well as technical and popular), with vol. 1 the best available guide to the important early work involving computers and the humanities. With the yearbook’s unfortunate demise a serial bibliography of computing in the humanities became again a major desideratum. Review: (1988) Joseph Raben, Computers and the Humanities 24.1–2 (1990): 111–13 (however, many of the shortcomings identified by Raben were remedied).

See also[edit]

Sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts.

ABELL (G340): Language, Literature, and the Computer division since the volume for 1971.

MLAIB (G335): General IV: Themes and Types/Computer-Assisted [Literary] Research in the volumes for 1966–80; Professional Topics/Computer-Assisted Research in pt. 4 of the volumes for 1981–99; and Research Tools/Computer-Assisted Research in the later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Computation,” “Computational,” “Computer,” “Digital,” or “Electronic” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Computer Programs[edit]


TACT [Text-Analysis Computing Tools]. Vers. 2.1. Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Faculty of Arts and Science, U of Toronto, n.d. 31 Dec. 2014. <>.

A shareware text-analysis program that is useful for detecting patterns in a writer’s use of words, phrases, or themes; for attributing authorship; for producing concordances (though Oxford Concordance Program is better for preparing camera-ready copy for a printed concordance); and for comparing usage in two texts. Users must begin with Ian Lancashire, Using TACT with Electronic Texts: A Guide to Text-Analysis Computing Tools Version 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS (New York: MLA, 1996; 361 pp.), which is accompanied by a CD-ROM with the most recent version and sample literary texts and which includes a chapter on how the program can be used in studying a text. This program is outdated, and researchers should instead use the tools available through

For a description of other text-analysis tools, see John Bradley, “Text Tools,” pp. 505–22 in A Companion to Digital Humanities (U5650).


Although it is an essential tool for analyzing imagery, themes, and style as well as for locating specific passages, a concordance must be used with due regard for its editor’s choice and handling of the base text(s). Specifically, researchers must evaluate the following:

  • which edition(s) are used as base text(s), since a corrupt base text will result in a worthless concordance
  • which words or forms, if any, have been excluded
  • how variant spellings are recorded
  • how variant readings and cancelled passages are handled
  • whether homographs are differentiated
  • what the bases for the frequency counts are (e.g., if homographs are undifferentiated, a frequency count is of no value)

Those using a concordance for extensive analysis of an author or work will do well to spend an hour with Howard-Hill, Literary Concordances (U5680).

Some concordances are listed in Brewer, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Other Word-Related Books (U6020).

General Introductions[edit]


Howard-Hill, T. H. Literary Concordances: A Guide to the Preparation of Manual and Computer Concordances. Oxford: Pergamon, 1979. 97 pp. Z695.92.H68 802′.8′5.

An examination of the principles and practices of editing a concordance, with discussions of selection and preediting of a base text, arrangement of entries, organization of entries under headwords, selection of entries, statistical information, preliminary and subsidiary matter (such as statistical tables), and special forms of concordances. Concludes with an appendix by Robert L. Oakman on the now-outdated COCOA program, a selective bibliography, and a glossary. Indexed by persons and subjects. Although now dated in its treatment of computer hardware and software, Howard-Hill remains the best introduction to the principles and techniques of editing a concordance and is essential reading for both prospective editors and those evaluating published concordances. Reviews: Serge Lusignan, Computers and the Humanities 14.2 (1980): 129–30; Michael J. Preston, English Language Notes 18.4 (1981): 321–24.

See also[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Computers and the Humanities.


Whether writing for publication or hire, quoting from or editing published or manuscript works, engaging in desktop or Web publishing, or reproducing printed material for classroom use, scholars must be aware of the basic provisions (as well as subsequent administrative guidelines or regulations) in appropriate national copyright acts that govern literary property rights.

Researchers needing to identify the holder of a copyright should first check WATCH: Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders (, an invaluable database of copyright holders or their representatives. An important complement is FOB: Firms Out of Business (, which identifies publishing rights held by publishers, printers, magazines, and literary agencies no longer in business. WATCH also provides valuable guides for identifying copyright holders in the United States and United Kingdom. Researchers will also find helpful basic advice in How to Investigate the Copyright Status of a Work, circular R-22 (

General Introductions[edit]


Strong, William S. The Copyright Book: A Practical Guide. 5th ed. Cambridge: MIT P, 1999. 376 pp. KF2994.S75 346.7304′82.

An explanation of United States copyright law, with chapters devoted to the kind of material that can be copyrighted; ownership of copyright (with discussion of work for hire); transferring copyright; copyright notice; registration of copyright; rights conferred under copyright; compulsory licenses; infringement of copyright and fair use; copyright status of works created before 1978; tax treatment of copyright; and international copyright protection. The planned updates were never posted at the MIT Press Web site. The clear organization and explanations make this work essential reading for owners of copyrights and those producing copyrightable material. Review: Kenneth D. Crews, Library Quarterly 71.3 (2001): 405–08.

Sample permission agreements (and straightforward explanations of how to request permission) can be found in Richard Stim, Getting Permission: How to License and Clear Copyrighted Materials Online and Off, 4th ed. (Berkeley: Nolo, 2010; 447 pp.; CD-ROM).

For recent developments in copyright law, see Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA. For a clear, concise explanation of provisions affecting literature scholars, see the discussion in MLA Style Manual (U6400), 35–60. British copyright law is conveniently summarized in J. M. Cavendish and Kate Pool, Handbook of Copyright in British Publishing Practice, 3rd ed. (London: Cassell, 1993; 239 pp.).

Cultural Studies[edit]

Histories and Surveys[edit]


During, Simon. Cultural Studies: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 2005. 244 pp. HM623.D87 306′.071.

Defining cultural studies “as the engaged analysis of contemporary cultures,” During offers an introduction to the field’s “core topics”: the discipline itself; time (past, present, future); space (local to global); media (television, popular music, and the Internet and technoculture); identity (multiculturalism and race); sexuality and gender (including queer culture); and value (high and low culture). Combining historical overviews, summaries of representative scholarship, descriptions of methodologies, and considerations of how cultural studies is demarcated from such related disciplines as literary studies, art history, and sociology, During offers an accessible overview of the evolving discipline of cultural studies.

Environmental Studies[edit]

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]


ASLE Online Bibliography, 2000–2010. Ed. H. Lewis Ulman. Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. ASLE, 2011. 31 Dec. 2014. <>. A compilation of ASLE Online Bibliography, [2000–2010] (; the site was shut down in 2011).

Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment: Bibliography, [1990–97]. Knoxville: U of Tennessee, Knoxville, Libs., 1994–99. GE1.

An annotated bibliography of English-language studies (including dissertations, creative works, and film and other media) involving the relationship of literature and the environment and related topics. Entries in the ASLE Online Bibliography appear in a single alphabetized list and can be searched only by a Web browser’s find function. The annotations accompanying a majority of the records range from a few words to more than a single-spaced page; many are uninformative or repetitive; most would benefit from a good editing. Since the site depended on contributions by members of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment and contributing editors, coverage is, inevitably, uneven. The Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment: Bibliography, whose taxonomy is cumbersome, is not widely held. Unfortunately, its online version, ASLE Bibliography, [1990–97]—which was a decided improvement over its print counterpart—along with ISLE Working Bibliography and ASLE Bibliography: Books for Which We Need Abstracts and Keywords have disappeared. Although coverage was not comprehensive (and several entries were taken from secondhand sources in the ASLE Bibliography), these bibliographies offered the fullest guide to studies of nature writing and literature and the environment. Researchers must now turn to MLAIB (G335; search “ecocriticism,” “ecofeminism,” “environment,” “environmental,” and related terms in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus), as well as the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Film and Literature[edit]

This section is limited to reference works of particular value to the study of the relationship between English-language film and literature. Because of the nature of the film industry and its documentation, factual information about individual films and persons is sometimes contradictory or unavailable; thus researchers must exercise more than usual care when consulting film reference sources.

Many drama and theater reference works include film (e.g., see section L: Genres/Drama and Theater) as do some in section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies.

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and film, see Gerald Mast, “Literature and Film,” pp. 278–306 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955).

Research Methods[edit]


Hill, John, and Pamela Church Gibson, eds. The Oxford Guide to Film Studies. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1998. 624 pp. PN1995.O93 791.43′01′5.

A guide to critical approaches to the study of cinema, with separately authored essays devoted to “the main disciplinary approaches and theoretical frameworks which have been employed in the study of film, the main concepts and methods involved in film analysis, and the main issues involved in the discussion of specific areas (such as national cinemas).” Each essay typically identifies key terms, issues, debates, and unresolved questions related to its topic and closes with a selective bibliography; interspersed throughout are illustrative case studies and readings. Of particular value is the section on critical approaches, with essays on such topics as film and psychoanalysis, feminism and film, queer theory, and cultural studies and film. Indexed selectively by persons and film titles. The overall clarity of the essays and their blend of theory and illustration make Oxford Guide to Film Studies an indispensable handbook for anyone writing or reading film criticism.

For practical advice on doing research in film archives, see Eric Schaefer and Dan Streible, “Archival News,” Cinema Journal 40.1 (2000): 127–33; for candid advice on working with printed materials related to cinema in major United States, British, and French libraries, see Stephen Bottomore, “A Critical View of Some Major Libraries: The Perspective of an Early Cinema Historian,” Moving Image 4.2 (2004): 86–110.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Emmons, Mark. Film and Television: A Guide to the Reference Literature. Westport: Libs. Unlimited, 2006. 367 pp. Reference Sources in the Humanities Ser. Z5784.M9 E47 [PN1994] 016.79143.

A guide to English-language reference sources published by the end of 2004 or, for Web sites, available by early 2005. Excluding works devoted to individual or single titles, most general reference resources, and “all memorabilia and most trivia,” the Guide admits “virtually any film or television reference book that fell within” its scope, even while the author recognizes his “admittedly faulty assumption that publishers and editors weed out the worst.” Entries are organized in 13 classified divisions: indexes and bibliographies; dictionaries and encyclopedias; filmographies; national cinema; genres; formats; studios; portrayals of groups (e.g., ethnic groups and occupations); filmmakers; screenplays; making films and television programs; film and television industry; fans and audience. Many of the full annotations are accompanied by helpful evaluations. Two indexes: authors and titles; subjects. Although the classification system is not as refined as it could be and needs a good weeding, Film and Television is the best guide to English-language reference sources for the study of the two media.

See also[edit]

Joseph Milicia and Michael Klossner, “Science Fiction in Film, Television, and Radio,” pp. 678–734 in Barron, Anatomy of Wonder (L1015).

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

There is no satisfactory general encyclopedia of film. Of those available, the least objectionable is Ephraim Katz, The Film Encyclopedia, rev. Fred Klein and Ronald Dean Nolen, 5th ed. (New York: Harper, 2005; 1,542 pp.), but the bulk of its entries are biographies. For an evaluation of encyclopedias through the early 1980s, see Daniel A. Greenberg, “The Reference Shelf Shuffle,” Film Quarterly 36.2 (1982–83): 5–16.


Beaver, Frank Eugene. Dictionary of Film Terms: The Aesthetic Companion to Film Art. New York: Lang, 2006. 289 pp. PN1993.45.B33 791.43′03.

A dictionary of genres, styles, techniques, and concepts associated with film. The full definitions are accompanied by specific examples and sometimes by illustrations. Four indexes: terms; film and television titles; persons; and general topics (such as camera movement, criticism, editing). Clear and concise, Beaver is a useful reference for those writing as well as reading film studies and supersedes Dictionary of Film Terms: The Aesthetic Companion to Film Analysis, 2nd ed. (New York: Twayne, 1994; 410 pp.; Twayne’s Filmmakers Ser.).

See also[edit]

Enciclopedia dello spettacolo (L1130).

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]


Wulff, Hans Jürgen, comp. and ed. Bibliography of Film Bibliographies / Bibliographie der Filmbibliographien. München: Saur, 1987. 326 pp. Z5784.M9 W84 [PN1994] 016′.01679143.

A bibliography of bibliographies, including those appended to books and articles as well as booksellers’ and library catalogs. The approximately 1,200 entries are in two parts (works in Germanic and Romance languages; those in Slavic languages, compiled by Andrzej Gwóźdź and Anna Wastkowska). Each part is organized in nine extensively classified divisions: formal bibliographies (including filmographies and discographies), general bibliographies of film literature, film theory and research, special topics, history of the cinema, genre studies, national cinemas, persons, and related fields (including communications research and television). Most entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations. Two indexes: authors and editors; subjects. Impressive in its international coverage, Wulff is the essential source for identifying film bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]



AFI Catalog. Chadwyck-Healey, 2003–13. 23 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated biannually. (The American Film Institute maintains a separate site [1] that includes the same data but has different search capabilities.)

The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States. Berkeley: U of California P, 1971– . PN1998.A57 016.79143′75′0973.

  • Vol. A: Film Beginnings, 1893–1910: A Work in Progress. Comp. Elias Savada. 2 pts. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1995.
  • Vol. F1: Feature Films, 1911–1920. Ed. Patricia King Hanson. 2 pts. 1988.
  • Vol. F2: Feature Films, 1921–1930. Ed. Kenneth W. Munden. 2 pts. New York: Bowker, 1971.
  • Vol. F3: Feature Films, 1931–1940. Ed. Hanson. 3 pts. 1993.
  • Vol. F4: Feature Films, 1941–1950. Ed. Hanson. 3 pts. 1999.
  • Vol. F6: Feature Films, 1961–1970. Ed. Richard P. Krafsur. 2 pts. New York: Bowker, 1976.
  • (Because of funding issues and the presence of AFI Catalog, it is unlikely that the other projected volumes will appear in printed form.)

A catalog of films produced for public showing in the United States. Although the criteria governing inclusion vary from volume to volume, each utilizes a combination of length, audience, and country of origin. Assignment to a volume is based on release date (or, lacking that information, date of copyright, initial showing, or licensing by a state commission). Within a volume, films are listed alphabetically by original title (with cross-references to alternative and variant titles). A typical entry consists of four parts, with the components of each depending on the period and kind of film: identification and physical description (citing title, country of origin, producer or production company, original distributor, date of release, copyright date, audio information, color, gauge and length, and MPAA rating); production credits (including persons, groups, companies, and organizations); cast (both performers and their roles); and description of contents (including genre, source, lengthy synopsis, and subject indexing terms). Notes explain any conflicts in sources. Because many films are not extant or available for screening and sources vary considerably in completeness and accuracy, several entries are necessarily incomplete or inaccurate in some details (many of these unavailable films are described in the reviews and articles reprinted in The New York Times Encyclopedia of Film, [1896–1979], ed. Gene Brown, 13 vols. [New York: Times, 1984]). Volumes F2 and F6 have two indexes: credits (including all personal and corporate names, with a separate alphabetic list for literary source credits); subjects (including headings for genres, character types, themes, dates and seasons, historical events and persons, places, institutions, physical objects, cinematic devices, animals, and literary works enacted). Volumes A, F1, F3, and F4 have seven to eleven indexes: chronological list of titles; personal names; corporate names; subjects; genres; places; foreign countries; series; foreign languages; songwriters and composers; and literary and dramatic sources. Inevitably there are errors, but the thoroughness of coverage, assimilation of widely scattered factual information, detailed synopses, and excellent indexes make the published volumes indispensable sources that supersede other catalogs for the respective periods. Unfortunately, work on the remaining years proceeds slowly, with priority going to the cataloging of feature films. Review: (vol. F2) Herman G. Weinberg, Film Quarterly 25.2 (1971–72): 59–65.

AFI Catalog, which corrects and updates the printed catalogs, currently covers films from 1893–1975 and selected major ones from 1976–2011. It can be searched by keyword (in simple search mode) or (in advanced search) by combinations of keyword, title, director, character name, cast, crew, source of screenplay, year of release, country of origin, subject, songs, genre, or miscellaneous information; each field in advanced search includes a browsable list of terms. The list of abbreviations used in records is hidden at the bottom of the AFI Catalog FAQ page (accessible through the Information Resources page). Records, which include the same kinds of information as in the printed volumes, can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically and can be e-mailed or downloaded. AFI Catalog—which not only supersedes its printed ancestors but also offers a more efficient, thorough way of searching and manipulating a massive amount of data on American films—is the most authoritative filmography in its field, but IMDb (U5767) offers far broader coverage.

AFI Catalog, FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals (U5785), and Film Index International (U5767a) can be cross-searched through Film Indexes Online (


Gifford, Denis. The British Film Catalogue. 3rd ed. 2 vols. London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000. PN1993.5.G7 016.791430941.

  • Vol. 1: Fiction Film, 1895–1994. 1,097 pp.
  • Vol. 2: Non-fiction Film, 1888–1994. 625 pp.

A catalog of films produced for public entertainment and made in the British Isles or by British subjects elsewhere in the world between 1888 and 1994. Gifford includes both feature length and short films but excludes amateur productions, films made for and shown exclusively on television, and animations. The 28,158 films are listed chronologically by month of initial exhibition. Depending on the information available, entries include original title (and title changes), length, censor’s rating, sound, color system, screen ratio, production company, distributor, reissues (with date and any title changes), producer, director, author and source of story, author and source of screenplay, narrator, important members of the cast (with roles), type of film (see 1: xiii–xiv for an explanation of categories), a synopsis, and awards. Entries after 1970 identify additional technical and artistic personnel. Indexed by titles in each volume. According to Bottomore, “A Critical View of Some Major Libraries” (U5741a), the Cataloguing Department of the British Film Institute Library holds a card index to persons. Although not exhaustive (especially in the case of shorts, pre-1927 releases, and films covered in vol. 2), Gifford is a monumental accumulation of information, but one whose value is considerably diminished by the lack of subject and person indexes. Much fuller information on many films listed herein can be found in IMDb (U5767).

Researchers should avoid the second edition of Gifford—The British Film Catalogue, 1895–1985: A Reference Guide (New York: Facts on File, 1986; n. pag.)—which grafts entries covering 1971–85 to a corrected reprint of Gifford, The British Film Catalogue, 1895–1970: A Reference Guide (New York: McGraw, 1973; n. pag.), hides a second introduction (which identifies additional abbreviations and notes some important modifications of scope and parts of an entry) after the 1970 listings, and prints two title indexes (that for 1895–1970 has a separate alphabetic sequence at the end for additions).

British films since 1998 can be searched through British Films Directory (


Internet Movie Database (IMDb)., 1990–2013. 31 Dec. 2014. <>. Updated daily.

A database of more than 3,135,393 titles (as of January 2015; see for current statistics) from throughout the world dating from 1880 to the newest releases. There are apparently no restrictions on what is included: silent films, classics, trash, X-rated, and made-for-television films are all here (as are television series and videogames). A variety of search screens give users sophisticated options for searching by title, person, character, keyword, and plot summary. Records vary in content, with full ones including complete production details, cast and crew, awards, reviews, plot summaries, technical specifications, merchandising details, and formats; much of the information is helpfully hyperlinked. Of particular importance to literature researchers is the ability to retrieve full details of films based on a literary work. Although much information is supplied by users, IMDb offers the fullest, most accessible guide to films worldwide. Sporting fully documented help screens, well-designed search pages (from simple to advanced), and easily navigable displays, IMDb fully deserves its many accolades and serves as an example of the kind of free database the Web too seldom delivers. (IMDbpro—the subscription version—offers additional data primarily of interest to entertainment industry professionals.)

IMDb is occasionally supplemented by the following databases:

  • Film Index International. Chadwyck-Healey, 2003–13. 25 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated twice a year. Although it covers only about 120,000 titles, it cites some studies of individual films. It, FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals (U5785), and AFI Catalog (U5760) can be cross-searched through Film Indexes Online (
  • CBS, n.d. 3 June 2005. <>. Updated daily. The Movies database at incorporates some data from (and continues) Jay Robert Nash and Stanley Ralph Ross, The Motion Picture Guide, 12 vols (Chicago: Cinebooks, 1985–87) and The Motion Picture Guide Annual (New York: Cinebooks, 1987–99; CD-ROM [1995]). The search interface is primitive.

Guides to Literary Sources[edit]


Dimmitt, Richard Bertrand. A Title Guide to the Talkies: A Comprehensive Listing of 16,000 Feature-Length Films from October, 1927, until December, 1963. 2 vols. New York: Scarecrow, 1965. Andrew A. Aros. A Title Guide to the Talkies, 1964 through 1974. 1977. 336 pp. 1975 through 1984. 1986. 347 pp. PN1998.D55 791.438.

A guide to plays, short stories, novels, poems, screen stories, story ideas, and other sources of feature films since 1927. Although the original compilation is limited to American films, the continuations include foreign ones exhibited in the United States and extend coverage to novelizations. Organized by film title, each entry consists of a brief note on the source of the script, screenplay, or idea. Indexed by authors. Although many entries fail to record exact publication details or are frustratingly vague in identifying a source merely as “a story by” someone, no other work covers so many kinds of sources or as many movies.

While not as thorough in coverage, the following list additional films or sometimes identify sources more precisely:

  • Daisne, Johan. Dictionnaire filmographique de la littérature mondiale / Filmographic Dictionary of World Literature / Filmographisches Lexikon der Weltliteratur / Filmografisch Lexicon der Wereldliteratuur. 2 vols. Gand: Story-Scientia, 1971–75. Supplement. 1978. 638 pp. The only guide offering decent coverage of sources of foreign films (through 1977).
  • Emmens, Carol A. Short Stories on Film and Video. 2nd ed. Littleton: Libs. Unlimited, 1985. 337 pp. Unlike Dimmitt and Aros, Emmens cites titles of short stories.
  • Enser’s Filmed Books and Plays: A List of Books and Plays from Which Films Have Been Made, 1928–2001. Comp. Ellen Baskin. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003. 1,203 pp. Includes made-for-television movies, series, and animated films. All but a few of the entries are for English-language films.
  • Gifford, Denis. Books and Plays in Films, 1896–1915: Literary, Theatrical, and Artistic Sources of the First Twenty Years of Motion Pictures. London: Mansell; Jefferson: McFarland, 1991. 206 pp. International in coverage, with films organized under headings for authors and artists.
  • Langman, Larry. Writers on the American Screen: A Guide to Film Adaptations of American and Foreign Literary Works. New York: Garland, 1986. 329 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 658. Limited to American film adaptations of printed works and marred by an inadequate explanation of scope; includes some films not in Enser (and vice versa).
  • Mustazza, Leonard. The Literary Filmography: 6,200 Adaptations of Books, Short Stories, and Other Nondramatic Works. 2 vols. Jefferson: McFarland, 2006. Limited to adaptations of English-language nondramatic fiction and nonfiction (including translations).
See also[edit]

AFI Catalog (U5760).

Hubin, Crime Fiction, 1981–1985 (L915).

Internet Movie Database (U5767).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Serial Bibliographies[edit]


Film and Television Literature Index with Full Text. EBSCOhost. EBSCO, 2013. 8 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

Film Literature Index, [1973–2004]: A Quarterly Author-Subject Index to the International Periodical Literature of Film and Television/Video. Ipswich: EBSCO, 1973–2004. Quarterly, with annual cumulation. (Subtitle varies.) Z5784.M9 F45 791.43′01′6.

Film Literature Index Online. Vers. 1.1. Indiana University Digital Library Program. Indiana U, 2005–11. 3 Jan. 2013. <>.

An author and subject index to material on film, television, and video published in some 300 periodicals worldwide. Excludes fan magazines and technical journals. Expanded coverage of television begins in vol. 5 (1977), of video in vol. 14 (1986). Since vol. 14, entries are organized in two parts: film; television and video. Each part consists of a single author and subject index, with liberal cross-references and with subject headings including titles of films or television programs, persons, geographic areas, and corporate bodies. With its inclusion of television and broader coverage of periodicals that print only occasional material on film or television, this is an important complement to International Index to Film Periodicals (U5785). Since each work indexes journals omitted by the other, the two together offer the best coverage of periodicals since 1972 and are essential sources for identifying articles on film and television adaptations of literary works as well as reviews of films, programs, and related books.

Film and Television Literature Index, which incorporates data since 1987 from Film Literature Index with entries generated by EBSCO from c. 400 periodicals (some of which have only a tangential relationship to film and television) and some miscellaneous monographs, uses the standard EBSCO search interface (see entry I512 for an evaluation). The earliest document is from 1913, but extensive coverage does not begin until the late 1980s. Unfortunately, the Web site lacks a sufficient explanation of scope and editorial practices.

Film Literature Index Online covers 1976–2001; there is currently no plan to add additional records. The Basic Search screen allows users to search by keyword, production title, or person. Advanced Search searches by keyword, production title, author, person as subject, title, journal, subject, and corporate name to be limited by date, format (film or TV), document type, document features (e.g., biography, filmography), language, and peer-reviewed journals. Users can also browse lists of subjects, persons, production titles, and corporate names. Results, which appear in descending chronological order, can be e-mailed, saved, or printed.

The indexing of periodicals before the advent of Film Literature Index and International Index to Film Periodicals is unsatisfactory. Although there is considerable overlap among the following, each must be checked either because of its scope or its organization:

  • Batty, Linda. Retrospective Index to Film Periodicals, 1930–1971. New York: Bowker, 1975. 425 pp. An index to articles and reviews in only 14 English-language film periodicals (each of which is indexed in Gerlach and Gerlach and in MacCann and Perry—see below) and the Village Voice. The dates in the title are misleading, since only two of the journals were being published before 1950. The best that can be said for this work is that it includes reviews and that its subject indexing is better than in MacCann and Perry.
  • Bowles, Stephen E., comp. and ed. Index to Critical Film Reviews in British and American Periodicals, Together with Index to Critical Reviews of Books about Film. 3 vols. in 2. New York: Franklin, 1974–75. A title index to reviews of films (vols. 1–2) and books (vol. 3) in 31 major British and American film periodicals through 1971. Entries indicate the approximate number of words. Unfortunately, not all issues of some journals are indexed and few of those covered were published before 1950. Since the other retrospective indexes seldom include reviews (especially of books), this is an essential, if limited, source.
  • The Film Index: A Bibliography. 3 vols. White Plains: Kraus, 1941–85. A subject guide to English-language materials published through 1935 (with occasional later entries). Film Index includes fan and trade magazines, reviews of films and books, but excludes newspaper articles. In vol. 1, The Film as Art (1941; 723 pp.), the approximately 8,600 entries are organized in two extensively classified divisions: history and technique; types of films (including a section on adaptations). Vols. 2 and 3—The Film as Industry (1985; 587 pp.) and The Film in Society (1985; 507 pp.)—include, respectively, sections on the history of the industry and censorship. Vol. 1 is indexed by persons, titles, and a few subjects; vols. 2–3, by persons. The fullest guide to pre-1936 publications, Film Index is particularly useful for its descriptive annotations.
  • Gerlach, John C., and Lana Gerlach. The Critical Index: A Bibliography of Articles on Film in English, 1946–1973, Arranged by Names and Topics. New York: Teachers College P, 1974. 726 pp. New Humanistic Research Ser. An annotated list of articles from 22 British, American, and Canadian film journals and about 60 general periodicals. The approximately 5,000 entries are organized in two parts: works about persons; subjects. Although overlapping considerably with MacCann and Perry and difficult to use, Gerlach and Gerlach does index some additional articles.
  • MacCann, Richard Dyer, and Edward S. Perry. The New Film Index: A Bibliography of Magazine Articles in English, 1930–1970. New York: Dutton, 1975. 522 pp. An annotated bibliography of articles from both film and general-interest periodicals. The approximately 12,000 entries are organized chronologically within classified subject divisions. Although the work is incomplete and less than accessible because of its poor subject organization, MacCann and Perry offers the broadest coverage of the retrospective indexes.

FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals Plus. Chadwyck-Healey, 2006–13. 25 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated monthly.

FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals . Chadwyck-Healey, 2006–13. 25 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated monthly.

FIAF Databases. International Federation of Film Archives, 2002. 25 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated regularly. (Included in FIAF Plus.)

International Index to Film Periodicals, [1972– ]: An Annotated Guide. Brussels: Intl. Federation of Film Archives, 1973– . Annual. Z5784.M9 I49 016.79143.

A subject index that currently covers about 79 periodicals published worldwide. Since the volume for 1983, entries are organized in four divisions: general subjects (with many headings subdivided by country; discussions of film versions of literary works are grouped under “adaptations” and subdivided by literary author), individual films (organized alphabetically by original title), biographical discussions (organized by biographee), and corporate names. Each entry is accompanied by a brief descriptive annotation. Indexed by authors. The best access is through the electronic versions, which are more current than the print volumes. FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals and FIAF Plus (which offers full text of some journals) can be searched by keyword, title of article, subject, film title, persons, director, journal title, author, ISSN, date of publication, country of publication, language, and type of publication. Results are returned in descending chronological order and cannot be sorted. Records can be e-mailed, printed, downloaded, or saved to a personal archive. It also incorporates International Index to Television Periodicals, [1979–90] [London: Intl. Federation of Film Archives, 1983–93]). Although it covers fewer journals than Film and Television Literature Index (U5780) and the print version is unacceptably far in arrears in indexing many of them, the International Index does annotate entries. Since each work indexes journals omitted by the other, the two together offer the best coverage of film periodicals since 1972 and are essential sources for identifying articles on film adaptations of literary works and reviews of films.

See also[edit]

Sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts.

“Annual Review,” Journal of Modern Literature (M2780).

Art Index (U5145).

“Bibliography on the Relations of Literature and the Other Arts” (U5965).

MLAIB (G335): General IV/Cinema in the volumes for 1975–80; General Literature/Film in pt. 4 of the volumes for 1981–91; and Dramatic Arts/Film in the later volumes. In the post-1980 volumes, several national literature divisions have a Film heading in the 1900–1999 section, and there are listings for individual directors. Researchers must also consult the headings beginning “Film” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

RILM: Répertoire international de littérature musicale (U6240).

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to film theory.

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Rehrauer, George. The Macmillan Film Bibliography. 2 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1982. Z5784.M9 R423 [PN1993.5.A1] 016.79143′09.

An annotated selective bibliography of English-language books published through c. 1980 on all aspects of film. Rehrauer includes reference works, biographies, and published filmscripts, but excludes novelizations and fictional works about the film industry. Listed alphabetically by title, most of the 6,762 entries are accompanied by full descriptions of content and brief evaluative commentary. Because of the organization, users should generally approach the work through the subject, author, and filmscript indexes; however, they are sometimes inconsistent and lack sufficient cross-references. The criteria governing selection are insufficiently explained; the evaluations are frequently bland or too generous; and there are numerous typographical errors. Still, Rehrauer is the most complete bibliography of English-language books about the subject and an especially valuable resource for identifying discussions of a film, performer, or film-related subjects. Review: Raoul Kulberg, Journal of Popular Film and Television 10.4 (1983): 183–84.

This work supersedes Rehrauer, Cinema Booklist (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1972; 473 pp.), Supplement One (1974; 405 pp.), and Supplement Two (1977; 470 pp.).

Although less complete than Rehrauer, the following works list a few additional books:

  • Armour, Robert A. Film: A Reference Guide. Westport: Greenwood, 1980. 251 pp. Amer. Popular Culture. A selective guide to some 1,500 English-language books published through c. 1979 and principally concerned with American film.
  • Dyment, Alan R. The Literature of the Film: A Bibliographical Guide to the Film as Art and Entertainment, 1936–1970. London: White Lion, 1975. 398 pp. An annotated, highly selective subject list of English-language books.
  • Ellis, Jack C., Charles Derry, and Sharon Kern. The Film Book Bibliography, 1940–1975. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1979. 752 pp. An annotated list of English-language books and dissertations organized by subject.

Manchel, Frank. Film Study: An Analytical Bibliography. 4 vols. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson UP; London: Assoc. UP, 1990. Z5784.M9 M34 [PN1994] 016.79143.

A massive (albeit selective), extensively annotated guide to English-language works and films (through 1988) illustrating representative approaches to the study of film. The extended evaluations of some 500 books, annotated entries for about 2,000 additional books and several hundred films, and several thousand citations to other books and articles are organized in seven extensively subdivided chapters: film as film (with a section on film criticism and theory); genres; stereotyping in film (with sections on feminist approaches to film, psychoanalysis and film, and Jews and African Americans in American films); thematic approaches; comparative literature (with sections on Hollywood and literature, literature and film, novels and film, and film adaptations of stage plays); the period approach (with American film, 1913–19, as its focus); history of film (with sections on reference works, histories, and national traditions). Chapters and subdivisions are introduced by extensive commentary. Seven indexes: article titles; authors of articles; authors of books; book titles; film personalities; subjects; film titles. Because of the book’s size and organization, users must study the list of contents in vol. 1 and make continual use of the indexes. Although omitting several important reference works, Film Study is valuable not only for the extent of its coverage but also for its uncompromising evaluation of so many studies.

Dissertations and Theses[edit]


Fielding, Raymond, comp. A Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations on the Subject of Film, 1916–1979. Houston: U Film Assn., 1979. 70 pp. U Film Assn. Monograph 3. Z5784.M9.

A list of theses and dissertations accepted by academic institutions in the United States between 1916 and 1979, although coverage after 1976 is incomplete. The 1,420 entries are listed alphabetically by author, with each entry recording title, degree, institution, and date of graduation. Indexed by subject at the beginning. Although the subject headings are usually too broad to be of much use, Fielding does bring together dissertations and theses accepted in a variety of departments. Researchers should also consult the works in section H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

Literature and Film[edit]


Ross, Harris. Film as Literature, Literature as Film: An Introduction to and Bibliography of Film’s Relationship to Literature. New York: Greenwood, 1987. 346 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 10. Z5784.M9 R66 [PN1995.3] 016.79143′01′5.

A bibliography of about 2,500 English-language books and articles published between 1908 and 1985. Most reviews and newspaper articles are excluded. Entries are organized alphabetically by author in divisions for general studies of literature and film, language and film (including linguistic approaches), prose fiction and film, drama and film, poetry and film, general studies of adaptation, writers and the film industry, American writers, writers of the United Kingdom, Shakespeare and film, classical writers, European writers, Latin American writers, published scripts by literary figures and scripts of adaptations, pedagogy, and bibliographies and filmographies. The divisions treating writers have sections for individual authors; that for Shakespeare has sections for individual plays. Entries are accompanied by a list of writers or films discussed only when a title needs clarification. Although the introductory survey of basic issues involving the relationship between literature and film comments on numerous works, it is no substitute for annotations. Two indexes: scholars; subjects. Film as Literature is marred by the failure to annotate all entries and is restricted to English-language works; nevertheless, it is the best guide to scholarship on literature and film.

Jeffrey Egan Welch, Literature and Film: An Annotated Bibliography, 1909–1977 (New York: Garland, 1981; 315 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 241) and 1978–1988 (1993; 341 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1114), is useful for its brief annotations of English-language scholarship on film adaptations of literary works, the relationship of film and literary genres, and the teaching of literature and film.

See also[edit]

Etulain and Howard, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Western American Literature (Q3670).

Fishburn, Women in Popular Culture (U6590).

Frank, Guide to the Gothic (L875).

Gilbert and Tatla, Women’s Studies: A Bibliography of Dissertations, 1870–1982 (U6615).

Humm, Annotated Critical Bibliography of Feminist Criticism (U6170).

Rice, English Fiction, 1900–1950 (M2840).

Salem, Guide to Critical Reviews (Q4300).

Salzman, American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography (Q3335).

Wildbihler and Völklein, The Musical: An International Annotated Bibliography (Q4295).

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]


Sec. J: Biographical Sources/Biographical Dictionaries.

Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television (Q4305).


Guides to Primary Works[edit]


Slide, Anthony, ed. International Film, Radio, and Television Journals. Westport: Greenwood, 1985. 428 pp. Hist. Guides to the World’s Periodicals and Newspapers. Z5784.M9 I485 [PN1993] 016.79143′05.

A collection of signed profiles of about 190 important or representative scholarly and popular film periodicals from throughout the world, but emphasizing those published in the United States and Great Britain. Organized alphabetically by periodical title, each profile consists of two parts: a discussion of the history, general contents, and quality of the work; and a list of indexing sources, reprints, selected locations, title changes, volume and issue data, publisher(s) and place(s) of publication, and editor(s). Six appendixes: fan club journals; fan magazines (mostly American, since some British ones are given regular profiles); in-house journals; national film journals; a list of journals by country; a list by subject. Indexed by persons, journal titles, and some subjects. Although the profiles vary in quality, Slide is a convenient source of descriptions and evaluations of major film periodicals.

Folklore and Literature[edit]

This section is limited to reference works of particular importance to the investigation of the relationship between literatures in English and folklore; consequently, special attention is accorded works on narrative folklore genres in Great Britain and North America. Works devoted to the relationship between folklore and a specific literature are listed with the appropriate national literature.

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and folklore, see Bruce A. Rosenberg, “Literature and Folklore,” pp. 90–106 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955).

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Steinfirst, Susan. Folklore and Folklife: A Guide to English-Language Reference Sources. 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1992. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1429: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 16. Z5981.S74 [GN66] 016.398.

An annotated guide to reference works for the study of folklore throughout the world, with most of the 2,577 entries for English-language books or serial bibliographies published before 1988 (although some works in other languages and published after 1987 are included). The descriptively annotated entries are organized in eight classified divisions: introduction to folklore and folklife (with sections for bibliographies, abstracts and indexes, catalogs, dictionaries and encyclopedias, and guides and handbooks), history and study of folklore, folk literature, ethnomusicology, folk belief systems, folk rituals and rites, material culture, and journals and societies; the organization of each division (except the first and last) generally follows that of the folklore volume of the MLAIB (G335). Many sections are prefaced by a headnote that identifies pertinent surveys, histories, and general studies. Annotations are generally descriptive, although several offer helpful comparative and evaluative comments or cite related works. Three indexes: authors; titles; subjects. Although it is not as current as it should be, although it includes several works that are not reference sources, and although it is mostly restricted to English-language publications, Folklore and Folklife is the best available guide to reference works for the study of folklore.

See also[edit]

Gohdes and Marovitz, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of the Literature of the U. S. A. (Q3180).

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Enzyklopädie des Märchens: Handwörterbuch zur historischen und vergleichenden Erzählforschung. Ed. Kurt Ranke et al. 14 vols. and supplements. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977– . GR72.E58. <>.

A comparative, historical dictionary that ranges beyond folktales to include animal stories, jests, fairy tales, novelle, and legends. The signed articles by major scholars emphasize the religious, social, psychological, and historical backgrounds of European, Mediterranean, and Asian oral and written narratives, with those of the rest of the world treated in regional or national surveys. The approximately 3,900 planned entries include extensive articles on theories, methods, genres, major tale types and motifs, figures, themes, scholars, nations, and regions. Each entry concludes with a selected bibliography. (Articles scheduled for future parts are listed in a periodic Sprichwortliste.) Indexes of Aarne-Thompson tale type entries, motifs, persons, entries, and subjects can be searched at the project’s Web site. An extensive, authoritative compilation, Enzyklopädie des Märchens is especially valuable for its attention to literary works.

Hans-Jörg Uther, “The Encyclopedia of the Folktale,” Fairy Tales and Society: Illusion, Allusion, and Paradigm, ed. Ruth B. Bottigheimer (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1986) 187–93, outlines the history and scope of the work.


Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. Ed. Maria Leach. [Corrected rpt.] New York: Funk, 1972. 1,236 pp. GR35.F82 398′.042.

A dictionary of mythological and folk figures, dances, festivals, rituals, food, games, customs, riddles, rhymes, witchcraft, magic, folk beliefs, folktales, regions, scholars, motifs, material culture, and a host of other topics related to folklore, especially of the Americas. Entries range from a sentence to several pages; some are signed, and a few conclude with a selective bibliography. The brief index of countries, regions, cultures, tribes, and groups added in the 1972 reprint does not offer adequate access to topics and persons not accorded separate entries. (A full analytic index and bibliography was promised but never published.) Although the work is seriously flawed because of numerous errors, inadequate cross-referencing and indexing, many uneven and unrepresentative entries, and generally slipshod editing, it remains the fullest English-language general dictionary of folklore. Superior coverage of classical mythology is offered by Oxford Classical Dictionary (C115); for scholars and topics related to narrative folklore, Enzyklopädie des Märchens (U5830) is the essential source. Reviews: (original printing) Wayland D. Hand, Midwest Folklore 1.4 (1951): 267–72; Stanley Edgar Hyman, Journal of American Folklore 64.253 (1951): 325–28; Hyman, Kenyon Review 12.4 (1950): 721–30; Branford P. Millar, Southern Folklore Quarterly 14.2 (1950): 123–28, 15.2 (1951): 171–72.

Fuller, more authoritative entries on forms and methods of analysis associated with North American and European folklore are offered in Thomas A. Green, ed., Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1997).


American Folklore: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Jan Harold Brunvand. New York: Garland, 1996. 794 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1551. GR101.A54 398.2′0973.

An encyclopedia of North American folklore (excluding that associated with Native Americans), with entries for genres, scholarly approaches, regions, occupations, groups, organizations, performers, and dead folklorists. The signed entries are generously full and typically conclude with a list of additional resources and cross-references. As with most encyclopedias of this type, entries are uneven in quality (e.g., “Bodylore” is nearly incomprehensible in its jargon and “Cow Tipping” fails in its attempted cuteness, but the majority—such as “Dozens” and “Paper Cutting”—are clear discussions replete with examples that place the topic within its historical and scholarly contexts). Indexed by persons and subjects. Although lacking an explanation of selection criteria and emphasizing the United States, American Folklore is the best encyclopedia of folklore and folklorists of the region.


Simpson, Jacqueline, and Steve Roud. A Dictionary of English Folklore. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. 411 pp. GR141.S59 398.20942003. Online through Oxford Reference (I530).

A dictionary of “oral genres, performance genres, calendar customs, life-cycle customs, supernatural, . . . ‘superstitious’ beliefs,” everyday lore (e.g., the Vanishing Hitchhiker), topics formerly regarded as unpleasant (e.g., sex and menstruation), groups, and deceased folklorists associated with the folklore of England. Excludes material culture, “traditional foods, sports, games, fairs, . . . most obsolete customs,” and much children’s lore. The approximately 1,250 entries are factual rather than interpretative; many conclude with a list of additional readings (several citations are keyed to the bibliography at the end of the book). Although excluding some topics treated by most folklore dictionaries, Dictionary of English Folklore offers a sure-handed, entertaining guide to the folklore of England.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Tale Type and Motif Indexes[edit]

For a critique of tale type and motif indexes, see the special issue of Journal of Folklore Research 34.3 (1997). Of particular importance is Alan Dundes, “The Motif-Index and the Tale Type Index: A Critique” (195–202). On standards for compiling these indexes, see Jason, Motif, Type, and Genre: A Manual for Compilation of Indices and a Bibliography of Indices and Indexing (U5840a).


Azzolina, David S. Tale Type- and Motif-Indexes: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1987. 105 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 565: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 12. Z5983.L5 A98 [GR74.6] 016.3982.

An annotated bibliography of type and motif indexes published worldwide through 1985. Azzolina cites dissertations and theses as well as books and articles but excludes indexes of proverbs and most ballad indexes. The 186 entries are listed alphabetically by author or editor. Each is accompanied by a descriptive annotation that frequently cites reviews or related scholarship as well. Three indexes: subjects; geographic areas; additional authors. Admirably broad in coverage, Azzolina is the essential guide to type and motif indexes. Review: Hans Jörg Uther, Journal of American Folklore 102.406 (1989): 479–84 (with several additions and corrections).

For additional indexes, see Heda Jason, Motif, Type, and Genre: A Manual for Compilation of Indices and a Bibliography of Indices and Indexing (Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 2000; 279 pp.; FF Communications 273), and the additions in Azzolina’s review (Journal of American Folklore 116.460 [2003]: 236–37).


Thompson, Stith. Motif-Index of Folk-Literature: A Classification of Narrative Elements in Folktales, Ballads, Myths, Fables, Mediaeval Romances, Exempla, Fabliaux, Jest-Books, and Local Legends. Rev. and enl. ed. 6 vols. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1955–58. GR67.T52 398.012. <>. CD-ROM.

A systematic classification of motifs occurring in traditional oral and written narratives throughout the world. Thompson excludes “superstitions, customs, religious beliefs, riddles, or proverbs except as they happen to form an organic part of a narrative,” and it silently ignores nearly everything sexual or scatological. The motifs are organized in 23 broad subject divisions (e.g., animals, ogres, mythological motifs, captives and fugitives, the dead) that are extensively subdivided (with each division prefaced by a detailed outline). Where possible, individual motifs are accompanied by references to locations, collections, lists of variants, scholarship, related motifs, and Aarne-Thompson tale types (U5850a). Thompson’s citations are more fully and accurately identified in Polly Grimshaw, ed., Motif-Index of Folk-Literature: Bibliography and Abbreviations (N.p.: n.p., [1976?]; 38 pp.). Indexed by subjects. To locate specific motifs, users should begin with the outline prefacing each division or the thorough analytical subject index. A monumental compilation that is underutilized by literature scholars, Thompson is the indispensable source for identifying, locating, cataloging, and referring (by Thompson numbers) to motifs in oral and written literatures worldwide. Review: Kurt Ranke, Journal of American Folklore 71.279 (1958): 81–83.

The electronic versions correct several cross-references, provide some 150,000 hyperlinks between motifs, and offer keyword searching of a static text, but the brief citations are not linked to the full entries in the bibliography. If possible, users should opt for the online version because of its superior search interface; users of the CD-ROM who are unfamiliar with the Folio search engine must begin with the manual because the help screens are decidedly unhelpful.

An important complementary source for identifying motifs and tale types in English-language literature in Great Britain and North America is Ernest W. Baughman, Type and Motif-Index of the Folktales of England and North America (The Hague: Mouton, 1966; 606 pp.; Indiana U Folklore Ser. 20). The organization of the tale type index is modeled on Aarne-Thompson (U5850a) and the motif index on Thompson, with entries similar to the latter’s in content. Although Baughman lacks its own subject index, users can locate individual types and motifs by consulting the one in Thompson.


Uther, Hans-Jörg. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography (ATU). 3 vols. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 2004. FF Communications 284–86. GR1.F55 398′.012.

A classification by tale type of folktales from throughout the world but emphasizing Europe, Western Asia, and areas settled by peoples from these regions. Types of International Folktales revises Antti Aarne, The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography (Aarne-Thompson), trans. and enl. Stith Thompson, 2nd rev. (Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1961; 558 pp.; FF Communications 184), adding some 250 new types, sharpening the descriptions, and establishing numerous connections among tales but retaining as far as possible the Aarne-Thompson numbers. Unlike a motif index, which focuses on elements within tales, ATU classifies entire works. Organized within divisions for animal tales, tales of magic, religious tales, realistic tales, tales of the stupid ogre, jokes and anecdotes, and formula tales, entries provide a brief summary; notes on literary sources, origin, and distinctive features; citations to scholarship; and evidence of the geographic spread of the tale. Because these tales lack formal titles and exist in numerous variants, the best approach to the contents is through the subject index. An index to motifs would improve access. A model for tale type classifications of other regions, Types of International Folktales is the standard source for locating texts of traditional oral narratives (especially of Europe) and for identifying tale types (Aarne-Thompson—now ATU—numbers are the standard for citing tale types).

Other Guides[edit]


Briggs, Katharine M. A Dictionary of British Folk-tales in the English Language: Incorporating the F. J. Norton Collection. 4 vols. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1970–71. GR141.B69 398.2′0942.

  • Pt. A: Folk Narratives. 2 vols. 1970.
  • Pt. B: Folk Legends. 2 vols. 1971.

A dictionary of English-language folk narratives and legends of the British Isles. Pt. A has divisions for fables and exempla, fairy tales, jocular tales, novelle, and nursery tales; pt. B, for black dogs, bogies, devils, dragons, fairies, ghosts, and giants. In each division, tales are organized by title, with the full text or extensive summary followed by source(s); Aarne-Thompson (U5850a) tale type number; Thompson (U5845), Baughman (U5845a), or other motif index numbers; cross-references; and commentary. Each part is prefaced by two indexes: tale types; titles. Although an index of motifs would be welcome, Dictionary of British Folk-tales is an important compilation that saves researchers from hunting out widely scattered texts.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]


Dorson, Richard M., ed. Handbook of American Folklore. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1983. 584 pp. GR105.H36 398′.0973.

A collection of essays that describe the state of research (as of c. 1978) in various areas of American folklore. Organized in divisions for topics of research (with sections on ethnic groups and movements, cultural myths, settings, entertainments, and forms and performers), interpretation of research, research methods (including an essay on folklore and American literature and an inadequate overview of bibliographies and indexes), and the presentation of research. The essays variously outline a topic, comment on important scholarship, discuss methodology, and suggest topics for further research. Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects. The brief essays vary considerably in quality, but together they offer a useful, if flawed, introduction to the study of American folklore. Review: Bruce Jackson, New York Folklore 10.1–2 (1984): 99–112.

For a history of folklore studies in the United States, see Simon J. Bronner, American Folklore Studies: An Intellectual History (Lawrence: UP of Kansas, 1986; 213 pp.); for European folkloristics, see Giuseppe Cocchiara, The History of Folklore in Europe, trans. John N. McDaniel (Philadelphia: Inst. for the Study of Human Issues, 1981; 703 pp.; Trans. in Folklore Studies).

See also[edit]

“Year’s Work in Scottish Literary and Linguistic Studies” (O3070).

Serial Bibliographies[edit]


Internationale volkskundliche Bibliographie / International Folklore Bibliography / Bibliographie internationale d’ethnologie, [1917–1999] (IVB). Bonn: Habelt, 1919–2004. Annual. Title varies. Z5982.I523 016.398.

IVB Online. EVIFA. Humboldt-Universität, 2008. 28 Jan. 2013. <>.

A selective bibliography of important or representative scholarship on the folklore of Europe, North and South America, and South Africa. Although the scope has broadened over the years (with the early volumes emphasizing Europe), the organization has remained fairly consistent. Entries are now listed alphabetically by author in 24 extensively classified divisions: the study of folklore; regional studies; ethnicity, identity, and living styles; age, gender, and social groups; economy, work, and occupations; folk art; tokens, symbols, and gestures; dress; food; settlement and cultural landscape; architecture; objects (including furniture and implements); customs, festivals, games, and leisure activities; religion; popular beliefs; health, illness, and the body; law; folk literature; songs; music and dance; popular literature (including fairy tales, legends, fables, and oral genres); language; theater, circus, and spectacle; and media. (The division for names was dropped with the volume for 1975–76.) Three indexes: authors; subjects (in German, but with separate ones in English in the volumes for 1979–80 through 1983–84, and in French in the volumes for 1981–82 and 1983–84); geographic places (added in the bibliography for 1999). For the history of the work, see Rolf Wilhelm Brednich, “The International Folklore Bibliography,” International Folklore Review 1 (1981): 17–21.

IVB Online, which includes data from the 1985–98 volumes, can be searched in two modes: Simple Search allows a keyword search of all fields, creator, title, date, place of publication, journal title, publisher, subjects, persons, or locale; Extended Search allows users to search combinations of the preceding fields and has links to lists of subjects, persons, and locales. Users can also browse by the taxonomy of the print version (click the English tab). Results of a search can be sorted by creator, title, or date (ascending); to mark records for downloading or printing, users must use the German-language search interface.

Although IVB offered the most extensive coverage of any serial bibliography of folklore scholarship on the four continents, it must be supplemented by the Folklore division of MLAIB (G335). For a discussion of MLAIB’s coverage of folklore, see entry G335 and Michael Taft, “The Folklore Section of the MLA International Bibliography,” International Folklore Review 2 (1982): 61–64.

For earlier scholarship, the following defunct serial bibliographies and abstracts remain important:

  • Abstracts of Folklore Studies. 13 vols. Austin: U of Texas P for Amer. Folklore Soc., 1963–75. Coverage is selective—more precisely, inconsistent—with the descriptive abstracts varying considerably in detail and quality. Because entries are organized by journal, the annual index of authors, subjects, and titles is essential for locating specific articles.
  • “Annual Bibliography of Folklore, [c. 1948–62].” Journal of American Folklore 62–76 (1949–63). (The earlier bibliographies are called “Folklore in Periodical Literature” and are scattered throughout issues; the bibliographies in later years appear in a supplement to the journal.) Continued by “Annual Bibliography, [1963–64],” Abstracts of Folklore Studies 2–3 (1964–65). Coverage is selective, with works organized in divisions for general studies; material culture; customs, beliefs, and superstitions; linguistic folklore; prose narratives; folk song and folk poetry; music; dance; games; drama; folklore and literature; and peripheral materials.
  • “Folklore Bibliography for [1937–72].” Southern Folklore Quarterly 2–37 (1938–73). Continued by Folklore Bibliography for [1973–76], comp. Merle E. Simmons (Philadelphia: Inst. for the Study of Human Issues, 1975–81; Indiana U Folklore Inst. Monograph Ser. [28–29, 31, 33]). The scope has varied considerably over the years, but with the bibliography for 1967 (32 [1968]), it narrows to works about the Americas, Spain, Portugal, and other Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking areas, as well as studies by folklorists in those regions. The descriptively annotated entries are listed in 10 divisions: general folklore; prose narrative; song, game, and dance; drama; ritual and festival; belief and practice; material culture; speech; proverbs; and riddles. Indexed by authors.
See also[edit]

Sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts.

ABELL (G340): Ancillary Studies/Mythology, Legend, and Folklore section in the volumes for 1934–72; Folklife division in the volume for 1973; Folklore and Folklife division in the volumes for 1974–84; and Traditional Culture, Folklore, and Folklife division in later volumes.

L’année philologique (S4890).

Annual Bibliography of Scottish Literature (O3075).

International Medieval Bibliography (M1835).

Minorities in America (Q3700).

MLAIB (G335): Through the volume for 1980, many national literature divisions have a Folklore heading or section. See also the Folklore heading in the General division in the volume for 1928; General VII [or V]: Folklore and Folklore Motifs in Literature section in the volumes for 1929–32; the Folklore heading in the General division in the volumes for 1933–54; General V [or VIII]: Folklore in the volumes for 1955–68; and the Folklore division in later volumes. Researchers must also check the headings beginning “Folk-” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

“Publications in American Studies from German-Speaking Countries,” Amerikastudien (Q3285).

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Flanagan, Cathleen C., and John T. Flanagan. American Folklore: A Bibliography, 1950–1974. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1977. 406 pp. Z5984.U6 F55 [GR105] 016.398′0973.

A bibliography of publications on the verbal folklore of the United States. Flanagan excludes notes, newspaper articles, and most reviews. The 3,639 or so entries are listed alphabetically by author in 15 divisions (only a few of which are minimally classified): collections of essays; reference works; study and teaching of folklore; general studies; ballads and songs; tales and narrative material; legends; myth; beliefs, customs, superstitions, and cures; folk heroes; folklore in literature; proverbs, riddles, Wellerisms, and limericks; speech, names, and cries; minor genres; and obituaries of folklorists. Many entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations, a few of which include evaluative comments. Indexed by authors. There are numerous errors in citations, inconsistencies in classification, and significant omissions, and the insufficiently classified divisions, lack of cross-references, and inexcusable failure to provide a subject index make American Folklore a time-consuming work to consult. Yet this and Haywood, Bibliography of North American Folklore (U5875), remain essential sources principally because they offer the most thorough coverage of scholarship before 1975 on most genres of American folklore; fortunately, parts are gradually being superseded by bibliographies of individual genres. Reviews: Jan Harold Brunvand, Western Folklore 38.1 (1979): 66–70; Robert W. Halli, Jr., Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin 44.1 (1978): 45–47.


Haywood, Charles. A Bibliography of North American Folklore and Folksong. 2nd rev. ed. 2 vols. New York: Dover, 1961. Z5984.U5 H32 016.398.

  • Vol. 1: The American People North of Mexico, Including Canada.
  • Vol. 2: The American Indians North of Mexico, Including the Eskimos.

A bibliography of primary and secondary works (including some fiction) through mid-1948 related to the folklore of North America (along with a few works on the British Isles). The second edition is actually an uncorrected reprint of the original one (New York: Greenberg, 1951; 1,291 pp.) with a new index of composers, arrangers, and performers. The approximately 40,000 entries are organized in seven variously classified divisions: (vol. 1) general studies, regions, ethnic groups, occupations, and miscellaneous; (vol. 2) general studies and cultural areas. Each of the various subdivisions typically includes sections for folklore and folk song. A few entries are accompanied by brief descriptive or evaluative annotations. Two indexes: authors, subjects, and titles of folk works; composers, arrangers, and performers. A conglomeration of entries that is confusingly organized, admits much that is inconsequential or outside the realm of folklore, includes numerous errors, and has major gaps in coverage, Haywood is, however, an essential source for identifying studies before mid-1948 on North American folklore. Fortunately, it is now being superseded in many areas by bibliographies on individual genres. Reviews: (1951 ed.) Richard M. Dorson, Southern Folklore Quarterly 15.4 (1951): 263–66; MacEdward Leach, Journal of American Folklore 65.255 (1952): 98–101; (2nd ed.) Dorson, Southern Folklore Quarterly 27.4 (1963): 346.


Szwed, John F., and Roger D. Abrahams. Afro-American Folk Culture: An Annotated Bibliography of Materials from North, Central, and South America, and the West Indies. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Inst. for the Study of Human Issues, 1978. Pubs. of the Amer. Folklore Soc.: Bibliog. and Special Ser. 31–32. Z5984.A44 S95 [GR103] 016.909′04′96.

A bibliography of published scholarship, some literary works, and record notes (through 1973) on Afro-American folk culture. The entries are listed alphabetically in six divisions: bibliographies, general studies, North America, Caribbean, Central America, and South America (with the last three subdivided by region or country). Many of the very brief annotations are inadequately descriptive, and several works are unannotated. Two cumulated indexes in each volume: subjects; places. Annotations are frequently uninformative; there are significant omissions; and studies about a particular topic are difficult to locate because of the unrefined organization and inadequate, incomplete subject indexing. Even so, Afro-American Folk Culture is useful because of its breadth of coverage.

See also[edit]

Baer, Folklore and Literature of the British Isles (M1390).

Clements and Malpezzi, Native American Folklore, 1879–1979 (Q3885).

Comitas, Complete Caribbeana, 1800–1975 (R4790a).

Fowke and Carpenter, Bibliography of Canadian Folklore in English (R4665).

Jones, Folklore and Literature in the United States (Q3290).

Jordan and Comissiong, English-Speaking Caribbean (R4785).

Kiell, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, and Literature (U6540).

Lindfors, Black African Literature in English (R4425).

Literary History of the United States: Bibliography (Q3300).

Miller, Comprehensive Bibliography for the Study of American Minorities (Q3700).

Nemanic, Bibliographical Guide to Midwestern Literature (Q3600).

Rubin, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of Southern Literature (Q3625).

Salzman, American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography (Q3335).

Watters and Bell, On Canadian Literature, 1806–1960 (R4655).

Dissertations and Theses[edit]


Dundes, Alan, comp. Folklore Theses and Dissertations in the United States. Austin: U of Texas P for Amer. Folklore Soc., 1976. 610 pp. Pubs. of the Amer. Folklore Soc.: Bibliog. and Special Ser. 27. Z5981.D85 [GR65] 016.398.

A bibliography of master’s theses and doctoral dissertations on folklore accepted between 1860 and 1968 by institutions in the United States. Organized chronologically by year of acceptance, then alphabetically by author, entries cite title, degree, department, institution, and number of pages. Three indexes: subjects; authors; institutions. Because of the chronological organization, the best approach to contents is through the detailed analytic subject index (which, however, is based on titles). The introduction discusses the importance of folklore theses and dissertations. Coverage is less complete after 1964, and the nature of the sources means that there are inevitably omissions, errors, and incomplete entries; however, Dundes is a time-saving compilation of theses and dissertations from a variety of sources.

See also[edit]

Sec. H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

Emerson and Michael, Southern Literary Culture: A Bibliography of Masters’ and Doctors’ Theses (Q3630).

Woodress, Dissertations in American Literature, 1891–1966 (Q3320).


Coverage here is limited to genres that have reference sources of interest to literary researchers.



Richmond, W. Edson. Ballad Scholarship: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1989. 356 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 499: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 4. Z7156.P7 R5 [PN6110.B2] 016.80881′44.

A selective bibliography of studies published from 1898 through 1986 on the folk ballads of northern and western Europe, England, Scotland, and North America. The approximately 1,656 entries are organized alphabetically in 13 unclassified divisions: general introductions; collections of essays; journals devoted to folk music; reference works and bibliographies; studies of ballads generally; ballads and literature; ballads and history; language; prosody and metrics; studies of individual ballad types and cycles; music; collectors, editors, and histories of ballad scholarship; major ballad collections. The descriptive annotations offer generally brief but adequate descriptions of content; however, poor layout makes scanning entries difficult. Two indexes: authors; subjects. But for “elective and subjective” the criteria governing the selection of studies remain unexplained; yet Ballad Scholarship usefully identifies major studies in a variety of languages.



Carnes, Pack. Fable Scholarship: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1985. 382 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 367: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 8. Z5896.C37 [PN980] 016.3982.

An international bibliography of books, articles, and dissertations, for the most part published between 1880 and 1981 (with some works from 1982). Listed alphabetically by scholar, the 1,457 entries are accompanied by full descriptive annotations that frequently include evaluative comments and cite Aarne-Thompson (U5850a), Thompson (U5845), and Perry numbers. Three indexes: names and subjects; fables (by Perry number); tale types (by Aarne-Thompson number). Although Fable Scholarship is selective, the full annotations, international coverage, and thorough indexing make it the essential starting point for research on the fable.



Miller, Terry E. Folk Music in America: A Reference Guide. New York: Garland, 1986. 424 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 496. ML128.F74 M5 016.781773.

An annotated bibliography of books, articles, and dissertations through 1984 on folk music in the United States. Miller emphasizes recent ethnomusicological publications; it excludes articles in newspapers and popular magazines, record notes, and reviews, as well as most master’s theses, articles of fewer than nine pages, and works published before 1900. The 1,927 entries are organized in nine variously classified divisions: general works (including bibliographies, discographies, reference works, and general studies), music of the American Indians and Eskimos, Anglo-American folk songs and ballads, later developments in Anglo-American folk music (especially bluegrass, country and western, folk song revival, and protest music), traditional instruments and instrumental music, American psalmody and hymnody, singing school and shape-note traditions, African American music, and music of various ethnic traditions. Several of the descriptive annotations, which sometimes include an evaluative comment, inadequately summarize contents. Two indexes: scholars; subjects. Confusing in its explanation of criteria governing inclusion and omitting numerous studies, Folk Music in America is only a starting point for research on folk music in the United States.

Some additional studies can be found in “Current Bibliography” in most issues of Ethnomusicology: Journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology 1–44 (1953–2000); installments from 37.1 (1993) to 50.1 (2006) can be found at The bibliography was discontinued after 54.3 (2010).



The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs. Rev. F. P. Wilson. 3rd ed. Oxford: Clarendon–Oxford UP, 1970. 930 pp. PN6421.O9 398.9′2′03.

A dictionary of selected proverbs used in written works in England since the fourteenth century. Listed alphabetically by the first significant word, with cross-references for other words, each proverb is followed by a chronological list of dated examples and variants. For some additions and corrections, see Robert D. Dunn, “Corrections to The Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs,” American Notes and Queries 24.3–4 (1985): 52–54. Although this is the best overall dictionary for identifying proverbs in English, it must be supplemented by the following:

  • Mieder, Wolfgang, Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie B. Harder, eds. A Dictionary of American Proverbs. New York: Oxford UP, 1992. 710 pp. Includes about 15,000 proverbs in actual use in the contiguous United States and Canada. Entries, based on field research by numerous contributors, record regional distribution as well as appearance in standard collections.
  • Stevenson, Burton. The Home Book of Proverbs, Maxims, and Familiar Phrases. New York: Macmillan, 1948. 2,957 pp. (Reprinted as The Macmillan Book of Proverbs, Maxims, and Famous Phrases, 1965.)
  • Taylor, Archer, and Bartlett Jere Whiting. A Dictionary of American Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, 1820–1880. Cambridge: Belknap–Harvard UP, 1958. 418 pp.
  • Tilley, Morris Palmer. A Dictionary of the Proverbs in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: A Collection of the Proverbs Found in English Literature and the Dictionaries of the Period. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1950. 854 pp. Much of this material is incorporated in Oxford Dictionary.
  • Whiting, Bartlett Jere. Early American Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. Cambridge: Belknap–Harvard UP, 1977. 555 pp.
  • ———. Modern Proverbs and Proverbial Sayings. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1989. 709 pp. Coverage extends from c. 1930 to the early 1980s and emphasizes popular sources.
  • Whiting, Bartlett Jere, and Helen Wescott Whiting. Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases from English Writings Mainly before 1500. Cambridge: Belknap–Harvard UP, 1968. 733 pp.

Guide to Reference (B60), New Walford Guide to Reference Resources (B65), and “International Bibliography of New and Reprinted Proverb Collections, [1975– ],” Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship 1–  (1984– ), list additional dictionaries.

See also[edit]

Bartlett, Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations (U6315).

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Mieder, Wolfgang. International Bibliography of Paremiology and Phraseology. 2 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009. Z7191.M542 [PN6401] 010.415.

An international bibliography of books, articles, and dissertations (primarily in English and European languages) from 1800 through 2007 on proverbs and phraseology that incorporates the following works by Mieder:

  • International Proverb Scholarship: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1982. 613 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 342: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 3.
  • Supplement I (1800–1981). New York: Garland, 1990. 436 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1230: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 15.
  • Supplement II (1982–1991). New York: Garland, 1993. 927 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1655: Garland Folklore Bibliogs. 20.
  • Supplement III (1990–2000). New York: Lang, 2001. 457 pp.

Mieder excludes collections of proverbs, literary studies that are lists unaccompanied by critical analysis, and most brief notes. Listed alphabetically by scholar, the 10,027 entries are accompanied by a list of keywords. Two indexes: names of second author and those included in the list of keywords; keywords. Thoroughly indexed and admirably broad in coverage, International Bibliography of Paremiology and Phraseology is the essential guide to international paremiological scholarship (including numerous studies of proverbs in literary works), but it must be supplemented by MLAIB (G335) and by International Proverb Scholarship and its first two supplements because of their full (and sometimes evaluative) annotations and indexes of specific proverbs. Continued in “International Proverb Scholarship: An Updated Bibliography, [1981– ]” in Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship 1–  (1984– ).

Studies of proverbs in literary works are listed in Mieder and George B. Bryan, Proverbs in World Literature: A Bibliography (New York: Lang, 1996; 305 pp.). The 2,654 unannotated entries are organized by literary author.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Studies[edit]

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures. 2 vols. New York: Garland, 2000. Garland Reference Lib. of the Social Sciences 1002, 1008. HQ75.13 306.766.

  • Vol. 1: Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Bonnie Zimmerman. 862 pp. HQ75.5.L4395 306.76′63′03.
  • Vol. 2: Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. Ed. George E. Haggerty. 986 pp. HQ75.13.G37 306.76′6′03.

An encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer culture, including entries on persons, organizations, cultural identities, places, terms, media, popular culture, literature, film, theater, theory, and sexual practices. Each entry concludes with a selected bibliography. The two volumes share a common introduction and treat some of the same topics but are separated to ensure “that both histories receive full and unbiased attention.” Lesbian Histories includes a valuable entry on bibliographies and reference works; Gay Histories, unfortunately, does not. Indexed in each volume by persons, titles, and subjects. The impressive range of readable, informative entries makes this the standard encyclopedia of lesbian and gay culture.

Although more current, LGBT: Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America, ed. Marc Stein, 4 vols. (New York: Scribner’s-Gale, 2004; online through Gale Virtual Reference Library [I535] and Gale Biography in Context [J572]), restricts its coverage to the United States, as does Encyclopedia of Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the United States, ed. Emmanuel S. Nelson, 2 vols. (Santa Barbara: Greenwood–ABC-CLIO, 2009), which focuses on post-1980 writers and works. Entrants in LGBT are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]


Bosman, Ellen, and John P. Bradford. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Literature: A Genre Guide. Ed. Robert B. Ridinger. Westport: Libs. Unlimited, 2008. 423 pp. Genreflecting Advisory Ser. Z1229.G25 B67 [PS153.G38] 016.8108′0920664.

A guide to English-language fictional, biographical, and dramatic works written by gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered (GLBT) writers or with GLBT themes or protagonists. The more than 1,100 titles are mostly published after 1969 and were chosen on the basis of quality (works that won or were shortlisted for major GLBT awards) or popularity. Entries are organized alphabetically or topically in chapters on genres or themes: classics; general fiction; coming out; HIV/AIDS and other health issues; historical fiction; romance; fantasy; science fiction; horror fiction; mystery and crime fiction; comics and graphic novels; drama; and biography, autobiography, and memoir. Entries provide a citation, annotation, interest indicators (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, teen), awards, subject headings, and (in some entries) a note on a related or similar work. Two indexes: authors and titles; subjects. Since the indexes cite page numbers, users will have to skim all entries on a page in search of an index entry. Although intended as a “readers’ advisory tool,” the subject indexing allows researchers to identify works on a specific topic or theme.

Additional titles can be found in Barbara Grier, The Lesbian in Literature, 3rd ed. rev. (Tallahassee: Naiad, 1981; 168 pp.), a list of approximately 7,000 English-language works (including translations) published through 1979 that deal with lesbians or lesbianism. The majority are novels, short stories, poems, plays, biographies, autobiographies, or anthologies, though some nonfiction (primarily after 1967) is included. Listed alphabetically by author, some entries are accompanied by brief annotations that identify the lesbian content; all are coded for the amount and quality of lesbian content (see pp. xix–xx for the coding system). The lack of any subject index substantially hampers accessibility.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]


Reader’s Guide to Lesbian and Gay Studies. Ed. Timothy F. Murphy. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000. 720 pp. HQ75.15.R43 305.90664.

A selective, evaluative guide to scholarship, primarily in English, on gay or lesbian culture. The approximately 440 signed entries treat culture, health and medical issues, art and artists, ethnic groups, geographic areas, education, gender studies, history, legal matters, literature (including authors, genres, and national literatures), media, music and the performing arts, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, social and cultural issues, and transgender studies. Each entry begins with a list of studies, provides a brief overview of the subject, and then summarizes each study (frequently evaluating and comparing approaches and conclusions). Two indexes: author index of books and articles discussed; subjects. Several entries are by graduate students, but the generally judicious selection of scholarship accompanied by evenhanded summaries and by evaluations makes Reader’s Guide a valuable introduction to the state of scholarship on gay and lesbian topics.

See also[edit]

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to queer theories and culture.

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Nordquist, Joan, comp. Queer Theory: A Bibliography. Santa Cruz: Reference and Research Services, 1997. 64 pp. Social Theory: A Bibliog. Ser. 48. Z7164.H74 N67 [HQ76.25] 016.30676′6.

A bibliography of English-language writings (through mid-1997) about queer theory. Entries are unnecessarily separated into books and articles under divisions for theory (with subdivisions for general works, lesbian theory, bisexuality, transsexualism and transgenderism, and race), pedagogy, academic disciplines (with subdivisions for language and linguistics, literature, film, and drama and theater), politics, personal accounts, and bibliographies. Although restricted to English-language publications, taking several entries from other sources rather than using a firsthand examination, and lacking an index, this bibliography does offer a place to begin when searching for discussions of queer theory. However, researchers must also consult the serial bibliographies in section G, especially MLAIB (G335), which the compiler claims to have searched but which includes a substantial number of works that were apparently overlooked.



LGBT Life. EBSCOhost. EBSCO, 2013. 28 Jan. 2013. <>.

LGBT Life with Full Text. EBSCOhost. EBSCO, 2013. 28 Jan. 2013. <>.

Abstracts of articles, reviews, books, and other documents dating from 1953 that treat issues of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community. Most of the content dates from 1990 to the present. The database uses the standard EBSCO search interface (see entry I512 for an evaluation). For literature researchers, the primary value of LGBT Life lies in its coverage of periodicals addressed to gays, lesbians, transsexuals, and transgendered individuals.



The Grants Register. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1969– . Annual. LB2338.G7 378.34.

A guide to grants, fellowships, exchange programs, awards, and honoraria sponsored by foundations, institutions, and government agencies worldwide. Listed alphabetically by sponsor, entries consist of name of the grant, purpose, subjects, number offered, frequency, value, tenability, country of study, eligibility requirements, deadline, notes on application procedure and selection process, and address for further information. Four indexes: subjects and eligibility (the subject arrangement is nearly impenetrable; most users of this Guide will want to turn immediately to the “arts and humanities” subhead); name of grant/award; discontinued grants; organizations. The fullest international guide, Grants Register describes several grants of interest to literature and language scholars but is marred by ineffective indexing and an utterly inadequate explanation of scope and criteria governing inclusion.

Other sources for locating grants of interest to literary scholars include these works:

  • Annual Register of Grant Support: A Directory of Funding Sources. Medford: Information Today, 1969– . Annual. Restricted to sources that fund applicants from the United States or Canada or otherwise benefit either country. The literature division lists numerous prizes and awards that are not grants.
  • The Foundation Directory. New York: Foundation Center, 1960– . 3 pts. and interedition supplement. Annual. <>. The print Directory includes the 20,000 largest private or community foundations in the United States. Foundation Directory Online Platinum allows users to search more than 200,000 foundations and other sources of grants in the United States; other versions offer access to fewer sources.
  • MLA Directory (U5060).

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies[edit]

This section is limited to reference works that treat the relation of literature to several other arts, disciplines, or fields of knowledge. Works devoted to a single art, discipline, or field appear in one of the following divisions of section U: Art and Literature, Film and Literature, Medicine and Literature, Music and Literature, Philosophy and Literature, Religion and Literature, Science and Literature, and Social Sciences and Literature.

General Introductions[edit]


Barricelli, Jean-Pierre, and Joseph Gibaldi, eds. Interrelations of Literature. New York: MLA, 1982. 329 pp. PN45.8.I56 809.

A collection of introductions to the interdisciplinary study of literature and linguistics, philosophy, religion, myth, folklore, sociology, politics, law, science, psychology, music, visual arts, and film. Although the emphasis varies from essay to essay, each essay typically outlines the nature of the relation, provides a historical overview, comments on important studies, describes major theories and approaches, suggests areas for research, and concludes with a selective, briefly annotated bibliography. A glossary covers all essays. Indexed by persons and anonymous titles. Written by distinguished scholars, the essays provide the nonspecialist with informed introductions to the study of literature in relation to other fields, but the volume needs updating.

James Thorpe, ed., Relations of Literary Study: Essays on Interdisciplinary Contributions (New York: MLA, 1967; 151 pp.), with essays on history, myth, biography, psychology, sociology, religion, and music, remains useful for its historical perspective.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Cline Horowitz. 6 vols. Detroit: Scribner’s-Gale, 2005. Online through Gale Virtual Reference Library (I535). CB9.N49 903.

Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and transnational examinations of seminal concepts and topics in intellectual history. Written by major scholars, the more than 500 signed articles include several on literary forms, techniques, movements, themes, and aesthetics. Each article concludes with a selected bibliography and cross-references to related articles. Prefacing each volume is a Reader’s Guide that outlines entries under four subjects: communication, geography, chronology, and liberal arts disciplines and professions (with a subsection on literature). Indexed by persons and subjects. A monumental work, New Dictionary of the History of Ideas is especially valuable to literary researchers for its interdisciplinary coverage.

Since New Dictionary of the History of Ideas is a completely new work, Dictionary of the History of Ideas, ed. Philip P. Weiner, 5 vols. (New York: Scribner’s, 1973; an electronic copy is available through the University of Virginia Library’s Virgo catalog [2]), remains useful for its historical perspective.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]


“Bibliography on the Relations of Literature and Other Arts, [1952–97].” YCGL: Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 34–45/46 (1985–1997/98). PN851.Y4.

  • 1959–84: A Bibliography on the Relations of Literature and the Other Arts. Hanover: Dept. of German, Dartmouth Coll., 1959–[85?]. Annual.
  • 1973–75: “Bibliography on the Relations of Literature and the Other Arts.” Hartford Studies in Literature 6–8 (1974–76).
  • 1952–67: A Bibliography on the Relations of Literature and the Other Arts, 1952–1967. New York: AMS, 1968. (A reprint of the issues covering 1952–67.)
  • 1952–58: Neumann, Alfred E., comp. Literature and the Other Arts: A Select Bibliography, 1952–1958. Ed. David V. Erdman. New York: New York Public Lib., 1959. 37 pp.

An annual bibliography of studies involving literature and music, the visual arts, or dance; those for 1974 through 1984 include film and literature. Entries are organized by author in four divisions: general and theoretical studies, music and literature, visual arts and literature, and dance or performance art and literature. Except for the first, each division has sections for general studies and historical periods appropriate to the subject. A few entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations. Two indexes: scholars; subjects (beginning in vol. 35 [1986]). The supplement to volume 38 was never published; instead, coverage was gradually caught up in vols. 39 and 43–44. Although not comprehensive, this work was the single best source for identifying those interdisciplinary studies that are frequently impossible to locate in the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. Because few libraries hold complete runs of the annual volumes through 1984, an augmented cumulation—or at least a collected reprint—would be welcomed by researchers.

For a few years, coverage of literature and dance was more thorough in “Bibliography: Dance and Literature, [1989–95],” Dance Research Journal 26.2–28.1 (1994–96), an author list of articles, books, and dissertations, with some entries accompanied by a brief annotation.

For studies on the philosophical, scientific, or theoretical study of the arts see “Selective Current Bibliography for Aesthetics and Related Fields,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 1–31 (1941–73).

See also[edit]

Sec. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts.

Baldensperger and Friederich, Bibliography of Comparative Literature (T5000).

Linguistics and Literature[edit]

This section is limited to reference works of use to researchers interested in linguistic approaches to and aspects of literature. It also includes some essential reference works on the English language. For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and linguistics, see Jonathan Culler, “Literature and Linguistics,” pp. 1–24 in Barricelli and Garibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955). Paul J. Hopper provides a succinct overview of the field in “Linguistics,” pp. 20–47 in Nicholls, Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures (A25).

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


DeMiller, Anna L. Linguistics: A Guide to the Reference Literature. 2nd ed. Englewood: Libs. Unlimited, 2000. 396 pp. Reference Sources in the Humanities Ser. Z7001.D45 [P121] 016.41.

An annotated guide to reference sources, for the most part published or reprinted between 1957 and 1998. Entries are organized within three classified divisions: general linguistics (with sections for dictionaries, encyclopedias, and guides; biographical dictionaries of linguists; indexes, abstracts, serial bibliographies, and databases; Internet metasites; bibliographies of bibliographies; general bibliographies; bibliographies of specific topics; bibliographies of individual linguists; directories and lists; professional associations and societies; research centers; and important periodicals); allied areas (with sections for anthropological linguistics, applied linguistics, mathematical and computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, semiotics, and sociolinguistics); and languages (with classified sections for general works and language families). Three indexes: authors; titles; subjects. As in the first edition, the annotations are wordy and frequently unevaluative, but DeMiller is the best available guide to essential reference sources for the study of language and linguistics.

General Introductions[edit]


Fowler, Roger. Linguistic Criticism. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1996. 262 pp. OPUS Book. P302.5.F68 410.

An introduction to the study of literature as social discourse that “demonstrate[s] the value to criticism of an analytic method drawn from linguistics.” The chapters on semantic processes, textual structure and construction, contexts of communication, dialogue, point of view, and ordering of experience employ a variety of examples from literary works. Indexed by subjects, persons, and literary works. The work, which presumes a basic knowledge of linguistics on the reader’s part, is a handy introduction to the linguistic criticism of literature by one of its leading theorists.

For a more detailed introduction to stylistic criticism, see Anne Cluysenaar, Aspects of Literary Stylistics: A Discussion of Dominant Structures in Verse and Prose (New York: St. Martin’s, 1975; 160 pp.).


Traugott, Elizabeth Closs, and Mary Louise Pratt. Linguistics for Students of Literature. New York: Harcourt, 1980. 444 pp. P123.T67 410.

An introductory guide to the application of linguistics in literary study, with chapters on linguistics and literary analysis, phonetics and phonology, morphemes and words, syntax, semantics, speech acts and speech genres (actually a conglomeration of topics), discourse, varieties of English, and English in contact with other languages. Using a generative model, each chapter describes an aspect of language, demonstrates its applications in literary study, and concludes with a list of suggested readings. Three indexes: literary authors; authors of linguistic and critical works; subjects. Although Traugott and Pratt emphasizes linguistics more than literature and is not always successful in demonstrating applications in literary study, the work is useful as an introductory overview. Reviews: Peter C. Collins, General Linguistics 22.1 (1982): 65–70; Herbert Penzl, Language 57.3 (1981): 782–83.

See also[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Computers and the Humanities.

Histories of the English Language[edit]


The Cambridge History of the English Language. Ed. Richard M. Hogg. 6 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992–2001. PE1072.C36 420′.9. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (

  • Vol. 1: The Beginnings to 1066. Ed. Hogg. 1992. 609 pp.
  • Vol. 2: 1066–1476. Ed. Norman Blake. 1992. 703 pp.
  • Vol. 3: 1476–1776. Ed. Roger Lass. 1999. 771 pp.
  • Vol. 4: 1776–1997. Ed. Suzanne Romaine. 1998. 783 pp.
  • Vol. 5: English in Britain and Overseas: Origins and Development. Ed. Robert Burchfield. 1994. 656 pp.
  • Vol. 6: English in North America. Ed. John Algeo. 2001. 625 pp.

A history of the English language, throughout the world, from its beginnings to the present. The lengthy essays—most of which are by eminent scholars—typically combine diachronic and synchronic approaches and conclude with suggestions for further reading. The volumes devoted to chronological periods include essays on phonology and morphology, orthography and punctuation, dialectology, syntax, lexis and semantics, onomastics, and—of particular interest to literature scholars—the literary language. Each volume concludes with a glossary and bibliography. Indexed by persons and subjects (the online version omits the indexes). Cambridge History of the English Language offers the most authoritative introduction to English worldwide. Reviews: (vol. 1) E. G. Stanley, Review of English Studies 45.180 (1994): 526–35; (vols. 1–2) R. Hamer, Medium Ævum 63.2 (1994): 313–16.

For those needing a more succinct introduction, the best one-volume histories are Blake, A History of the English Language (New York: New York UP, 1996; 382 pp.), and Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language, 6th ed. (Boston: Wadsworth–Cengage Learning, 2010; 347 pp.).

Handbooks, Linguistic Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Ed. Keith Brown. 2nd ed. 14 vols. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006. P29.E48 403. <>.

An encyclopedia of languages, both human and animal, and linguistics that covers all aspects of the field, giving particular attention to interdisciplinary relations. The c. 3,000 entries—which cover individual languages, language families, concepts, theories, persons, and the language situation in specific geographic areas—are signed and conclude with suggestions for further reading. Vol. 14 includes an extensive glossary, a list of languages, language maps, a classified list of entries (but with no section on literature and the arts), an index of names, and an extensive subject index.

In the online version, Basic Search is too primitive to allow effective access to the Encyclopedia; the Reference Works tab in Advanced Search allows users to perform keyword searches of a combination of fields (all fields, abstracts, authors, entry titles, subheadings, references, full text). The content can also be browsed by classification, authors, entries, or subjects; the list of languages and the glossary can also be browsed, but there are no links to entries. There is, unfortunately, no easy way to identify what entries have supplementary audio, video, or text files, and the online version does not reproduce the language maps in the print edition. The publisher does plan to include updates, but the site offers no way to identify what articles (if any) have been added or revised.

There are, of course, inconsistencies, omissions, and variations in the quality of entries, as in any large-scale encyclopedia. Counting an impressive array of established scholars among its contributors, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics offers the broadest and most thorough and authoritative overview of current knowledge about linguistics.

Although they do not match the magisterial stature of Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, the following serve as sometimes useful complements:

  • Crystal, David. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. 529 pp. Lang. Lib. A dictionary of terminology used in twentieth-century linguistic and phonetic scholarship. The fifth and sixth editions are less strict than their predecessors in admitting terms from related areas such as applied linguistics, acoustics, comparative philology, and language study before 1900.
  • The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Ed. Carol A. Chapelle. 10 vols. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. <>. The online version has sound files and other enhancements and will include new and revised entries.
  • Frawley, William J., ed. International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. 2nd ed. 4 vols. New York: Oxford UP, 2003. <>. An encyclopedia of languages and linguistics that covers the major branches of the field—descriptive, historical, comparative, typological, functional, and formalist—and devotes special attention to their interrelations as well as their relations with other disciplines (e.g., the Language and Literature entry includes subentries on stylistics, rhetoric and literature, pragmatics and literature, metaphor, semiotics and literature, the language of prose fiction, the language or poetry, the language of drama, and language and literary history). The approximately 957 signed entries (some as lengthy as 5,000 words) summarize the state of knowledge on a topic and conclude with a selective bibliography; those on a language family include a list of living and selected extinct languages in the family. Indexed by subjects and persons. The electronic version is available as part of Oxford Reference; see I530 for discussion of the search interface. For discussion of the uses literary and cultural critics can make of the work, see the review by Laurence M. Porter, SubStance 34.3 (2005): 139–48.
  • McArthur, Tom, ed. The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992. 1,184 pp. Treats themes, places, persons, institutions, concepts, works, events, and technology associated with literary, common, and colloquial English worldwide.

General Linguistics[edit]

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

A major need is a judiciously selective, current bibliography of scholarship on linguistics and the English language. Among available ones, Harold B. Allen, comp., Linguistics and English Linguistics, 2nd ed. (Arlington Heights: AHM, 1977; 175 pp.; Goldentree Bibliogs. in Lang. and Lit.), is outdated; and Minoru Yasui, comp., Current Bibliography on Linguistics and English Linguistics, 1960–1978 (Tokyo: Kaitakusha, 1979; 269 pp.) and 1978–1982 (1983; 887 pp.) are based on no clear principles governing selection, omit numerous essential works, and are either imprecise (1960–1978) or uncontrolled (1978–1982) in subject organization.

Surveys of Research[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Composition and Rhetoric/Guides to Scholarship/Surveys of Research.

Year’s Work in Modern Language Studies (S4855): General Linguistics division.

YWES (G330): Chapter on English language.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

Linguistic Bibliography Online. Brill Online Bibliographies. Brill, 2013. 29 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated monthly. (Former title: BL Online: The Bibliographical Database of Linguistics.)

Bibliographie linguistique de l’année [1939–] et complément des années précédentes / Linguistic Bibliography for the Year [1939–] and Supplement for Previous Years. Leiden: Brill, 1949– . Annual. Z7001.P4 [P121] 016.41.

An international bibliography of scholarship (including book reviews and dissertations) on linguistics and languages worldwide; however, as of 2002 coverage emphasized “non-Indo-European languages and lesser known Indo-European languages, including endangered and extinct languages” and “works published outside Western Europe and North America.” Entries are organized alphabetically by author in classified divisions for general works (including bibliographies), general linguistics, and major language families or areas. The General Linguistics division and individual languages with sufficient scholarship now have sections for bibliographies and general studies, phonetics and phonology, grammar, lexis, semantics and pragmatics, stylistics, metrics and versification, translation, script and orthography, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics and dialectology, historical and comparative linguistics, mathematical and computational linguistics, and onomastics. Under languages not needing subdivision, bibliographies appear first, followed by other studies in alphabetical order. Indexed by scholars (including reviewers since the volume for 1993) and by languages and subjects since the volume for 2004. Cross-referencing has improved in recent volumes, but the lack of subject indexing in early volumes hinders access to many works, especially those treating more than one concept, topic, or language.

Linguistic Bibliography Online (with coverage beginning with records from the Bibliographie linguistique volume for 1993) is far more current that its print counterpart (the volume covering 2000 was published in 2004), and its new search interface is a marked improvement over that used by its predecessor created for BL Online. Basic Search offers a keyword search of all records; Advanced Search allows users to combine fields for keyword; title; author, editor, or reviewer; person; language as subject; subject; language of document; journal; publisher; date; ISSN or ISBN; and DOI. Users can also browse by index term; language as subject; language of document; journals; or author, editor, or reviewer. Results (which can be limited to books or articles) can be sorted by date (descending), author (ascending), or title (ascending); records can be marked for downloading, e-mailing, or printing.

Although the number of entries in each volume is swollen by the inclusion of works listed earlier and subsequently reviewed, Bibliographie linguistique (especially before 2002) offers generally fuller coverage of linguistic scholarship—especially that published outside North America—than MLAIB (G335) and LLBA (U6015).

Although not as accessible as they should be, Bibliographie linguistique and Linguistic Bibliography Online are essential sources for identifying current linguistic scholarship; for the literature researcher, they are valuable for their inclusion of numerous studies—especially of stylistics and metrics—that are omitted from the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.


Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts. Basic Search–ProQuest. CSA-ProQuest, 2013. Online. 31 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated monthly.

LLBA: Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA). Ann Arbor: ProQuest, 1967– . 5/yr. Former title: LLBA: Language and Language Behavior Abstracts (1967–84). Z7001.L15 016.

Nonevaluative abstracts of books, articles, and dissertations since 1966 (print) or 1973 (electronic) on language behavior, linguistics, and related topics; a separate list of book reviews was added in vol. 24 (1990). Except for dissertations, which are generally limited to those in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465), after 1985 coverage is international and, especially for journals, encompasses several disciplines. The scope has expanded somewhat since the initial volume, and the organization has become more refined. Since vol. 11 (1977) entries are listed alphabetically by author in 27 classified divisions: psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, discourse analysis and text linguistics, theory of linguistics, history of linguistics, anthropological linguistics, descriptive linguistics, lexicography, orthography and writing systems, language classification, interpersonal behavior and communication, sociolinguistics, poetics and literary theory (with sections for poetics, literary criticism, literary theory, literary translation, and historical text studies), nonverbal communication, semiotics, philosophy of language, phonetics, hearing and speech physiology, pathological and normal hearing, pathological and normal language, learning disabilities, mental retardation, and special education. A typical entry in the print version consists of author(s), address of primary author, title and publication information, LC and ISBN numbers for books, and a detailed abstract; the online version adds fields for ISSN, CODEN, language, type of publication, country of publication, descriptors, classification fields, update code, and accession number. Three indexes in each issue: authors; journals and issues indexed; subjects. (The last is a detailed analytic index based on a controlled thesaurus, with each entry providing essentially an abstract of the abstract.) The indexes are cumulated annually; there is also a cumulative index for vols. 1–5 (2 pts.; 1971). The online version is available through ProQuest; see entry I519 for an evaluation of the search interface. The multidisciplinary coverage and full subject indexing make LLBA (especially in its electronic form) a useful source for identifying studies of stylistics, literary theory, and literary criticism, especially in journals not covered (or accessibly indexed) in the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Although limited to the theory and practice of general linguistics rather than to applied studies or articles on individual languages, Linguistics Abstracts (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 1985– ; quarterly; <>; updated regularly) does abstract some journals not covered by LLBA. The best access is offered by the online version, which allows two types of searches: Quick Search (keyword); Advanced Search (full text, title, author, journal, date, volume and issue, and subdiscipline). Users can browse a journal by searching its title in the list on the Advanced Search screen. Results can be sorted by relevance, title, journal, subdiscipline, or date (descending).

See also[edit]

Sec. H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

ABELL (G340): English Language division.

L’année philologique (S4890).

Bullock and Peck, Guide to Marxist Literary Criticism (U6175).

MLAIB (G335): See the national literature divisions in the volumes for 1921–32; General/Linguistics and the linguistics section in national literature divisions in the volume for 1933; General/Linguistics, General/Experimental Phonetics, and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1934–45; General/General Linguistics, General/Experimental Phonetics, and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1946–50; General/Linguistics, General/Semantics, and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1951–52; General VI: Language and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1953–55; General III: General Language and Linguistics and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volume for 1956; General I: General Language and Linguistics and linguistics sections in national literature divisions in the volumes for 1957–66; and the Linguistics division in later volumes (especially General Linguistics IV: Stylistics/Linguistics and Literature in the volumes for 1968–80). Researchers must also check the headings beginning “English Language” and “Linguistic(s)” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

PsycINFO (U6530).

RILM: Répertoire international de littérature musicale (U6240).

Special Topics[edit]


Research Methods[edit]

Landau, Sidney I. Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. 477 pp. P327.L3 413′.028.

A guide to the principles and practices of the construction of English-language dictionaries. Offering an extensive range of examples, chapters are devoted to the definition of dictionary and the kinds of special-purpose dictionaries, a brief history of English lexicography, parts of a dictionary and the entries therein, the practice of definition, usage information, the uses of corpora, the process of commercial dictionary making, and legal and ethical concerns in lexicography. The second edition replaces the evaluative selective bibliography of monolingual dictionaries with a list that refers readers to significant commentary or evaluation in the text. Indexed by persons, titles of anonymous works, and subjects; titles of dictionaries are indexed under editors. Emphasizing practice rather than theory and combining illustration with sometimes trenchant (but fair) evaluation, Dictionaries is an essential introduction for aspiring lexicographers as well as readers interested in learning how to judge the dictionaries they rely on. Review: Henri Béjoint, International Journal of Lexicography 15.2 (2002): 169–73.

Ladislav Zgusta, Manual of Lexicography (Prague: Academia; The Hague: Mouton, 1971; 360 pp.; Janua Linguarum: Ser. Maior 39), is more advanced and inclusive in its coverage but is now badly dated.

Individual aspects of the theory and practice of lexicography are treated at length in Franz Josef Hausmann et al., eds., Wörterbücher/Dictionaries/Dictionnaires: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Lexikographie / An International Encyclopedia of Lexicography / Encyclopédie internationale de lexicographie, 3 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1989–91; Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft/Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science/Manuels de linguistique et des sciences de communication 5).

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]

Cop, Margaret. Babel Unravelled: An Annotated World Bibliography of Dictionary Bibliographies, 1658–1988. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1990. 195 pp. Lexicographica: Ser. Maior 36. Z7004.D5 C63 [P327] 016.01603.

A bibliography of bibliographies—including separately published works, contributions to periodicals, parts of books, booksellers’ catalogs, and catalogs of collections, as well as some manuscript lists and databases—of language and subject dictionaries, including wordbooks, word lists, lexicons, vocabularies, thesauruses, glossaries, concordances, and syllabaries. Although the majority of the 619 bibliographies date from 1658–1988, some works published as late as 1990 are included. The entries (organized alphabetically by author, editor, or title of anonymous work) consist of a citation and locations of copies—principally in German libraries—or source of information, followed, in most cases, by information on languages, kinds of annotations, organization, chronological span, indexes, and number of items in and types, content, and time periods of dictionaries covered. Several entries conclude with helpful evaluative or historical notes (that also cite reviews). Indexed, at the beginning, by languages, types of dictionaries, subjects, Universal Decimal Classification numbers, types of bibliographies, and persons. Nearly one-third of the entries were not seen by the author, several works included (e.g., general guides to reference books, journals that merely review dictionaries, and miscellaneous bibliographies that happen to list some dictionaries) hardly can be classified as bibliographies of dictionaries, and coverage is better for European publications than for North American ones; yet Babel Unravelled is the best starting place for identifying lists of dictionaries. Researchers must, however, search serial bibliographies such as Bibliographie linguistique (U6010), ABELL (G340), and MLAIB (G335) for additional bibliographies.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]
= U6020 =[edit]

Brewer, Annie M., ed. Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Other Word-Related Books: A Classified Guide to Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Similar Works, Based on Library of Congress MARC Records, and Arranged According to the Library of Congress Classification System. 4th ed. 2 vols. Detroit: Gale, 1988. Z5848.D52 [AE5] 016.03.

A subject list of dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances, glossaries, lexicons, thesauruses, vocabularies, and similar works. Since the entries, organized by LC classification, are derived from Library of Congress cataloging records prepared between 1966 and the end of 1986, the two volumes potentially include any “word-related” book published or reprinted during that period as well as numerous pre-1966 publications for which LC cards or MARC and REMARC records were prepared. The uncritical reliance on Library of Congress cataloging records leads to considerable duplication of entries (especially of unrevised reprints), serious gaps in coverage (especially of books published before 1966), the inclusion of many works that are only remotely “word-related,” and inconsistencies in the classification of works. The fourth edition improves upon its predecessors by printing a title and subject index, but users will find it less than helpful because of the citation of LC classifications rather than page numbers and the reproduction of frequently imprecise LC subject headings from MARC records. Although seriously flawed and incomplete, Brewer is the most extensive single list of “word-related books.” What would be welcome is a thorough, carefully organized, effectively indexed annotated bibliography based on personal examination of these kinds of publications.

For an evaluative survey of important dictionaries through the late 1960s, see Robert L. Collison, Dictionaries of English and Foreign Languages: A Bibliographical Guide to Both General and Technical Dictionaries with Historical and Explanatory Notes and References, 2nd ed. (New York: Hafner, 1971; 303 pp.). Organized by language or geographic area, chapters typically comment on the history and use of general, etymological, slang, dialect, specialist, and bilingual dictionaries. Technical dictionaries are listed by field in an appendix. Collison remains useful for its evaluations of dictionaries published before 1970.

More current (but not rigorous in selection or evaluation) are the sections on dictionaries in New Walford Guide to Reference Resources (B65), and Guide to Reference (B60).

= U6025 =[edit]

Wall, C. Edward, and Edward Przebienda, comps. Words and Phrases Index: A Guide to Antedatings, New Words, New Compounds, New Meanings, and Other Published Scholarship Supplementing the Oxford English Dictionary, Dictionary of Americanisms, Dictionary of American English, and Other Major Dictionaries of the English Language. 4 vols. Ann Arbor: Pierian, 1969–70. PE1689.W3 016.423.

An index to additions, antedatings, and corrections published in American Notes and Queries 1–8 (1941–49) and 1–5 (1962–67); American Speech 1–41 (1925–66); Britannica Book of the Year (1945–67); California Folklore Quarterly 1–6 (1942–47); College English 1–29 (1939–68); Dialect Notes 1–6 (1890–1939); Notes and Queries 148–211 (1925–66); Publication of the American Dialect Society 1–47 (1944–67); and Western Folklore 7–26 (1948–67). Vols. 1 and 3 are word indexes; vols. 2 and 4, keyword-out-of-context indexes to phrases. Wall and Przebienda is a useful source for identifying scholarship on individual words and phrases, since few of the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G provide this kind of information.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Zgusta, Ladislav. Lexicography Today: An Annotated Bibliography of the Theory of Lexicography. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1988. 349 pp. Lexicographica: Ser. Maior 18. Z7004.L48 Z47 [P327] 016.413′028.

An international bibliography of publications, from c. 1962 through early 1987, on the procedures, methods, and theory of lexicography. Works listed in Zgusta, Manual of Lexicography (U6017a), are excluded, as are recent studies treating “the history of lexicography, . . . etymological, historical, and encyclopedic lexicography,” individual dictionaries, computational linguistics, and artificial intelligence—unless directly related to the theory or methodology of lexicography. Organized alphabetically by author, entries are accompanied by succinct descriptive annotations. Four indexes: second and other authors and editors; persons appearing in titles and annotations; selected languages discussed; subjects. Although not exhaustive, Zgusta is impressive in its international coverage and offers the best record of scholarship on lexicographical theory before 1987.


Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Bibliography of Metaphor and Metonymy (MetBib). Benjamins, n.d. 5 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated annually.

Noppen, J. P. van, S. de Knop, and R. Jongen, comps. Metaphor: A Bibliography of Post-1970 Publications. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1985. 497 pp. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hist. of Linguistic Science, Ser. 5: Lib. and Information Sources in Linguistics 17.

Noppen, Jean-Pierre van, and Edith Hols, comps. Metaphor II: A Classified Bibliography of Publications, 1985 to 1900 [i.e., 1990]. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1990. 350 pp. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hist. of Linguistic Science, Ser. 5: Lib. and Information Sources in Linguistics 20. Z7004.M4 N66 [P301.5.M48] 016.808.

Shibles, Warren A. Metaphor: An Annotated Bibliography and History. Whitewater: Language, 1971. 414 pp. Z7004.M4 S5 011.

International bibliographies of books, articles, dissertations, and theses on metaphor in a variety of disciplines and periods. Bibliography of Metaphor and Metonymy, which covers few documents before 1990, includes some unpublished papers and frequently takes abstracts from other bibliographic resources or quotes a publisher’s description. The database uses the same interface as Bibliography of Pragmatics Online (with the addition of a field for title as subject in Advanced Search); see entry U6050 for an evaluation of the interface. Although lacking any explanation of editorial procedures and depending too much on other sources rather than firsthand examination of documents, MetBib offers the most current guide to studies of metaphor. The print volumes are organized alphabetically by author (then by title in Shibles, by date in Noppen, Knop, and Jongen and in Noppen and Hols), with some entries accompanied by descriptive annotations: in Shibles, the annotations vary considerably in quality, and most foreign language works are not annotated; Noppen, Knop, and Jongen and Noppen and Hols offer few annotations, but they tend to be fuller. Both appear to take many entries unverified from other sources. Noppen, Knop, and Jongen concludes with a list of recommended works for beginners. Shibles has three indexes: extensive works on metaphor; general subjects; aspects of metaphor. However, the indexing is uncontrolled, inconsistent, and imprecise. Noppen, Knop, and Jongen also has three indexes: general subjects; uses and theory of metaphor; tenors, vehicles, and their semantic fields (which is useful for locating studies of types of imagery or specific images); Noppen and Hols replaces the general subject index with indexes of disciplines and persons. Although Noppen, Knop, and Jongen’s and Noppen and Hol’s indexing is superior, the combination of entry number and date Noppen, Knop, and Jongen is extremely confusing, and the additions (pp. 486–97 in Noppen, Knop, and Jongen; pp. 345–50 in Noppen and Hols) are excluded. Noppen and Hols is inconsistent in citing reviews: some appear only in a list following the book reviewed, some appear in a list of reviews and have separate entries as well, and some have separate entries but are not cross-referenced to the book reviewed. Both Shibles and Noppen, Knop, and Jorgen suffer from an inadequate statement of scope and coverage. Although they are plagued by errors, inconsistent in annotations, include much that seems only vaguely related to metaphor, omit significant works, and are inadequately indexed in the case of Shibles, the three volumes together encompass an impressive range of international scholarship. For additions to Shibles, see the anonymous, untitled contribution in Newsletter: Rhetoric Society of America 4.3 (1974): 5–13. Reviews: (Shibles) Rosemarie Gläser, Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 23.2 (1975): 170–71; Winfried Schleiner, Comparative Literature Studies 10.4 (1973): 394–95.


Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Rajec, Elizabeth M. The Study of Names in Literature: A Bibliography. New York: Saur, 1978. 261 pp. Supplement. 1981. 298 pp. Z6514.N35 R34 [PN56.N16] 016.809′92.

An international bibliography of selected reference sources on onomastics in general and of studies (including dissertations and reviews through 1979) of the use of names in literature. The 3,023 entries are listed alphabetically by author, but their number is swollen by separate listings of book reviews. Few of the brief annotations adequately convey a sense of contents. Except for literary authors and titles of anonymous works, the headings in the subject index are generally too broad (especially in the 1978 volume). The inadequate explanation of criteria governing selection, uninformative annotations, numerous errors, omissions, and ineffective subject indexing in the original volume make Rajec little more than a place to begin research on literary onomastics.

Some additional studies can be identified in two serial bibliographies formerly published in Names: A Journal of Onomastics: “Bibliography of Personal Names, [1952–75],” 1–24 (1953–76), and “Place-Name Literature, [1946–79],” irregularly in 3–27 (1955–79).


Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Bibliography of Pragmatics Online. Ed. Frank Brisard, Michael Meeuwis, and Jef Verschueren. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Benjamins, n.d. 5 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated annually.

A bibliographic database of publications (including reviews) through 2003 on pragmatics, including “accommodation theory, analytical philosophy and anthropological linguistics, . . . cognitive linguistics, construction grammar, conversation analysis, discourse analysis, literary pragmatics, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, relevance theory, sociolinguistics, speech act theory, and universal and transcendental pragmatics.” Coverage is most complete for works written in English, French, German, or Dutch and incorporates the entries from Jan Nuyts and J. Verschueren, comps., A Comprehensive Bibliography of Pragmatics, 4 vols. (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1987).

Basic Search offers keyword searching of all record fields; Advanced Search allows users to combine searches of the following fields: keyword (thesaurus terms), author or editor, title, annotation, publisher, document language, language as subject, person as subject, series title, journal, and date. In addition, users can browse lists of authors, journals, keywords, languages, persons, and series. Those who want to search through the Thesaurus should first consult the Instructions file. Results are listed in descending chronological order and cannot be sorted otherwise; several records lack a date and thus sort out of order. The only options for downloading data are to e-mail the entire results list or to download full records one at a time (the only way to retrieve the informative descriptive annotations that most records include). Although not comprehensive, not as current as one would expect, and in need of an interface that offers more flexibility in downloading records, Bibliography of Pragmatics Online is the fullest guide to scholarship on the subject.


Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Gordon, W. Terrence. Semantics: A Bibliography, 1965–1978. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1980. 307 pp. 1979–1985. 1987. 292 pp. 1986–1991. 1992. 280 pp. Z7004.S4 G67 [P325] 016.415.

A bibliography of scholarship (including dissertations) in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese on semantics. Although Gordon’s work encompasses studies from linguistics, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology, it excludes several topics of particular interest to literary researchers: general semantics, history of semantics, semiotics, meaning and style, discourse analysis, lexicology, and logical semantics. The approximately 7,400 entries are listed alphabetically by author in divisions for books; general surveys; definitions and models of meaning; reference and pragmatics; ambiguity, indeterminacy, and generic meaning; synonymy; antonymy; polysemy; homonymy; morphosemantics; associative senses in the lexicon; semantic fields and componential analysis; kinship terminology; color terms; semantics of parts of speech; syntax; negation; idioms; case grammar; child language; comparative semantics; and semantic universals. In 1965–1978 and 1979–1985 a very few entries are accompanied by brief descriptive (occasionally evaluative) annotations; in 1986–1991 most entries are annotated. Although each division concludes with cross-references, the unrefined classification system and lack of subject indexing make locating works difficult. Two indexes: lexical terms; authors. The exclusion of so many areas of study and numerous omissions of works falling within its scope make Gordon little more than a starting point for identifying studies of semantics.


Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics. Thomas A. Sebeok and Marcel Danesi, gen. eds. 3rd ed. rev. and updated. 3 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010. P99.E65 302.203. <>.

An encyclopedia of terms (treating both historical background and current uses), semioticians and others important in the development of the field, and the relationship of semiotics to other areas (including a seven-page article titled “Literature”). The signed entries refer extensively to the combined bibliography in vol. 3. Unlike the second edition (3 vols., 1994)—which reprinted the text of the first and relegated the spotty revisions (most of which were one- or two-item additions to the bibliographies) to separately paginated supplements at the end of each volume—the new edition integrates revisions and includes several new entries. The online version can be searched by full text, keyword, person, and author. Results, which can be sorted by relevance or keyword (i.e., title), can be saved as a PDF file, printed, downloaded, or e-mailed. Encyclopedic Dictionary remains the essential work for clarifying—and codifying—the sometimes abstruse terminology used in semiotics.

An important complement is Encyclopedia of Semiotics, ed. Paul Bouissac (New York: Oxford UP, 1998; 702 pp.), which treats terminology, schools and movements, persons, major publications, and applications associated with semiotics and aspects of cultural theory. The signed entries conclude with a bibliography. Indexed by persons, subjects, and some titles. Although lacking a sufficient explanation of the principles governing the selection of topics (and consequently including some rather surprising ones, e.g., baseball, database, gossip, military, and postage stamp), Encyclopedia of Semiotics gives, as a good encyclopedia should, clear, authoritative guidance to the field.

Fuller treatment of the theory, history, scope, structure, and application of sign theory is offered by Semiotik/Semiotics: Ein Handbuch zu den zeichentheoretischen Grundlagen von Natur und Kultur / A Handbook on the Sign-Theoretic Foundations of Nature and Culture, ed. Roland Posner, Klaus Robering, and Thomas A. Sebeok, 4 vols. (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1997–2004; Handbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft/Handbooks of Linguistics and Communication Science/Manuels de linguistique et des sciences de communication 13: 1–4). Each of the 178 essays, written in German or English by leading scholars, concludes with an extensive bibliography. Two indexes: persons; subjects.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Eschbach, Achim, and Viktória Eschbach-Szabó, comps. Bibliography of Semiotics, 1975–1985. 2 vols. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1986. Amsterdam Studies in the Theory and Hist. of Linguistic Science, Ser. 5: Lib. and Information Sources in Linguistics 16. Z7004.S43 E76 [P99] 016.00151.

Eschbach, Achim, and Wendelin Rader. Semiotik-Bibliographie I. Frankfurt: Syndikat, 1976. 221 pp. Z7004.S43 E77 [P99].

Eschbach, Achim. Zeichen-Text-Bedeutung: Bibliographie zu Theorie und Praxis der Semiotik. München: Fink, 1974. 508 pp. Kritische Information 32. Z7004.S43 E78.

International bibliographies of publications with some connection to semiotics. Bibliography of Semiotics includes book reviews but excludes works published in the Soviet Union. The 10,839 entries are listed alphabetically by author. Two indexes: book reviews; subjects. Semiotik-Bibliographie organizes about 4,000 works (published between 1965 and June 1976) in 12 unclassified divisions: architecture, film, semiotic theory and terminology, history of semiotics, art, literature, music, nonverbal communication, pragmatics, semantics, sociosemantics, and miscellaneous works. Two indexes: scholars; subjects. Zeichen-Text-Bedeutung includes dissertations. Entries are listed alphabetically by author in six classified divisions: general studies, systematic studies (syntax, semantics, and pragmatics), communication theory and text analysis, background studies, interdisciplinary studies, and works by and about individual semioticians. Indexed by scholars. Although all include a considerable number of studies of literary works, locating these studies is frequently impossible except in Semiotik-Bibliographie; Zeichen-Text-Bedeutung lacks a subject index, and the one in Bibliography of Semiotics is nothing more than an uncritical alphabetic list of title keywords (with no attempt to reconcile equivalent terms in various languages). In all three compilations, the heavy reliance on other bibliographies leads to the inclusion of numerous works only remotely related to semiotics. The lack of any stated criteria governing what constitutes semiotic scholarship results in a hodgepodge that would benefit from judicious organization and indexing.

= See also =[edit]

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to semiotics.


Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]

“The Year’s Work in Stylistics, [1998– ].” Language and Literature 8–  (1998– ). Annual. P301.L32.

A highly selective review essay, with evaluations that tend to be fuller than one typically finds in surveys of research these days. The organization of each essay is determined by the topics of the studies reviewed.

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

“Stylistics Annotated Bibliography, [1966–90].” Style 1–25 (1967–91). PE1.S89 805.

A highly selective annotated bibliography of books, dissertations in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465), and articles. Since the bibliography for 1979 (vol. 15 [1981]), entries are listed alphabetically by author in six divisions: bibliographies; general theory; culture, history, and style—period, nation, and genre; the author; the text; and the reader. The last four have subdivisions for theoretical and applied studies, with the latter classified by elements of style. Three indexes: scholars (beginning with the bibliography for 1987–88, in vol. 23 [1989]); subject terms (since the bibliography for 1980, in vol. 16 [1982]); persons as subjects (since that for 1981, in vol. 17 [1983]). Although not comprehensive (especially since the bibliography for 1987–88 [vol. 23 (1989)], when coverage was drastically scaled back), the bibliography was once the best source for identifying stylistic scholarship published between 1967 and 1986. Beginning in 26 (1992) “Stylistics Annotated Bibliography” was replaced with a bibliography issue that prints checklists and annotated bibliographies of individuals and subjects; the last of these issues appeared in vol. 34 (2000).

Other Bibliographies[edit]

Bailey, Richard W., and Dolores M. Burton, S. N. D. English Stylistics: A Bibliography. Cambridge: MIT P, 1968. 198 pp. Z2015.S7 B2 016.808.

A bibliography of primary works and scholarship (including dissertations) through c. 1966 on the stylistic study of English and American literary texts since 1500. Bailey also includes highly selective coverage of classical and medieval literature. The approximately 2,000 entries are organized in three divisions: bibliographies, language and style before 1900 (with each period subdivision including sections for primary works and related scholarship and general studies), and the twentieth century (with sections on creativity and style, modes of stylistic investigation, statistical approaches, translation, prose stylistics, and poetry). A few entries are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations. Two indexes: literary authors as subjects; scholars. The rather confusing organization, the lack of cross-references, and the failure to provide a subject index seriously impede locating studies on topics, stylistic features, or methodologies. Despite these drawbacks and the incomplete coverage, Bailey and Burton is useful because it represents the fullest list of stylistic studies before 1966 of English and American literature. Review: Louis T. Milic, Style 2.3 (1968): 239–43.

More comprehensive coverage of statistical studies is offered by Richard W. Bailey and Lubomír Doležel, comps. and eds., An Annotated Bibliography of Statistical Stylistics (Ann Arbor: Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures, U of Michigan, 1968; 97 pp.). For some additions, see the review by Robert S. Wachal, Style 6.1 (1972): 66–70.

Louis T. Milic, Style and Stylistics: An Analytical Bibliography (New York: Free; London: Collier, 1967; 199 pp.), whose approximately 800 entries are mostly English-language studies of literatures in English, is much less thorough than Bailey and Burton but it does cite some works omitted in Bailey and Burton and is more accessible, thanks to a subject index. Review: Richard W. Bailey, Style 2.3 (1968): 233–38.

Because stylistic studies are virtually impossible to locate readily in most of the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G, these three bibliographies and Bennett, Bibliography of Stylistics (U6085), are indispensable guides to scholarship.


Bennett, James R. A Bibliography of Stylistics and Related Criticism, 1967–1983. New York: MLA, 1986. 405 pp. Z6514.S8 B46 [PN203] 016.809.

A selective bibliography of works on the stylistic criticism of literature. Bennett covers studies published between 1967 and 1983 (along with a few from 1984) but excludes dissertations, theoretical studies that do not involve literary application, most psychoanalytic works as well as those about film and literature, and all articles (except for bibliographies and a few in collections of essays). The approximately 1,500 entries are organized by publication date in six classified divisions: bibliographies and reference works (with sections for annual bibliographies and journals and for other bibliographies and reference works); general studies and concepts of style; works on period, national, and genre style (with sections for theoretical studies; diction, imagery, and tropes; syntax and schemes; prosody and sound patterns in prose; and studies involving several linguistic levels); single-author studies (with the same sections as the preceding division); studies of individual texts (again, with the same sections as the preceding division); and the phenomenology of readers (with sections for theoretical and practical studies). A majority of the entries are descriptively annotated (although the annotations too often rely on quotations from the works) and accompanied by citations to reviews (with frequent quotations from reviews). Three appendixes: a chronology of important works and events in stylistics from 1878 to early 1985; a classification of critics by theoretical or methodological approach; a suggested reading list on aspects of stylistic criticism. Four indexes: terms; literary authors and anonymous works; critics and theorists; authors of works cited. Although Bennett is limited by its exclusion of articles and dissertations, unevenly and incompletely annotated (especially for foreign language works), and incomplete in its coverage of studies of individual authors and works, its international coverage and clear indexing make the Bibliography an essential preliminary guide to book-length theoretical studies and practical applications of stylistic criticism and theory. Users will have to supplement coverage with “Stylistics Annotated Bibliography” (U6075), Bailey and Burton, English Stylistics (U6080), MLAIB (G335), Arts and Humanities Citation Index (G365), the bibliographies and indexes in section G, and works in section H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.


General Introductions[edit]


Visser, F. Th. An Historical Syntax of the English Language. 4 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1963–73. (Vol. 1 has been published in a corrected second impression, 1970.) PE1361.V5.

A diachronic study of the development, in written language, of syntactic constructions with a verb form as a nucleus. Organized according to the number of verbs in a phrase, then by syntactic unit, the detailed analysis and history of each structural pattern is accompanied by numerous illustrations from Old English to the present century. Indexed by word in vols. 1 and 2, with a cumulative index in 4. The organization is confusing at times, and there are numerous typographical errors. Although reviewers have disagreed with some interpretations, all admit that this is a monumental contribution to the study of English syntax. Literary researchers will find it particularly useful in interpreting syntactic structures in literary works. Reviews: Norman Davis, Review of English Studies ns 17.65 (1966): 73–75, 20.78 (1969): 196–200, 22.85 (1971): 64–66, 26.104 (1975): 454–58.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


Scheurweghs, G., et al. Analytical Bibliography of Writings on Modern English Morphology and Syntax, 1877–1960. 5 vols. Louvain: Nauwelaerts, 1963–79. Z2015.A1 S33.

  • Vol. 1: Scheurweghs. Periodical Literature and Miscellanies of the United States of America and Western and Northern Europe. 1963. 293 pp. (With an appendix by Hideo Yamaguchi on Japanese publications.)
  • Vol. 2: Scheurweghs. Studies in Bookform, Including Dissertations and Programmabhandlungen, Published in the United States of America and Western and Northern Europe. 1965. 232 pp. (With appendixes on Japanese and Czechoslovak publications by Yamaguchi and Ján Simko, respectively.)
  • Vol. 3: Soviet Research on English Morphology and Syntax. By Scheurweghs. Ed. G. C. Pocheptsov. English Studies in Bulgaria, Poland, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. By M. Mincoff et al. Ed. Pocheptsov. 1968. 267 pp.
  • Vol. 4: Scheurweghs and E. Vorlat. Addenda and General Indexes. 1968. 123 pp.
  • Vol. 5: Vorlat, ed. Articles in Periodicals, 1961–1970. 1979. 416 pp.

Bibliographies of publications and dissertations from several countries on English morphology and syntax since c. 1500. Pedagogical studies and popular journalism are excluded. Vols. 1–4 are organized by country, then by type of publication (journal articles, books, dissertations), then alphabetically by author; vol. 5 is organized by periodical, with articles following in order of publication. The individual volumes vary considerably in the thoroughness of their coverage. Some entries in vols. 1–4 are accompanied by descriptive annotations; vol. 5 offers extensive descriptions of each article. Vol. 4 prints additions to vols. 1 and 2. Two indexes (scholars and subjects) in each volume; the appendixes and the five countries in vol. 3 are separately indexed, and vol. 5 has an additional index of literary authors and works referred to. Vols. 1–3 are cumulatively indexed in five indexes in vol. 4: scholars; authors discussed; dissertations (by country, then institution); subjects of articles and books; subjects of dissertations. Although the Analytical Bibliography is valuable for its extensive (but not complete) coverage of foreign language scholarship and inclusion of several studies of literary works, the lack of effective organization and insufficiently thorough indexing make locating works sometimes difficult.

Literary Criticism and Theory[edit]

This section is limited to important reference works and histories.

Histories and Surveys[edit]


Wellek, René. A History of Modern Criticism, 1750–1950. 8 vols. New Haven: Yale UP, 1955–92. PN86.W4 801.95′09.

  • Vol. 1: The Later Eighteenth Century. 1955. 358 pp.
  • Vol. 2: The Romantic Age. 1955. 459 pp.
  • Vol. 3: The Age of Transition. 1965. 389 pp.
  • Vol. 4: The Later Nineteenth Century. 1965. 671 pp.
  • Vol. 5: English Criticism, 1900–1950. 1986. 343 pp.
  • Vol. 6: American Criticism, 1900–1950. 1986. 345 pp.
  • Vol. 7: German, Russian, and Eastern European Criticism, 1900–1950. 1991. 458 pp.
  • Vol. 8: French, Italian, and Spanish Criticism, 1900–1950. 1992. 369 pp.

A history of Western literary theory and criticism, with excursions into aesthetics, literary history, and practical criticism. Initially restricted to England, Scotland, France, Germany, and Italy, coverage expands to the United States and Russia in vol. 3. Volumes are organized around chapters devoted to major critics, groups, movements, or countries, with each chapter providing summaries of works and theories along with considerations of their place in Western critical thought. Vols. 1–6 and 8 conclude with a chronology, by country, of critical works. Two indexes in vols. 1–6: persons; topics and terms; vol. 7 is indexed by persons. Although some reviewers have objected to Wellek’s definition of criticism, most agree that this is a masterful, balanced, indispensable exposition of modern critical thought. Reviews: (vols. 1–2) Erich Auerbach, Romanische Forschungen 67.3–4 (1956): 387–97; George Watson, Essays in Criticism 7.1 (1957): 81–84; (vols. 3–4) Roger Sale, Hudson Review 19.2 (1966): 324–29; (vols. 5–6) Jonathan Culler, Journal of the History of Ideas 49.2 (1988): 347–51; (vol. 8) Victor Brombert, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 2 July 1993: 25.


The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Ed. Peter Brooks, H. B. Nisbet, and Claude Rawson. 9 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1989–2013. PN86.C27 801′.95′09. Online through Cambridge Histories Online (

  • Vol. 1: Classical Criticism. Ed. George A. Kennedy. 1989. 378 pp.
  • Vol. 2: The Middle Ages. Ed. Alastair Minnis and Ian Johnson. 2005. 865 pp.
  • Vol. 3: The Renaissance. Ed. Glyn P. Norton. 1999. 758 pp.
  • Vol. 4: The Eighteenth Century. Ed. Nisbet and Rawson. 1997. 951 pp.
  • Vol. 5: Romanticism. Ed. Marshall Brown. 2000. 493 pp.
  • Vol. 6: The Nineteenth Century. Ed. M. A. R. Habib. 2013. 695 pp.
  • Vol. 7: Modernism and the New Criticism. Ed. A. Walton Litz, Louis Menand, and Lawrence Rainey. 2000. 565 pp.
  • Vol. 8: From Formalism to Poststructuralism. Ed. Raman Selden. 1995. 487 pp.
  • Vol. 9: Twentieth-Century Historical, Philosophical, and Psychological Perspectives. Ed. Christa Knellwolf and Christopher Norris. 2001. 482 pp.

A history of Western literary theory and criticism from classical antiquity to the present. Each volume typically consists of separately authored essays on major theorists, groups, movements or schools, periods, and genres and concludes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Indexed by persons and subjects (the online version omits the indexes). Cambridge History of Literary Criticism offers an authoritative, balanced overview of its subject. Review: (vol. 1) Steven Shankman, Modern Philology 90.1 (1992): 80–83.

The best single-volume introduction to Western literary theory and criticism is M. A. R. Habib, A History of Literary Criticism (Malden: Blackwell, 2005; 838 pp.), with chapters devoted to theorists, periods, schools, and movements from Plato to the present. In each chapter, it explains the philosophical and historical context, offers a close reading of keys texts, and places those texts within the critical tradition. Indexed by persons and subjects. With its admirably clear explanation of concepts and terminology, History of Literary Criticism admirably fulfills the promise of its title. Review: Jeremy Tambling, Modern Language Review 102.3 (2007): 812–13.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. Ed. Michael Groden, Martin Kreiswirth, and Imre Szeman. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2005. 985 pp. PN81.J554 801′.95′0922. Vers. 20121. <>. Updated annually.

An encyclopedia of literary theory from Plato to the present (the twentieth century is “deliberately foreshortened”). In the online version (which includes entries from the first edition [1994] that were omitted in the 2005 edition), the more than 300 signed entries (most by major scholars) consider “critics and theorists, critical and theoretical schools and movements, and the critical and theoretical innovations of specific countries and historical periods” from a North American perspective. Entries tend to be rather fuller than one expects in an encyclopedia and conclude with selective bibliographies (although some have not been adequately updated, e.g., Arnold, Matthew; Bloom, Harold [the list of secondary studies]; and Drama Theory [especially the list of secondary studies]). Two indexes in the print version: individuals discussed in entries; topics. Clicking on any link (except User’s Guide) on the home page will connect to a screen that allows users to browse a list of contents or index of topics or to perform a keyword search of the entire document, text only, or bibliography. Results are ranked by relevance and cannot be sorted; entries can be printed using a Web browser’s print function. Entries added in the online version can be most readily identified by using a browser’s find function to search for “online” in the list of contents. Reviews: (first ed.) Leroy F. Searle, Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 41 (1993): 228–32; (second ed.) Matthew Biberman, English Studies in Canada 31.4 (2005): 215–20; Christopher Hitchens, New York Times Book Review 22 May 2005: 18–19. Although among the best of the numerous encyclopedias and dictionaries of theory and criticism, Johns Hopkins Guide is not for readers unconversant with recent debates in the field, and it must be supplemented by some of the following for twentieth-century developments.

Shortened versions of some of the more important entries in the first two editions of Johns Hopkins Guide—along with new entries emphasizing post-1990s developments—appear in Contemporary Literary and Cultural Theory: The Johns Hopkins Guide, ed. Groden, Kreiswirth, and Szeman (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2012; 521 pp.).

Another of the best of the recent guides, Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide, ed. Patricia Waugh (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006), complements Johns Hopkins Guide by emphasizing twentieth-century critical practices, schools and movements, and emerging theories. Each of the 37 essays typically addresses the history of its topic, explains key concepts or debates, introduces key figures, and concludes with a selected bibliography. Indexed by persons and subjects.

Equally valuable is The Continuum Encyclopedia of Modern Criticism and Theory, gen. ed. Julian Wolfreys (New York: Continuum, 2002; 882 pp.), which offers 107 lengthy, signed essays on philosophers, critics, schools, groups, and theories important in the history and development of literary theory and cultural studies in Europe, Britain, and North America. An essay typically addresses cultural, intellectual, theoretical, ideological, and historical contexts in assessing the importance of its subject to institutional criticism; each essay concludes with a selective bibliography. Featuring an impressive array of contributors, Continuum Encyclopedia of Modern Criticism and Theory offers accessible introductions to the current preoccupations of literary and cultural theory.

Anglo-American and French feminist theory in literary studies, psychology, sociology, history, and the arts is more fully treated in Maggie Humm, The Dictionary of Feminist Theory, 2nd ed. (Columbus: Ohio State UP, 1995; 354 pp.).

Offering the best interdisciplinary coverage of recent cultural theory is A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory, ed. Michael Payne and Jessica Rae Barbera, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010; 817 pp.). The preponderance of the signed entries (most of which are by leading scholars) are devoted to individuals and isms.

Terms associated with contemporary theoretical schools are more thoroughly covered in Jeremy Hawthorn, A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory, 4th ed. (London: Arnold; New York: Oxford UP, 2000; 400 pp.), which is notable for its succinct, admirably clear (and occasionally witty) explanations and generous cross-references and for its overview of other glossaries and dictionaries of criticism and theory (xiii–xvi). Hawthorn is complemented by The Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism, ed. Joseph Childers and Gary Hentzi (New York: Columbia UP, 1995; 362 pp.; <>), which also offers clear, succinct explanations of terms, groups, and schools of thought. The approximately 450 entries are not signed, but most of them helpfully cite related studies. More extensive discussion of 28 key terms can be found in Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin, eds., Critical Terms for Literary Study, 2nd ed. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995; 486 pp.; online through Credo Reference [3]); however, entries from the first edition are—inexcusably—not revised to reflect recent scholarship. The best international coverage is offered by Leonard Orr, A Dictionary of Critical Theory (New York: Greenwood, 1991; 464 pp.), which covers Chinese, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Sanskrit, and English terms important in critical theory, ancient to contemporary.

See also[edit]

Cuddon, A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (C107).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Surveys of Research[edit]


Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory, [1991– ] (YWCCT). Oxford: Oxford Journals–Oxford UP for the English Assn., 1993– . Annual. PN80.Y43 801′.95′05. <>. Updated regularly.

A selective, evaluative survey of critical and cultural theory that emphasizes literature but also includes media and cultural studies. Chapter topics randomly appear and disappear without explanation. Those showing up with some consistency include psychoanalysis, feminism(s), colonial discourse and postcolonial theory, film theory, Continental philosophy, narrative, multiculturalism, modernisms, translation studies, black cultural studies, testimony (sometimes coupled with trauma), and Marxism and post-Marxism. Those that appear less consistently include semiotics, historicism, queer theories and culture, deconstruction, theories of reading and reception, discourse analysis, popular culture, popular music, virtual cultures, aboriginal identity, culture, art, testimony, religion, Irish studies, science, poststructuralism, immanence, anthropology, media studies, art histories, cultural policy, law and culture, technology (sometimes called technics), sexual difference, genetics, ecocriticism, queer theory and sexualities, poetics, digital media, theater and performance, history and historiography, photography theory, virtual cultures, and—unaccountably—Australian popular culture and media studies and Australian Pacific cultural theory. Indexed (inadequately in many volumes) by persons and subjects. In the chapters that appear randomly, there is little attempt to offer any continuity of coverage. The online version, with coverage beginning with the first volume, publishes chapters as they are copyedited and typeset. The surveys vary in quality and extent of coverage and a print volume now appears about a year after its date of coverage, but Year’s Work offers the only regular, albeit inconsistent, guide to critical and cultural theory.

See also[edit]

Greenblatt and Gunn, Redrawing the Boundaries (M1383).

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

Given that the New Literary History International Bibliography of Literary Theory and Criticism [1984] (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1988) lasted for only one volume, it is unlikely that one of the major lacunae in literary reference works—a serial bibliography devoted to literary theory and criticism—will ever be filled. The lack of remotely adequate bibliographic control of works on theory and criticism is, ironically, a direct consequence of the hegemonic privileging in academe of theory and the resultant marginalization of such scholarly pursuits as enumerative bibliography.

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Marshall, Donald G. Contemporary Critical Theory: A Selective Bibliography. New York: MLA, 1993. 201 pp. Z6514.C97 M37 [PN81] 016.801′95.

A selective bibliography of English-language books (published through 1992) important to the understanding of critical theory and major theorists since c. 1965. Although emphasizing contemporary theory in the United States, Marshall also includes works by important foreign theorists and about earlier theory. Following a section on general studies (including reference works and journals), entries are organized by schools or approaches: Russian formalism and Prague structuralism; new criticism; structuralism and semiotics; poststructuralism and deconstruction; hermeneutics and phenomenology; reader-response theory; psychological and psychoanalytic critical theory; cultural criticism; Marxist critical theory; poststructuralist cultural criticism; literacy, orality, and printing; myth, anthropology, and critical theory; ethnic and postcolonial criticism; and feminist and gender criticism. Each division or subdivision has up to four parts: bibliographies; introductory works; general books and collections; works by and about major theorists of the field. A headnote briefly surveys the development and major figures of each school or movement, or—for theorists—summarizes his or her leading ideas and career. Some entries are briefly annotated with notes on content and an occasional evaluative comment; most, however, are too terse to offer an adequate sense of the substance or importance of a work. Indexed by persons. Although some works have not been examined by Marshall (and although series titles are omitted in citations), Contemporary Critical Theory will provide a convenient guide to those unfamiliar with the cross-currents of recent theory.

Some additional coverage is offered by William Baker and Kenneth Womack, comps., Recent Work in Critical Theory, 1989–1995: An Annotated Bibliography (Westport: Greenwood, 1996; 585 pp.; Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 51). The entries for 1,876 English-language books (including collections of essays) are organized by author or editor in seven divisions: general criticism; semiotics, narratology, rhetoric, and language systems; postmodernism and deconstruction; reader-response and phenomenological criticism; feminist criticism and gender studies; psychoanalytic criticism; and historical criticism. Two indexes: authors; subjects. Although Recent Work in Critical Theory covers a limited range of years, its succinct but pointed annotations helpfully identify not only works about theory but also those that apply particular theories or approaches.


Orr, Leonard, comp. Research in Critical Theory since 1965: A Classified Bibliography. New York: Greenwood, 1989. 465 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 21. Z6514.C97 O77 [PN81] 016.801′95.

A bibliography of books, articles, and American dissertations about critical theory since the mid-1960s. Coverage spans works published in English, French, or German between 1965 and 1987, along with a few major studies through August 1988. The majority of these works are discussions of theory, although “representative” examples of applied studies are included. The approximately 5,500 unannotated entries are listed alphabetically by author in 12 divisions: structuralism; semiotics (excluding narrative semiotics); narratology, narrative text-grammar, and narrative semiotics; psychological criticism; sociological criticism, literature and society; Marxist criticism, literature and politics; feminist criticism and gender criticism; reader-response criticism; reception aesthetics; phenomenological criticism; hermeneutics; and deconstruction, poststructuralist criticism, and postdeconstructive criticism. Since there is no list of the noncurrent MLAIB journal acronyms and abbreviations used, users sometimes will have to search several back volumes of MLAIB (G335) or the online MLA Directory of Periodicals (K615). Three indexes: subjects and major theorists (with each division separately indexed); a general index to the 12 division indexes; authors. Although the volume claims “near comprehensive” coverage, there are many omissions (especially of works listed in MLAIB [G335] and ABELL [G340], both of which the compiler purportedly searched). In fact, the bulk of the entries seem to be copied out of a few major serial bibliographies—but uncritically and without full awareness of where to search in each. Inefficiently and incompletely indexed, inconsistent in citation form, poorly proofread, and seriously incomplete, Research in Critical Theory must be used cautiously, even in preliminary searches for works about modern critical theories.

See also[edit]

Secs. G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts; H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses; and U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Composition and Rhetoric/Guides to Scholarship/Surveys of Research.

ABELL (G340): Literature, General/Literary Criticism in the volumes for 1922–67; Literature, General/Literary Criticism/General in the volumes for 1968–72; Literary History and Criticism/General in the volume for 1973; English Literature/General/Literary History and Criticism in the volumes for 1974–84; and English Literature/General/Literary Theory and the Literary Theory sections in period subdivisions in later volumes.

Brier and Arthur, American Prose and Criticism, 1900–1950 (Q4345).

Brown and Thesing, English Prose and Criticism, 1900–1950 (M2900).

LLBA: Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts (U6015).

MLAIB (G335): General/Aesthetics and Literary Criticism in the volumes for 1933–50; General/Aesthetics, and General/Literary Criticism in the volumes for 1951–53; General I: Aesthetics and Literary Criticism in the volumes for 1954–56; General II: Aesthetics, Literary Criticism, and Literary Theory [or Aesthetics and Literary Criticism] in the volumes for 1957–66; General I: Aesthetics, and General II: Literary Criticism and Theory in the volumes for 1967–80; Criticism and Literary Theory divisions in pt. 4 of the volumes for 1981–89; and the Literary Theory and Criticism division in pt. 4 of the later volumes. Researchers must also consult the “Criticism,” “Literary Theory,” and “Literary Theory and Criticism” headings (along with those beginning with “Critical”) in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Partridge, American Prose and Criticism, 1820–1900 (Q4205).

Somer and Cooper, American and British Literature, 1945–1975 (M2800).

YWES (G330): Chapters on literary history and criticism and (since vol. 62 [1981]) on literary theory.

Types, Schools, and Movements[edit]

Feminist Criticism[edit]

For a succinct overview of recent developments in feminist and gender criticism, see Anne Donadey and Françoise Lionnet, “Feminisms, Genders, Sexualities,” pp. 225–44 in Nicholls, Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures (A25).

Guides to Reference Works[edit]

For an important discussion of the obstacles facing researchers in feminist criticism and women’s studies, an evaluation of their treatment in standard bibliographies, and a list of bibliographic resources, see Marlene Manoff, “Tools for Feminist and Women’s Studies Scholars in Literature: Issues and Problems,” Bibliography in Literature, Folklore, Language, and Linguistics: Essays on the Status of the Field, ed. David William Foster and James R. Kelly (Jefferson: McFarland, 2003) 48–69.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

Encyclopedia of Feminist Literary Theory. Ed. Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace. New York: Garland, 1997. 449 pp. Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 1582. PN98.W64 E53 801′.95′082.

A dictionary of concepts, terms, and persons important to Anglo-American feminist literary theory, especially since 1970. The signed entries are generously full, and each concludes with a selective bibliography (unfortunately current only through 1994). Although a substantial number of contributions are by graduate students rather than established scholars, Encyclopedia of Feminist Literary Theory offers a solid overview of the field as of the mid-1990s.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

Nordquist, Joan, comp. Feminist Literary Theory: A Bibliography. Santa Cruz: Reference and Research Services, 1998. 64 pp. Social Theory: A Bibliog. Ser. 52. Z6514.C97 N67 [HQ76.25] 016.30676′6.

A bibliography of English-language writings (through 1997) about feminist literary theory. Entries are unnecessarily separated into books and articles under divisions for general works, Latinas, African American women, Asian American women, Native American women, women of color, Third World women, other ethnic groups and countries, lesbian literary theory, and reference works. Although restricted to English-language publications, taking several entries from other sources rather than using a firsthand examination, and lacking an index, this bibliography does offer a place to begin when searching for discussions of feminist theory. However, researchers must also search the serial bibliographies in section G, especially MLAIB (G335), which the compiler claims to have searched but which includes a substantial number of works that were apparently overlooked.

Complemented by Nordquist, Feminist Theory: A Bibliography (Santa Cruz: Reference and Research Services, 1992; 76 pp.; Social Theory: A Bibliog. Ser. 28) and Feminist Theory II: A Bibliography (2000; 67 pp.; Social Theory: A Bibliog. Ser. 60), both of which include a section on feminist literary criticism and theory.


Humm, Maggie. An Annotated Critical Bibliography of Feminist Criticism. Boston: Hall, 1987. 240 pp. Harvester Annotated Critical Bibliogs. Z7963.F44 H85 [HQ1206] 016.3054′2.

A selective bibliography of books and articles, through 1985, representing feminist criticism in England and the United States. Although Humm includes numerous fugitive and limited circulation items, the criteria determining selection are unclear. Entries are organized by publication date in divisions for theory and sexual politics; literary criticism; sociology, politics, and economics; arts, film, theater, media, and music; psychology; history; anthropology and myth; and education and women’s studies. Unfortunately, many of the descriptive annotations do not convey an adequate sense of content. Two indexes: subjects; scholars. Although the work is valuable for its breadth, the high degree of selectivity means that Humm is only a place to begin research.

Additional English-language articles utilizing a feminist approach are listed in Wendy Frost and Michele Valiquette, Feminist Literary Criticism: A Bibliography of Journal Articles, 1975–1981 (New York: Garland, 1988; 867 pp.; Garland Reference Lib. of the Humanities 784). The approximately 1,950 entries, culled from 450 scholarly and popular periodicals, are accompanied by lists of indexing terms that are the bases for the indexes of subjects, literary authors, and scholars. Although far from complete even within its seven-year period of coverage, with the choice of many journals depending more on availability than on other criteria, this work does isolate a considerable number of studies using a feminist approach.

See also[edit]

Gilbert and Tatla, Women’s Studies: A Bibliography of Dissertations, 1870–1982 (U6615).

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to feminist criticism and theory.

Marxist Criticism[edit]


Bullock, Chris, and David Peck, comps. Guide to Marxist Literary Criticism. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1980. 176 pp. Z2014.C8 B84 [PR77] 801′.95.

An annotated bibliography of English-language studies (published through mid-1979) of English, English Canadian, and American literature and culture. Bullock also includes non-Marxist criticism (identified by the acronym NM) on Marxist works or writers as well as studies important in the development of Marxist criticism. The unevenly and inconsistently annotated entries are classified in sections for bibliographies; collections; journals; general Marxist criticism; national literatures (genre and period studies); individual authors; teaching English; language, linguistics, and literacy; literature and society (sociology and literature); and mass culture. Most unfortunate, however, is the failure to include studies already listed in published bibliographies of Marxist criticism on an author or critic. Users must study the introduction to understand the organization, the confusing numbering system, and the cross-listings practices. Not explained in the introduction is that journal acronyms are identified only in the section listing journals (pp. 6–7). The two indexes are inexplicably restricted to critics “who have at least three separate items in different sections” and to topics “that are treated in at least three items.” Despite these shortcomings and several significant omissions, Guide to Marxist Literary Criticism is a useful compilation of studies not easily identified in standard bibliographies. Reviews: James Steele, English Studies in Canada 9.4 (1983): 527–32 (with numerous additions); Michael Wilding, Modern Language Review 78.3 (1983): 632–34.

See also[edit]

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to Marxist criticism and theory.

Postcolonial Criticism[edit]

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

Nayar, Pramod K. The Postcolonial Studies Dictionary. Malden: Wiley, 2015. 189 pp. PN56.P55N38 2015 805'.911.

Simple in form and easy to use—and considerably shorter but more current than Thieme’s Post-colonial Studies (U6180)—this dictionary of terms represents an important tool for scholars and students working in postcolonial literary studies. Inspired by an increasing number of modes of critical inquiry influenced by the sciences, philosophy, and materialism, this thin volume expands the concept of the postcolonial to include modern concepts such as e-diasporas, labor, and biopolitics, to name a few.

The body of the book consists of an alphabetically arranged list of terms with extensive definitions of words and concepts as they pertain to postcolonial studies, often including histories of the development of terms. Definitions usually fall between half a page and three pages and can be particularly useful for scholars and students who are new to postcolonial scholarship. Concludes with a lengthy list of resources; articles include cross-references.


Thieme, John. Post-colonial Studies: The Essential Glossary. London: Arnold–Hodder Headline, 2003. 303 pp. JV22.T45 325.303.

An interdisciplinary guide to concepts, major figures, movements, historical events, cultural forms, journals, organizations, and terms associated with postcolonial studies. Entries (which tend to be longer than is usual in such handbooks) typically conclude with suggestions for further reading. Post-colonial Studies is a serviceable guide to the terminology of a still-emerging field.

Also serviceable is Gina Wixker, Key Concepts in Postcolonial Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007; 248 pp.; Palgrave Key Concepts), though users will have to remember that entries are dispersed among three headings: contexts (history, politics, and culture); texts (themes, issues, and concepts); criticism (approaches, theory, and practice). Entries conclude with suggestions for further reading.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]
Serial Bibliographies[edit]
= U6181 =[edit]

“Bibliography of Articles and Books Published in English on Colonialism and Imperialism in [1999– ].” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 1.1 (2000– ). JV1 325.

An unannotated list of English-language studies of colonialism, postcolonialism, and imperialism. Entries are currently listed alphabetically by author or editor in three sections: books, journal articles, and essays in edited collections (since 4.2 [2003]); the first installment includes a section for book reviews. Although coverage ranges well beyond literary studies, the bibliography is unduly limited by its restriction to English-language publications.

Other Bibliographies[edit]
= U6183 =[edit]

Nordquist, Joan, comp. Postcolonial Theory: A Bibliography. Santa Cruz: Reference and Research Services, 1998. 60 pp. Social Theory: A Bibliog. Ser. 50. Z7164.C7 N67 016.325′3.

———. Postcolonial Theory (II): Literature and the Arts. Santa Cruz: Reference and Research Services, 1999. 63 pp. Social Theory: A Bibliog. Ser. 55. Z7164.C7 N675.

A bibliography of English-language writings (through 1999) about postcolonial theory and by and about three prominent theorists and three critics of postcolonialism. Entries are unnecessarily separated into books and articles under divisions for general studies, postcolonial theory and women, Gayatri Spivak, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Aijaz Ahmad, Arif Dirlik, and Epifanio San Juan, Jr. (all in the 1998 volumes) and (in the 1999 volume) under divisions for general works, specific countries and nationalities (followed by an index), women’s literature (followed by an index), drama, film, art and architecture, music, education, psychology and psychoanalysis, and bibliographies. Although restricted to English-language publications, taking many entries from other sources rather than a firsthand examination, and lacking an index to all the entries, Nordquist offers a place to begin when searching for discussions of postcolonial theory.

However, researchers must also consult the serial bibliographies in section G, especially MLAIB (G335), which the compiler claims to have searched but which includes a substantial number of works that were apparently overlooked.

Researchers interested in the development of postcolonial theory should consult Postcolonial Theory: The Emergence of a Critical Discourse: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, ed. Dieter Riemenschneider (Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 2004; 211 pp.; ZAA Studies: Lang., Lit., Culture 17), which offers a chronological, annotated bibliography of studies through 1990 important to the development of postcolonial theory. Studies from 1991–99 are relegated to a bibliographical essay.

See also[edit]

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to colonial discourse and postcolonial theory.

Postmodernist Criticism[edit]

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

Encyclopedia of Postmodernism. Ed. Victor E. Taylor and Charles E. Winquist. London: Routledge, 2001. 466 pp. B831.2.E63 149′.97′03.

An encyclopedia of terms, disciplines, and individuals associated with postmodernist studies in the arts, social sciences, and humanities. The signed entries, which typically conclude with a selective bibliography, emphasize postmodernism as an ongoing process. Entries on concepts helpfully summarize the history and positions of key theorists, but some definitions suffer from a lack of clarity (e.g., “desire,” “indeterminacy,” and “margin”) and most would benefit from more attention to how a concept is applied. Indexed by persons and subjects; entrants are also indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although lacking an adequate explanation of principles governing the selection of entries, Encyclopedia of Postmodernism offers readers an adequate introduction to the terminology and theorists central to postmodernist studies.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]


Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to modernisms.

Psychological Criticism[edit]


Kiell, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, and Literature (U6540).

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to psychoanalytic theory and criticism.

Medicine and Literature[edit]

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of medicine and literature, see G. S. Rousseau, “Literature and Medicine: The State of the Field,” Isis 72.3 (1981): 406–24.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]


Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database. NYU Langone Medical Center. New York U, 1993–2003. 31 Jan. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

A database of films and works of literature and art, classical to contemporary (most are post-1800), that treat medical topics. The 2,957 entries (as of late January 2013) provide a summary or description of the work; cite and provide a hyperlink to an accessible text, reproduction, or video or audio version; and list searchable descriptors. Many records include a critical commentary that emphasizes medical themes. Records can be browsed by author or artist, keyword descriptor, and title; all records can be searched by keyword and through two special screens: Annotation Search and People Search. Well-edited and constantly expanding, Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database is the best resource for identifying medical topics depicted in English-language literature published after 1800.

Several additional works are included in Joanne Trautmann and Carol Pollard, Literature and Medicine: An Annotated Bibliography, rev. ed. (Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 1982; 228 pp.; Contemporary Community Health Ser.). As in Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database, coverage ranges from classical to contemporary and includes some works from Western Europe, but the majority are published after 1800 in Great Britain and the United States. Organized alphabetically by author within period divisions, the 1,396 entries include publication information for an accessible text, a list of medical topics treated, and a lengthy critical synopsis focusing on medical themes. Works added in the revised edition are grouped in an author list after the twentieth-century division. Indexed by 39 topics. Literature and Medicine must be used with care since it includes some works only remotely treating medical themes, omits some important titles, provides much dubious critical commentary, and is vague in some of the topics indexed.

See also[edit]

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Medical” and “Medicine” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Relations of Science to Literature and the Arts (U6440).

Schatzberg, Waite, and Johnson, Relations of Literature and Science (U6445).


Although despised by researchers who must hunch over a poorly designed, ill-lit reader, microforms are essential components of any research library. Once a medium for reproducing a document, rare book, thesis, or dissertation needed by a distant scholar, microform now provides a means for preserving deteriorating materials, for making organized collections of research materials widely available at a fraction of the cost in hard copy, and for conserving space in overcrowded libraries; fortunately, many microform collections have been digitized. Scholars realize that any photographic copy must be used with due regard for the pitfalls surveyed by G. Thomas Tanselle, “Reproductions and Scholarship,” Studies in Bibliography 42 (1989): 25–54.


Guide to Microforms and Digital Resources. 2 pts. in 4 vols. Berlin: de Gruyter–Saur, 1978– . Annual. Z1033.M5 G8 016.099. (Former title: Guide to Microforms in Print.)

Separate subject and title lists of books, serials, collections, and other materials (except theses and dissertations) available in microform or digital form from publishers worldwide. The title list includes cross-references for authors and editors. The subject index, organized by broad Dewey class, is too general to be of much use. A typical entry includes author or editor, title, number of volumes, date, price, publisher, type of microform, and, for collections, a brief description. Indexed by publishers and distributors. Because microform and digital publications are rarely included in the national books in print volumes, the Guide is the essential source for locating works currently available. For fuller descriptions of collections, see Microform Research Collections (U6215).


Microform Research Collections: A Guide. Ed. Suzanne Cates Dodson. 2nd ed. Westport: Meckler, 1984. 670 pp. Meckler Pub. Ser. in Lib. Micrographics Management 9. Z1033.M5 D64 011.36.

A selective guide to microform collections, not reproductions of individual works (for those, see Guide to Microforms and Digital Resources [U6210]). Organized alphabetically by collection title, descriptions typically include publisher, format, technical specifications, size, review citations, arrangement, finding aids, and a description of scope and content. Because many do not have official or fixed titles, the best way to locate collections is through the index of authors, editors, titles of finding aids, subjects, and collection titles and variants. Although based almost exclusively on publishers’ descriptions (which are notoriously unreliable for microform collections), reviews, questionnaires, and printed guides, Dodson’s compilation is currently the best general guide to collections.

For recently published collections, see Guide to Microforms and Digital Resources (U6210). For evaluations of collections, the best source is Microform and Digitization Review (1972– ; quarterly).

Music and Literature[edit]

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and music, see Steven Paul Scher, “Literature and Music,” pp. 225–50 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955). Researchers should note that many reference works on drama and theater cover musical theater and opera (see, e.g., section L: Genres/Drama and Theater), as do several in section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Duckles, Vincent H., and Ida Reed. Music Reference and Research Materials: An Annotated Bibliography. 5th ed. rev. New York: Schirmer-Simon; London: Prentice, 1997. 812 pp. ML113.D83 016.78.

A selective international guide to reference sources (through 1995) important in the study of music worldwide. The entries are organized alphabetically by author, editor, or title in variously classified divisions for dictionaries and encyclopedias, histories and chronologies, guides to systematic and historical musicology, bibliographies of music literature, bibliographies of music, reference works on individual composers, catalogs of music libraries and collections, catalogs of musical instrument collections, histories and bibliographies of music printing and publishing, discographies, yearbooks and directories, electronic resources and bibliography, the music business, and library science. Most entries are accompanied by succinct but informative annotations that cite important reviews and are frequently trenchant in evaluating works. Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects. Duckles and Reed is the indispensable guide to reference sources for the study of music. The fifth edition, although more selective than its predecessors and offering fewer cross-references, draws on the expertise of several contributors and is far more accurate and trustworthy than the ineptly revised fourth edition and its so-called revision. Review: John Wagstaff, Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 54.4 (1998): 911–13.

For more recent resources, see Laurie J. Sampsel, Music Research: A Handbook (New York: Oxford UP, 2009; 323 pp.; last updated 30 Sept. 2009 at

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Grove Music Online (GMO). Oxford Music Online. Oxford UP, 2007–13. 1 Feb. 2013. <>. Updated three times a year.

An updated electronic version of

  • The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (New Grove II). Ed. Stanley Sadie. 2nd ed. 29 vols. New York: Grove, 2001.
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Ed. S. Sadie. 4 vols. London: Macmillan; New York: Grove’s Dictionaries of Music, 1992.
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Ed. Barry Kernfeld. 2nd ed. 3 vols. New York: Grove, 2002.
  • The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. Ed. Laurence Libin. 2nd ed. In progress.
  • The Grove Dictionary of American Music. Ed. Charles Hiroshi Garrett. 2nd ed. In progress.

An encyclopedia of music and musicians from all periods and countries. Although encompassing non-Western and folk music, New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (which is the principal component of Grove Music Online) emphasizes the European art tradition in Western music, with more than half of the approximately 29,000 entries devoted to composers and the rest to performers of international achievement, writers about music, other persons of importance in musical history, terminology, genres and forms, instruments, places with a significant musical tradition, institutions and organizations, concepts, and countries. Written by major scholars, the articles range from a paragraph to more than 160 pages; most conclude with a selective bibliography. Some articles are taken unaltered from the 1980 edition; earlier editions remain valuable for the historical perspective they offer as well as for entries on individuals and topics dropped from subsequent editions. Those on major composers provide a complete list of compositions (including locations of manuscripts); those on lesser figures, a selected list. On the development of New Grove, see S. Sadie, “The New Grove, Second Edition,” Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 57.1 (2000): 11–20.

Grove Music Online (which currently includes more than 50,000 entries) not only allows for the continual updating of the New Groves but also offers multimedia enhancements, most notably audio clips illustrating musical concepts or composers’ styles and links to image files on other Web sites and to resources such as Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (M1425) and RILM (U6240). It uses the Oxford Music Online (OMO) search interface, which allows users to restrict a search to GMO or to include Oxford Companion to Music (see below), Oxford Dictionary of Music (ed. Michael Kennedy, 2nd ed. rev. [Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006; 985 pp.]), and Encyclopedia of Popular Music (ed. Colin Larkin, 4th ed., 10 vols. [New York: MUZE; Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006]). Basic Search allows a keyword search of all content. Advanced Search allows five options: Main Search allows a keyword search to be restricted to the text of full articles, entry titles, bibliographies, contributors, or musical works; Biography Search allows for a search by name, occupation, nationality or country of activity, year of birth, year of death, place of birth, and place of death; Bibliography Search allows a keyword search to be restricted to author or editor, title, and publication date; Discographies and Compilations allows a search by artist or group, album title, year of release, label, and rating; Videographies allows a search by artist or group, title, label, and year of release. In addition, users can browse all content, biographies, subject entries, and tools and resources. Results are ordered by relevance and can be printed or e-mailed. The OMO interface is a marked improvement over the primitive one that accompanied the original release of GMO. Although plagued by misprints and some uneven coverage (especially of pop music), Grove Music Online and New Grove are, overall, authoritative guides that are noteworthy for their scholarship, breadth, and general impartiality. Reviews: (print) Andrew Porter, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 23 Nov. 2001: 3–4; Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books 21 June 2001: 29–32; (electronic) John Wagstaff, Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 66.1 (2009): 129–31; (print and electronic) Peter Phillips, Musical Times 143.1879 (2002): 74–77.

Several related Grove products offer fuller treatment of groups, topics, and kinds of music:

  • The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. Ed. Julie Ann Sadie and Rhian Samuel. New York: Norton, 1995. 548 pp. (Some entries have been incorporated into Grove Music Online.)
  • The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. Ed. H. Wiley Hitchcock and Stanley Sadie. 4 vols. London: Macmillan, 1986. Review: Peter Dickinson, Music and Letters 70.2 (1989): 233–36.
  • The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments. Ed. S. Sadie. 3 vols. London: Macmillan, 1984.

New Grove Dictionary of American Music, New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and the first edition of New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565).

The other major general dictionary of music and an essential complement to New Grove is Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart: Allgemeine Enzyklopädie der Musik (MGG), ed. Ludwig Finscher, 29 vols. (Kassel: Bärenreiter; Stuttgart: Metzler, 1994–2008).

Because of the length of many articles, New Grove is frequently unsuitable for quick reference. On those occasions, one of the following will offer better service:

  • Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. Ed. Nicolas Slonimsky and Laura Kuhn. Centennial [i.e., 9th] ed. 6 vols. New York: Schirmer-Gale, 2001. Online through Gale Biography in Context (J572). Entrants, from classical, rock, jazz, and other forms, include the famous and obscure among composers, performers, musicologists, critics, scholars, conductors, patrons—in short, nearly anyone (even bibliographers) connected with music. The typically succinct entries offer essential as well as merely interesting biographical details, a list of important works, and a selected bibliography of scholarship. Indexed by musical genre, nationality, and women composers and musicians. The sixth through ninth editions are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Although still accurate and reliable, the current edition edits out much of Slonimsky’s irreverence, opinionated commentary, and wit that made Baker’s one of the most entertaining biographical dictionaries of any field.
  • The Harvard Dictionary of Music. Ed. Don Michael Randel. 4th ed. Cambridge: Belknap–Harvard UP, 2003. 978 pp. Online through Credo Reference ( Although it includes both non-Western and popular music, Harvard Dictionary emphasizes Western art music in entries on terms, concepts, instruments, genres, national and ethnic traditions, styles, major works, and movements. It excludes separate entries on composers and musicians. Many of the longer articles are signed and conclude with a selective bibliography.
  • The Oxford Companion to Music. Ed. Alison Latham. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002. 1,434 pp. Online through Oxford Reference (I530) and Oxford Music Online (above). Emphasizing the Western tradition (and including non-Western and popular musics only as they influenced that tradition), the work treats a wide range of topics (with composers and compositions predominating). A few entries are signed and conclude with a brief list of selected readings. Indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). The broadest in coverage of the compact music dictionaries.

For a fuller list of music dictionaries and encyclopedias, see pp. 1–114 in Duckles and Reed, Music Reference and Research Materials (U6230).

See also[edit]

Gänzl, Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre (L1145a).

Pipers Enzyklopädie des Musiktheaters (L1145).

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


RILM: Répertoire international de littérature musicale. RILM, 2013. 1 Feb. 2013. <>. Updated monthly.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature [1967–98]. New York: RILM, 1967–99. Annual, with five-year cumulative indexes. ML1.I83 780′.5.

Abstracts of significant books, articles, reviews, dissertations, and other materials produced since 1967 (along with selective coverage of earlier material). In the print version, entries are organized alphabetically by author within classified divisions; of most interest to literature researchers are those for reference materials, music and other arts (including sections for dramatic arts and poetry and other literature), and music and related disciplines (including linguistics and semiotics, printing and publishing). The descriptive abstracts tend to be brief but adequate. Indexed by authors and subjects in each volume. The subject indexes should be consulted with a copy of the most recent RILM Thesaurus in hand. The database is far easier to search than the print version (see the publisher’s Web site for a list of current vendors; click Access). Its breadth of coverage and thorough subject indexing make RILM the best source for identifying music scholarship that treats literary works or authors.

Although The Music Index: A Subject-Author Guide to Music Periodical Literature, [1949–2009] (Warren: Harmonie Park, 1949–2010; quarterly, with annual or biennial cumulations; <>; updated regularly) does not approach the breadth of RILM, it offers better coverage of popular music. The subject indexing has improved in recent cumulations, but it still remains less refined, thorough, and consistent than it should be. Since cross-references appear only in the cumulations, users must approach each quarterly issue with the annual Subject Heading List in hand. The online Music Index (formerly Music Index Online) uses the EBSCO (I512) search interface; coverage begins with 1970 (click Publications for coverage information on individual journals).

Scholars doing extensive research in music and literature should consult the following comparisons of the coverage of RILM, Music Index Online, and International Index to Music Periodicals ( Leslie Troutman, “Comprehensiveness of Indexing in Three Music Periodical Index Databases,” Music Reference Services Quarterly 8.1 (2001): 39–51, and Alan Green, “Keeping Up with the Times: Evaluating Currency of Indexing, Language Coverage, and Subject Area Coverage in the Three Music Periodical Index Databases,” Music Reference Services Quarterly 8.1 (2001): 53–68.

For a fuller list of bibliographies, see pp. 163–233 in Duckles and Reed, Music Reference and Research Materials (U6230).

See also[edit]

“Bibliography on the Relations of Literature and the Other Arts” (U5965).

Brogan, English Versification, 1570–1980 (M1600).

Haywood, Bibliography of North American Folklore and Folksong (U5875).

Humm, Annotated Critical Bibliography of Feminist Criticism (U6170).

Miller, Folk Music in America (U5910).

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Music” and “Musical” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Rice, English Fiction, 1900–1950 (M2840).

Salzman, American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography (Q3335).

Wildbihler and Völklein, The Musical: An International Annotated Bibliography (Q4295).

Philosophy and Literature[edit]

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and philosophy, see Thomas McFarland, “Literature and Philosophy,” pp. 25–46 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955). Some works in section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies treat literature and philosophy.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Bynagle, Hans E. Philosophy: A Guide to the Reference Literature. 3rd ed. Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2006. 385 pp. Reference Sources in the Humanities Ser. Z7125.B97 [B72] 016.1.

A selective, annotated guide to reference works published through October 2005 on philosophy. The 866 entries are variously classified within 24 chapters covering general sources, the history of philosophy, the branches of philosophy, and miscellaneous topics. The annotations are admirably full and occasionally evaluative. Three indexes: authors; titles; subjects. Substantially expanded and more effectively organized than the second edition (1997), Bynagle offers the most current and evaluative guide to reference works on philosophy.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online (REP Online). Routledge, 1998–2013. 1 Feb. 2013. <>. Updated regularly.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edward Craig, gen. ed. 10 vols. London: Routledge, 1998. B51.R68 100.21. CD-ROM.

A dictionary of philosophy, ancient through modern, Eastern and Western, with analytic and historical discussions of philosophers; branches of the discipline; and concepts, theories, schools, and movements. Written by major scholars and vetted by specialist editors, the 2,054 signed entries are of three kinds: “signpost” ones that offer an overview of a subdiscipline or region, thematic ones, and biographical ones. Each begins with a concise summary of the topic, followed by a table of contents for the entry (if more than 1,000 words), a full discussion with liberal cross-references, and an annotated bibliography. Since many persons, concepts, theories, and terms are treated within entries, the index of terms, concepts, and names in vol. 10 is frequently the best place to begin unless one has access to the online version, which is updated regularly (click What’s New for lists of new and revised articles). Users can browse articles, use the Subject Guides (which offer nested lists of articles), or search by keyword in full text, contributor, bibliography, and subject fields (the pull-down menu includes language but not literature; search “literature” in the All Subjects field of the Full Text Search box). The record display window provides a pane on the left that helpfully specifies how search results can be viewed by subject or article type. Unfortunately, printing or downloading is possible only through a Web browser’s functions. Although there is some regional and theoretical imbalance, this authoritative, admirably edited compilation is the best encyclopedia of the subject. Reviews: (online version) Tom Gilson, Charleston Advisor 2.4 (2001): 38; 1 Feb. 2013; <>; (print version) George Steiner, New York Times Book Review 5 July 1998: 12–13.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


The Philosopher’s Index: An International Index to Philosophical Periodicals and Books. Bowling Green: Philosopher’s Information Center, 1969– . Quarterly, with annual cumulation. Former title: The Philosopher’s Index: An International Index to Periodicals (1969–82). Z7127.P47 016.105. <>. Updated quarterly. CD-ROM.

An online compilation of

  • The Philosopher’s Index: A Retrospective Index to U. S. Publications from 1940. 3 vols. 1978.
  • The Philosopher’s Index: A Retrospective Index to Non–U. S. English Language Publications from 1940. 3 vols. 1980.

An index to major philosophical journals (currently about 680) in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and selected other languages, some interdisciplinary journals, English-language books (since the volume for 1980), and selected foreign language ones (beginning in the volume for 1984). Entries are now organized in three parts: (1) a subject index, with headings for persons, historical periods, major fields of philosophy and their branches, and topics; (2) an author index, with descriptive abstracts of several works (beginning with the volume for 1969); (3) a book review index (since the volume for 1970; coverage of book reviews in the database begins with vol. 28 [1994]). The organization, subject indexing, and design have improved markedly over the years; unfortunately, a substantial number of publications—especially in foreign languages—in each annual volume are not abstracted, and some documents indexed have not been seen by the editorial staff. The Retrospective Index to Non–U. S. English Language Publications covers books published between 1940 and 1978 and articles between 1940 and 1966; U. S. Publications includes books from 1940 through 1976 and articles from 1940 through 1966. Both have separate subject and author indexes, but the majority of the works in each lack abstracts. The records have (inexcusably) not been edited for consistency in the database; thus, many entries before 1990 appear distractingly in uppercase, recent abstracts adhere to no consistent style and mix summary and paraphrase, and the subject-headings index needs to be transformed into something other than a keyword list. For a list of vendors, see the publisher’s Web site. Although not comprehensive, the Philosopher’s Index series offers the most complete coverage of current philosophical scholarship and cites numerous literary studies omitted from the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. Review: Joseph E. Gorra, Charleston Advisor 9.2 (2007): 38–43; 1 Feb. 2013; <>.

See also[edit]

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Philosophical” or “Philosophy” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Popular Culture[edit]

Although “popular culture” embraces multifarious aspects of culture, this section is limited to reference sources that focus on written works.

Guides to Primary Works[edit]

Guides to Collections[edit]


Geist, Christopher D., et al. Directory of Popular Culture Collections. Phoenix: Oryx, 1989. 234 pp. E169.1.D54 973′.025.

A guide to collections held by libraries, institutions, businesses, organizations, and some individuals in the United States and Canada. Organized by country, state or province, city, then owner, entries provide address, information on accessibility and special requirements for admission, and a description of holdings. Two indexes: subjects; institutions and collection titles. Based on questionnaires, the descriptions vary considerably in thoroughness and sophistication. Although far from complete, Geist et al. offers the best guide to collections in the field and (because it ranges beyond libraries and museums) is an important complement to Ash and Miller, Subject Collections (E205).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

There is no satisfactory general guide to scholarship and criticism in popular culture, and, given the breadth and eclecticism of the field, there likely never will be. Researchers interested in a particular kind of popular literature will do better to consult reference works devoted to genres or periods.


The Greenwood Guide to American Popular Culture. Ed. M. Thomas Inge and Dennis Hall. 4 vols. Westport: Greenwood, 2002. E169.1.H2643 306.4′0973.

A survey of research devoted to selected aspects of mass culture in the United States. Among the topics are a considerable number that are of literary interest: children’s literature, film, Gothic novels, illustration, verse and popular poetry, pulps, science fiction, the western, best sellers, romantic fiction, popular literature, minorities in popular culture, and magazines. Each essay provides a historical outline of its subject; surveys important reference sources, research collections, and scholarship; and concludes with a selected bibliography (through c. 1999) and list of periodicals. Indexed by persons. Although the surveys vary considerably in completeness, rigor of evaluation, and overall quality, many offer the best introductions to research in their respective topics. Collectively, they form the most trustworthy and systematic guide to reference sources and studies in the major areas of popular culture. The two works that Greenwood Guide revises—Inge, ed., Handbook of American Popular Culture, 2nd ed., rev. and enl., 3 vols. (New York: Greenwood, 1989), and Inge, ed., Handbook of American Popular Literature (New York: Greenwood, 1988; 408 pp.)—remain useful for their coverage of detective and mystery novels, musical theater, stage entertainments, historical fiction, and women in popular culture. The following works are occasionally worth consulting:

  • Landrum, Larry N. American Popular Culture: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale, 1982. 435 pp. Amer. Studies Information Guide Ser. 12. The 2,173 descriptively annotated works—few of them published after 1979 and some inaccurately described—are organized in divisions for general bibliographies, indexes, and abstracts; general studies; anthologies and collections; aspects of everyday life; ideology; heroes and celebrities; material culture; games; sports; music; dance; public art; advertising; theater; entertainments; literature (classified by types of popular literature); and media. The lack of clear principles of selection and organization turns American Popular Culture into a conglomeration that omits numerous important works and indiscriminately mixes reference works, histories, critical studies, anthologies, and miscellaneous publications in most divisions.
  • Wertheim, Arthur Frank, ed. American Popular Culture: A Historical Bibliography. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 1984. 246 pp. Clio Bibliog. Ser. 14. The 2,719 abstracts are listed alphabetically by author in seven divisions: popular culture in historical perspective; popular arts (including sections on literature and theater); mass media and communications; folk culture; customs, behavior, and attitudes; science and religion; and theory, research, and pedagogy. A miscellaneous, poorly organized hodgepodge that is completely dependent on the America: History and Life (Q3310) database for 1973–80, Wertheim is useless for any systematic guidance to popular culture scholarship and doesn’t even come near to being the “comprehensive research tool” that the preface claims. Similarly miscellaneous is the short-lived Abstracts of Popular Culture: A Biannual Publication of International Popular Phenomena, 7 nos. (Bowling Green: Bowling Green U Popular P, 1976–82).

See also[edit]

Fishburn, Women in Popular Culture (U6590).

MLAIB (G335): See the “Popular Culture” heading in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Salzman, American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography (Q3335).

Writings on American History (Q3340).

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to popular culture.


Research Methods[edit]


Shipps, Anthony W. The Quote Sleuth: A Manual for the Tracer of Lost Quotations. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1990. 194 pp. PN6081.S44 080′.72.

A guide to tracing unidentified, misidentified, modified, or mistranscribed quotations. Advice on techniques alternates with evaluations of and hints on using standard resources in chapters treating general dictionaries of quotations; subject and special category quotation books; single-author quotation books; English-language dictionaries; concordances and word indexes to English and American literary works; indexes to first lines, last lines, opening words, and keywords; clues to authorship within quotations; and classical and foreign quotations. Concludes with axioms of a quote sleuth, a brief section on journals that print queries on untraced quotations, and an extensive, evaluatively annotated bibliography whose organization follows chapter divisions. Indexed by persons and subjects. Embodying the experience of the foremost practitioner of the craft, Quote Sleuth is the indispensable guide for anyone needing to identify or verify a quotation.



Bartlett, John. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature. Ed. Geoffrey O’Brien. 18th ed. New York: Little, 2012. 1,438 pp. PN6081.B27 808.88′2.

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations: Expanded Multimedia Edition. Ed. Thomas Hine. Multimedia ed. Boston: Little, 1993. CD-ROM.

A collection of some 22,000 quotations chosen for their familiarity “as well as for their literary power, intellectual and historical significance, originality, and timeliness” from literary works, sacred writings, media, and other sources (written and verbal) throughout the world. The approximately 2,550 authors or sources are listed by date of birth, publication, or initial broadcast (ranging from c. 2600 BC, for the author of “Song of the Harper,” to 2011); anonymous works follow the author list. Under each author, passages are organized by publication date; sources are identified by act, scene, line, stanza, or chapter whenever possible. Footnotes occasionally provide the original text for a translation, identify the translator, explain the context, or cite related quotations. Indexed by authors and titles of anonymous works at the front, by keywords (with context) at the back. The multimedia edition adds audio, video, and still-photo “quotations” (e.g., the smiley face, the peace symbol, the William Tell Overture, and a video clip of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech). Long a standard source, this is the fullest, most accurate, representative, and thoroughly indexed dictionary of quotations. The 16th edition (1992; 1,405 pp.) broadened the cultural base of the work and was less hesitant than its predecessors to admit profanities and unpleasant topics; the 18th edition expands international coverage. Because passages are dropped, earlier editions remain useful; as O’Brien aptly observes, Bartlett’s “has always been, and will remain, a work in progress.” For the genesis and publishing history (through the 16th ed.) of Familiar Quotations (along with a selective bibliography of studies and reviews), see Kerry L. Cochrane, “‘The Most Famous Book of Its Kind’: Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations,” Distinguished Classics of Reference Publishing, ed. James Rettig (Phoenix: Oryx, 1992) 9–17; on the various electronic versions, see Joseph Yue, “How Familiar Is It Any More? Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations Goes Digital,” Reference and User Services Quarterly 42.1 (2002): 26–29. Review: (18th ed.) Fred R. Shapiro, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 1 Feb. 2013: 7–8.

An essential complement to Bartlett, which retains an American emphasis, is The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, ed. Elizabeth Knowles, 7th ed. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009; 1,155 pp.; the 6th ed. [2004; 1,140 pp.] is online through Oxford Reference [I530]). The Oxford Dictionary is more current, more thorough in covering literary works and women writers, and cites some passages in their original languages (with English translations). Because each new edition is extensively revised, earlier editions (especially the second [1953; 1,003 pp.]) remain important sources; for an overview of the changes in each edition, see “History of the Dictionary” in the 7th edition. Review: (4th ed.) E. S. Turner, TLS: Times Literary Supplement 11 Dec. 1992: 7–8.

Most reference collections stock an array of other general and specialized dictionaries of quotations. For convenient lists, see Guide to Reference (B60); New Walford Guide to Reference Resources (B65); the bibliography (pp. 122–85) in Shipps, Quote Sleuth (U6310); and Patricia McColl Bee and Walter Schneider, Quotation Location: A Quotation Seeker’s Source Guide (Ottawa: Canadian Lib. Assn., 1990; 73 pp.), with valuable evaluations and descriptions of differences between editions of the more popular dictionaries. If none of these yields the source, consult one or more of the following:

  1. a concordance to the Bible (King James version) or Shakespeare, the two most frequently quoted sources
  2. historical dictionaries—such as Oxford English Dictionary (M1410), Dictionary of American English (Q3355), Dictionary of Americanisms (Q3360), or Webster’s Third (Q3365)—that cite illustrative quotations
  3. first-line indexes to poems such as Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry (L1235)
  4. dictionaries of proverbs (see section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Folklore and Literature/Genres/Proverb/Dictionaries)
  5. a Web search engine (use the advanced search screen and search for an exact phrase)
  6. digital archives, such as Eighteenth Century Collections Online (M2238) and Early American Imprints (Q4005 and Q4125)

If these fail, send a query to the journal Notes and Queries.

See also[edit]

Dictionary of Australian Quotations (R4455).

Hamilton and Shields, Dictionary of Canadian Quotations and Phrases (R4575).

Religion and Literature[edit]

This section is limited to reference works of use to researchers seeking information on the relationships between religion (especially Christianity) and literature. Other reference works on religion are listed in Gorman, Gorman, and Breslauer, Theological and Religious Reference Materials (U6330); Guide to Reference (B60); and New Walford Guide to Reference Resources (B65). Some works in section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies treat religion and literature.

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and religion, see Giles Gunn, “Literature and Religion,” pp. 47–66 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955).

Research Methods[edit]


The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology. Ed. Andrew Hass, David Jasper, and Elisabeth Jay. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. 889 pp. PR145.H37 820.9′38261.

A collection of fifty essays intended “to provide a sense of what it might mean to engage in the interdisciplinary study of English literature and theology,” that is, the literature of Great Britain (although there is a chapter on James Joyce) and Judeo-Christian theology. Following an introductory chapter on “the relationship between literature and theology” (with an overview of twentieth-century Christian criticism and theory), the remaining chapters are organized in five sections: the historical tradition (with treatment of such topics as the Protestant and Catholic reformations, the influence of German criticism, and modernism); literary ways of reading the Bible; theological ways of reading literature (with chapters on selected major authors, the eighteenth-century novel, and feminist revisioning); theology as literature (treating liturgy as literature and such authors as John Bunyan and C. S. Lewis); and major themes (e.g., death and the afterlife, salvation, and feminism and patriarchy). A final essay considers the future of the study of English literature and theology. Rather than attempt a unified methodology, the Handbook offers aptly chosen essays that demonstrate historical perspectives, approaches, and reading strategies applicable to the interdisciplinary study of the two fields.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Gorman, G. E., Lyn Gorman, and S. Daniel Breslauer. Theological and Religious Reference Materials. 3 vols. Westport: Greenwood, 1984–86. Bibliogs. and Indexes in Religious Studies 1–2, 7. Z7770.G66 [BS511.2] 016.2.

  • Vol. 1: General Resources and Biblical Studies. 1984. 526 pp.
  • Vol. 2: Systematic Theology and Church History. 1985. 401 pp.
  • Vol. 3: Practical Theology. 1986. 388 pp.

An international, interdenominational guide to reference works in Western languages for the study of theology and religion, but with a decided emphasis on English-language works treating Christianity (the projected volume on Judaism was canceled). The entries are listed alphabetically by author, editor, or title in divisions for general reference works, biblical studies, systematic theology and ethics, church history, missions and ecumenicism, religious orders, practical theology, liturgy and worship, homiletics, education, counseling, and sociology; each division is subdivided by type of reference works (usually bibliographies, dictionaries, and handbooks), a system that does not allow for a sufficiently refined organization of many sections. The annotations are uneven: at their best they provide hints on uses, pointed evaluations, and cross-references to related works; many, however, are too brief to offer either an adequate description of contents or guidance on use. The lack of judicious selectivity leads to extensive lists that indiscriminately mix the scholarly and the popular, the authoritative and the untrustworthy. Moreover, several superseded works and editions are cited. Three indexes in each volume: authors; titles; subjects. Vol. 1 prints an introduction on the study and use of theological literature. Despite its faults, however, Gorman is the best guide to the extensive body of reference material on theology and religion.

Complemented by William M. Johnston, Recent Reference Books in Religion: A Guide for Students, Scholars, Researchers, Buyers, and Readers, rev. ed. (Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998; 329 pp.), which evaluates about 300 reference works published since 1970 and, for the most part, in English. Apportioned among five headings (world’s religions, Christianity, other prophetic religions, Asian religions, and alternative approaches), works are listed under subheadings by date—beginning with the earliest but with later editions under the date of the first edition. Works published 1996–97 are relegated to an appendix. Each entry describes the scope, stringently assesses strengths and weaknesses, points out related works, and concludes with a summary comment. An appendix describes reference works that need to be written. Although virtually ignoring electronic resources and so poorly designed that skimming is impossible, Recent Reference Books in Religion is valuable for its trenchant evaluations and comparisons of works.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]

For a much fuller list of general dictionaries, see Gorman, Gorman, and Breslauer, Theological and Religious Reference Materials (U6330), vol. 1, pp. 123–53.


A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature. David Lyle Jeffrey, gen. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992. 960 pp. PR149.B5 D53 820.9′382′03.

A dictionary of biblical names, common nouns, concepts, quotations, allusions, parables, and terms (in Hebrew, Greek, or Latin) that appear in literatures in English (primarily British and American). The approximately 900 entries by different authors describe how a term is used in the Bible and in exegetical tradition, trace chronologically its significant appearances in literature since the Middle Ages, and end with a selective bibliography. Concludes with three selective annotated bibliographies: biblical studies for the student of literature; the history of biblical interpretation; the biblical tradition in English literature (with sections for general studies and individual authors). Unfortunately, there is no index. Much information is taken uncritically from other reference works and, as David Jasper points out, the Dictionary represents an “unashamedly Christian” conservative evangelical perspective and includes a “paucity of contemporary authors”; yet it is a valuable guide to the identification, interpretation, and history of biblical references in English-language literatures. Reviews: Jasper, Literature and Theology 7.3 (1993): 306–07; Jay Macpherson, University of Toronto Quarterly 65.1 (1995): 147–51.


Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. 22 vols. Detroit: Macmillan Reference, 2007. DS102.8.E496 909'.04924. Online through Gale Virtual Reference Library (I535).

An encyclopedia of persons, places, concepts, doctrines, sects, beliefs, practices, religious laws, rituals, and terminology associated with Judaism. The approximately 27,650 signed entries range from a few sentences to nearly a volume, and most conclude with a selected bibliography. The second edition revises more than half of the original 25,000 entries in EJ: Encyclopaedia Judaica, CD-ROM ed. (Judaica Multimedia, 1997), and adds more than 2,650 new ones. The online version uses the Gale Virtual Reference Library user interface (see I535), which does not allow for sophisticated searching. Before consulting Encyclopaedia Judaica users should read Shnayer Leiman, “The New Encyclopaedia Judaica: Some Preliminary Observations” (Seforim Blog 5 June 2007; 24 Sept. 2013; <>).


Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. 2nd ed. 15 vols. Detroit: Macmillan-Gale, 2005. Online through Gale Virtual Reference Library (I535). BL31.E46 200′.3.

An encyclopedia of the theoretical, practical, and sociological dimensions of popular, primitive, and traditional religions throughout the world from Paleolithic times to the present. The signed articles by major scholars emphasize the history of religion in covering beliefs, archaeological finds, myths, systems, practices, rituals, symbols, traditions, deities, cults, areas of the world, and relationships with other fields (including, e.g., an entry for “Literature”). Each article concludes with cross-references and a selected bibliography. Besides an analytic subject index, vol. 15 prints a synoptic outline of contents by religion and religious phenomena. Impressive in scope and scholarship, this is the best general guide to religion.


New Catholic Encyclopedia. Ed. Berard L. Marthaler. 2nd ed. 15 vols. Detroit: Gale–Catholic U of Amer., 2003. Annual supplement (2009– ). Online through Gale Virtual Reference Library (I535) and Gale Biography in Context (J572). BX841.N44 282′.03.

An encyclopedia of the institutions, important dead individuals, history, places, terminology, religious orders, symbolism, canon law, theology, teachings, doctrines, and rituals associated with the Catholic Church, as well as philosophies, religions, movements, and scientific and intellectual developments that have affected Catholicism. Although international in scope, New Catholic Encyclopedia emphasizes English-speaking countries, especially the United States. The signed articles are by major scholars, several of whom are not Catholic; most entries conclude with cross-references and a selected bibliography. Indexed by subject in vol. 15. The articles, while Catholic in perspective, are rarely partisan.

In many respects New Catholic Encyclopedia is an authoritative guide to Catholicism and related topics; unfortunately, though, most of the entries on writers and literary subjects have seen only minor revisions (consisting for the most part of inadequate updates of the selected bibliographies; see, e.g., the entries on Donne, Milton, and Shakespeare).

The most authoritative and balanced compact dictionary is The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. F. L. Cross, 3rd ed. rev., ed. E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005; 1,800 pp.), which emphasizes Christianity in Europe.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


ATLA Religion Database. American Theological Library Association. Amer. Theological Lib. Assn., n.d. 1 Feb. 2013. <>. Updated four times a year.

Religion Index One: Periodicals (RIO). Chicago: Amer. Theological Lib. Assn., 1952–2008. 2/yr., including annual cumulation. (Vols. 1–4, rev. and expanded ed., 1985.) Former title: Index to Religious Periodical Literature (1952–77). Z7753.A5 [BL1] 016.2.

Religion Index Two: Multi-author Works (RIT). 1976–2001. Annual. Z7751.R35 [BL48] 016.2.

  • Religion Index Two: Festschriften, 1960–1969. Ed. Betty A. O’Brien and Elmer J. O’Brien. 1980. 741 pp.
  • Religion Index Two: Multi-author Works, 1970–1975. Ed. G. Fay Dickerson. 2 vols. 1982. 1976–1980. Ed. Erica Treesh. 2 vols. 1989.

Index to Book Reviews in Religion (IBRR). Quarterly. 1986–2000. Z7753.I5 [BL1.A1] 016.2. Online.

  • Index to Book Reviews in Religion, 1949[–74]. 3 vols. 1990–93. (A revised cumulation of book reviews in Index to Religious Periodical Literature.)

Subject indexes to articles in periodicals (currently about 575) and collections of essays on religion, especially in the West. Indexed by authors and editors (with the indexes in vols. 12–18 [for 1975–85] of RIO, including abstracts) and by scripture passages. With vol. 18 (for 1985) of RIO, abstracts are discontinued and book reviews relegated to Index to Book Reviews in Religion. Religion Index Two: Multi-author Works, 1976–1980 cumulates and augments the annual volumes for those years, adds some publications from 1970–75, and cites in its preliminary list of titles and series indexed books in 1970–1975. A Retrospective Indexing Project is extending coverage back to the nineteenth century for selected periodicals. Although far from comprehensive, Religion Index is generally accounted the best serial bibliography devoted to articles on religion. The thorough subject indexing makes it an important source for identifying numerous literary studies in journals not covered by the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G. (See particularly the “Literature,” “Language,” and “Linguistic(s)” heads.) The best access to entries in RIT, IBRR, and RIO is through ATLA Religion Database (available through EBSCO [I512] and Ovid [4]).

Researchers should also skim the “Bibliography, [1957–c. 1988]” in each issue of Christianity and Literature 9.2–37.4 (1958–88). Books and articles—all but a few of which are in English and on American and British literature—are listed alphabetically by scholar in eight unclassified divisions: general studies, ancient and medieval biblical literature to 1500, ancient and medieval nonbiblical literature to 1500, and then by century. The accompanying descriptive annotations vary in fullness, and several are based on other abstracts rather than the works themselves. Highly incomplete and inconsistent, coverage seems dictated by what the compilers discover rather than by any clear principles of selection. Although the “Bibliography” is sometimes useful for isolating studies that treat aspects of Christianity in literature, the inconsistency in coverage and lack of indexing mean that users are in for an issue-by-issue search for discussions of authors or topics. Religion is also covered in International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (I519).

For other serial bibliographies, see Gorman, Gorman, and Breslauer, Theological and Religious Reference Materials (U6330), vol. 1, pp. 60–123.

See also[edit]

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Religion” or “Religious” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Woodress, Dissertations in American Literature, 1891–1966 (Q3320).

Scholarly Writing and Publishing[edit]

This section is limited to works related to scholarly writing and publishing in literature and language. Persons preparing their first articles or books will benefit from the description of the process of scholarly publishing (and the suggestion for standards to govern it) in “Advice for Authors, Reviewers, Publishers, and Editors of Scholarly Books and Articles” (ADE Bulletin 132 [2002]: 107–11; rev. 2007–08:, prepared by the MLA Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities.

Anyone delivering a paper should heed the practical advice on preparing and reading the text offered by Peter Barry (“The Editorial Commentary,” English 53 [2004]: 151–56) and William Germano (“The Scholarly Lecture: How to Stand and Deliver,” Chronicle of Higher Education; Chronicle of Higher Educ., 28 Nov. 2003; 1 Feb. 2013; <>).

Handbooks and Guides to Publishing[edit]


McKerrow, R. B. “Form and Matter in the Publication of Research.” Review of English Studies 16.61 (1940): 116–21. PR1.R4 820′.9.

A plea, largely unheeded, for “precision and intelligibility” in organizing and presenting research. Full of sensible advice (e.g., provide a title that describes what the article or book is about; avoid ambiguity) and pithy asides (“‘pedant’ is merely the name which one gives to anyone whose standard of accuracy happens to be a little higher than one’s own”), this should be read or reread before submitting the next article or book. Frequently reprinted (e.g., PMLA 65.3 [1950]: 3–8).


Germano, William. Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books. 2nd ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2008. 218 pp. Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. PN161.G46 070.5′2.

A guide to the publishing practices of American university presses and trade publishers of scholarly books that explains how manuscripts are selected and published, how authors can increase their chance for acceptance of a manuscript, and “how the process from submission to publication can be made to work, and work well, for both publisher and author.” Addressed primarily to the publish-or-perish American academic, chapters explain what publishers do, offer advice on writing (with a valuable excursus on bad titles), describe how to select a publisher (with a section on the pros and cons of publishing in a series) and contact an editor (the chapter on writing a letter of inquiry and description of a book offers the best available guide to submitting a proposal and is, alone, worth the price of this book), reveal what editors look for in a manuscript, advise how to survive the review process (with essential counsel on how to respond to a reader’s report), anatomize contract provisions, enumerate problems associated with editing a collection of essays or an anthology (required reading for any potential editor), outline the permissions process and how to deliver a manuscript, detail the process of turning the accepted manuscript into a book, offer “guidance about electronic publishing,” and delineate what makes a book a success. Indexed by topics. Written by an experienced and respected former humanities editor at Columbia University Press and Routledge who understands how books “count” in tenure and promotion reviews, Getting It Published is the essential advice manual for the academic looking to publish a first (or subsequent) book.

Beth Luey, Handbook for Academic Authors, 5th ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010; 276 pp.) is addressed to the same audience and covers the same topics along with practical advice on publishing journal articles, writing textbooks, and revising a dissertation as articles or a book and fuller treatment of electronic publishing. This new edition displays a less jaundiced attitude toward tenure and promotion review than its predecessors.

For a more succinct discussion of many of the same points, see MLA Style Manual (U6400); R. C. Reynolds, “Luck and Pluck: A Practical Guide to Publishing in the Humanities,” Editors’ Notes 8.2 (1989): 13–23; and Richard G. Barlow, “Literary Research and the Preparation of Scholarly Manuscripts,” Literary Research 15.1–4 (1990): 5–17 (the last two address how to publish articles—although few editors will approve of Reynolds’s advice on multiple submission).

Anyone hoping to publish a dissertation should first consult Germano, From Dissertation to Book (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2005; 141 pp.; Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing), for its straightforward explanation of how to turn an academic exercise into a readable book. Also valuable are parts of Beth Luey, ed., Revising Your Dissertation: Advice from Leading Editors, updated ed. (Berkeley: U of California P, 2008; 263 pp.), and Eleanor Harman et al., eds., The Thesis and the Book: A Guide to First-Time Academic Authors, 2nd ed. (Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2003; 104 pp.). Both Germano and Luey are especially cognizant of the pressure on untenured American faculty members to publish the first book.

Anyone contemplating the editing of a journal should consult Gillian Page, Robert Campbell, and Jack Meadows, Journal Publishing (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997; 407 pp.). Although emphasizing science and technology and rather naive about the humanities (asserting, for example, that in this field “the pressure to publish is less acute” than in the sciences and medicine), the authors provide a practical—and sobering—overview of editing, producing, marketing, and managing a journal.

Along with discussions of marketing, technology, copyediting, and publishing, Journal of Scholarly Publishing includes several essays offering practical advice to the scholar:

  • Klemp, P. J. “Reviewing Academic Books: Some Ideas for Beginners.” 12.2 (1981): 135–39.
  • Wolper, Roy S. “On Academic Reviewing: Ten Common Errors.” 16.3 (1985): 269–75.
  • Meyers, Jeffrey. “On Editing Collections of Original Essays.” 17.2 (1986): 99–108.
  • Horowitz, Irving Louis. “The Place of the Festschrift.” 21.2 (1990): 77–83.
  • Henige, David. “Reviewing Reviewing.” 33.1 (2001): 23–36.
  • Pasco, Allan H. “Basic Advice for Novice Authors.” 33.2 (2002): 75–89.


Olson, Gary A., and Todd W. Taylor, eds. Publishing in Rhetoric and Composition. Albany: State U of New York P, 1997. 247 pp. PE1405.U6 P83 808′.042′07.

A collection of sixteen essays by prominent scholars (many of them editors of journals in the field) who address the “politics, conventions, and procedures” of publishing in rhetoric and composition. Replete with practical advice about how and why one goes about publishing, the essays treat such topics as breaking into print, integrating pedagogy and scholarship, transforming a dissertation into a monograph, editing a collection of essays, planning and producing a textbook, and negotiating electronic scholarship. Given that a newly minted PhD must have publications to make the shortlist for most tenure-track positions and that assistant professors must publish at ever-increasing levels (quantitatively and qualitatively) to secure tenure, this is a timely collection—one that will make scholars in other disciplines wish that they could consult a similar resource.

See also[edit]

Sec. U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Copyright.

Hartman and Messer-Davidow, Women in Print (U6595).

Directories of Publishing Opportunities[edit]


Association of American University Presses Directory. New York: Assn. of Amer. UP, 1952– . Annual. Z475.A88 070.5′94. <>.

A directory of members of the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), which includes some learned societies and organizations not associated with a university, a few publishers located outside the United States, and “partners” (companies offering services to publishers). A typical entry provides address, phone and fax numbers, e-mail, URL, names and contact information for editorial personnel, number of titles published for the preceding two years, titles in print, series published, and a description of publishing interests. A grid at the front outlines publishing interests of members but does not compensate for the lack of a good subject index. With the discontinuation of MLA Directory of Scholarly Presses in Language and Literature, ed. James L. Harner (New York: MLA, 1991 and 1996), the AAUP directory is now the best resource for scholars to identify scholarly presses that might be interested in their manuscript or proposal. Before contacting an editor, scholars should visit the publisher’s Web site to search for a fuller description of its publishing program and for special instructions on submitting a letter of inquiry or prospectus; for a convenient list of links to Web sites and social media, see

Along with journals, the publishing interests and submission requirements of some series are more fully described in MLA Directory of Periodicals (K615). Publishers’ ISBN Directory (U5090), Literary Market Place (U5090a), and Publishers Directory (U5090a) also indicate publishing interests of some scholarly publishers (but none is adequately indexed).

Guides to Writing[edit]


Strunk, William, Jr. The Elements of Style (Strunk and White). With revisions and additions by E. B. White. 4th ed. Boston: Allyn, 2000. 105 pp. PE1408.S772 808′.042.

A guide to the fundamentals of usage and basic principles of composition. The rules and guidelines are concisely presented in five sections: elementary rules of usage, elementary principles of composition, matters of form, words and expressions commonly misused, and matters of style. Each rule or entry on usage is clearly explained and accompanied by illustrative examples. A model of the clarity, accuracy, and brevity it expounds, Strunk and White is the classic guide to style and a work that repays frequent rereading. For a contrary view, see the review by Robert S. Wachal, American Speech 75.2 (2000): 199–207. On the evolution of the work (particularly the changes made in the fourth edition), see Richard H. Minear, “E. B. White Takes His Leave, or Does He? The Elements of Style, Six Editions (1918–2000),” Massachusetts Review 45.1 (2004): 51–71. In “The Land of the Free and The Elements of Style” (English Today 26.2 [2010]: 34–44), Geoffrey K. Pullum resoundingly condemned the book; a shorter version—“50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice” (Chronicle of Higher Education 17 Apr. 2009: B15–B16)—occasioned a flurry of letters defending it (22 May 2009: B17–B19) and a response by Michael Bulley, “Defending Strunk and White” (English Today 26.4 [2010]: 57–62).

Style Manuals[edit]

The following are the major style manuals used by North American and British publishers of literary scholarship and criticism. For manuals in other fields, see John Bruce Howell, Style Manuals of the English-Speaking World: A Guide (Phoenix: Oryx, 1983; 138 pp.).

Researchers who prepare manuscripts by using bibliographic software (such as EndNote) programs, style manuals built into word-processing programs, or styled files created by databases must still master the requirements of the style they use. This is especially true when preparing endnotes or a list of works cited: computer programs merely format data; the writer must know what information must be input or deleted.

General Manuals[edit]


The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago). 16th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010. 1,026 pp. Z253.U69 808′.027′0973.

The Chicago Manual of Style Online. U of Chicago P, 2010. 4 Feb. 2013. <>.

A manual for authors and editors that explains all aspects of manuscript preparation, editing, and publication. The 16 chapters and two appendixes are grouped around three topics:

  • the publishing process, which covers the parts of a book and journal (print and electronic), manuscript preparation, editing, proofreading (with a table of proofreaders’ marks), illustrations, tables, rights and permissions (with an excellent sample letter for requesting permission to reprint copyrighted material in a scholarly book), and an appendix on production and digital technology
  • style and usage, with chapters on grammar and usage; punctuation; spelling and distinctive treatment of words; names and terms; numbers; abbreviations; foreign languages; mathematics in type; and quotations
  • documentation, with illustrations of Chicago’s two styles and a chapter on indexes (see entry U6415)

Each chapter is preceded by a detailed outline of content and includes a wealth of examples and illustrations. This edition offers fuller treatment of electronic publication and of fair use and electronic rights, updates the documentation of electronic sources, adds an introduction to Unicode, is more prescriptive in matters of style, and “in a significant departure from earlier editions, . . . now recommends a uniform stylistic treatment for the main elements of a citation.” Concludes with a selective bibliography. Thoroughly and admirably indexed by subjects.

In addition to a searchable text of the print version, Chicago Manual of Style Online includes Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, a Tools page (with sample correspondence and proofreaders’ marks), and Chicago Style Q&A (with sometimes witty and irreverent responses to users’ questions).

Thoroughness, clarity, and general good sense make this the long-time standard that both reflects and determines the practices of most American publishers. For those writing for publication, Chicago is an indispensable desktop companion. For a history of the work, see Catharine Seybold, “A Brief History of The Chicago Manual of Style,”Scholarly Publishing 14.2 (1983): 163–77.

Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers, 8th ed., rev. Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2013; 448 pp.; Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing), is a commonly used distillation of Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes offers clearer explanations of basic points.

The British equivalent of Chicago is Judith Butcher, Caroline Drake, and Maureen Leach, Butcher’s Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors, and Proofreaders, 4th ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006; 543 pp.), which addresses copyediting in an electronic environment.

One Book / Five Ways: The Publishing Practices of Five University Presses, 1994 ed. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1994; 330 pp.), offers an instructive comparison of how five North American university presses handled the same manuscript from submission through manufacture.


MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. 3rd ed. New York: MLA, 2008. 336 pp. PN147.G444 808′.027.

A guide to “the more formal modes of academic publishing in the field of language and literature.” Besides the expected sections treating the most recent version of the MLA documentation system, abbreviations, proofreading symbols, and mechanics (such as punctuation, personal names, capitalization, titles, quotations, and transliteration), MLA Style Manual provides detailed advice on the preparation of a manuscript (including requirements for preparing a machine-readable one) along with a helpful overview of scholarly publishing (with advice on placing a journal article and book manuscript and a description of the production and publishing processes), legal issues (including copyright and publishing contracts), and preparing a thesis or dissertation. Indexed by subject.

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. (2009; 292 pp.), which is addressed to the undergraduate, updates some aspects of MLA citation style (involving graphic narratives, digital files, newspapers, reference works, punctuation of titles, and the use of italics rather than underlining for recording titles). The MLA Handbook Web site ( allows for keyword searching of the text of the 7th ed., includes additional examples of citations, and corrects a few typos in the print edition. Updates to and FAQs about MLA style are posted on the MLA Handbook and MLA Web sites (

Although Chicago Manual of Style (U6395) is more wide-ranging and detailed in its treatment of matters of manuscript style, MLA Style Manual is required reading for those who submit manuscripts for publication, since so many literature journals and some academic presses (especially in the United States) follow it.

For scholars needing to cite unusual forms of electronic documents, the standard guide is Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor, The Columbia Guide to Online Style, 2nd ed. (New York: Columbia UP, 2006; 288 pp.), which also offers guidance on the preparation of electronic manuscripts.

Many British journals follow MHRA Style Guide: A Handbook for Authors, Editors, and Writers of Theses, 2nd ed. (London: Mod. Humanities Research Assn., 2008; 95 pp.; also available as a free PDF file [5] but without the section on proof correction), with sections on preparing a manuscript for the press, styling a manuscript, footnotes and endnotes, documentation form, indexing, and the preparation of theses and dissertations. Concludes with a table of proofreading symbols.

Copyediting Guides[edit]


Cook, Claire Kehrwald. [The MLA’s] Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing. Boston: Houghton, 1985. 219 pp. PE1441.C66 808′.042.

A handbook designed by the MLA’s former head copyeditor to “show writers how to edit their own work.” Chapters address major style problems (needless words, word order, parallelism, agreement, and punctuation) with clear explanations illustrated by apt examples. Two appendixes: the parts of a sentence; a glossary of questionable usage. Indexed by subjects. Replete with practical advice on detecting and correcting errors, Line by Line should be a constant companion for anyone who writes.

Electronic Manuscripts[edit]

Submitting an electronic manuscript can save considerable time and money in the publishing process, but authors must be aware of the potential for errors in the final version. More than one printed text has been garbled by electronic interference, and at least one article has been deliberately altered by someone who came upon an untended screen while the author was entering copyediting changes on a disk (see Early American Literature 22.2 [1987]: 230).


Chicago Guide to Preparing Electronic Manuscripts for Authors and Publishers. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987. 143 pp. Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing. Z286.E43 U54 070.5′028′5.

A general overview of the procedures and requirements for preparing and publishing a computer-readable manuscript. Of most interest to authors are the first two parts: (1) general instructions for authors, with discussions of hardware and software, typing (including important warnings about the disastrous effects of using “el” for the numeral 1 and instituting ill-considered global substitutions), preparing the text for a publisher, editing, proofing, and indexing; (2) generic coding (with a handy list of codes as one of the appendixes). Although most publishers have specific requirements for electronic manuscripts, the Chicago Guide remains a useful general introduction to the advantages and pitfalls of preparing, submitting, and publishing an electronic manuscript.

Indexing Guides[edit]


“Indexes.” Chapter 16 of The Chicago Manual of Style (entry U6395). 16th ed. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010. 811–860. (Also published separately as Indexes: A Chapter from The Chicago Manual of Style Sixteenth Edition. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010. 57 pp.) Z253.U69 686.2′24.

A succinct, straightforward, practical guide to the mechanics and principles of preparing an index. Major sections explain indexing definitions, the step-by-step process of preparing an index, general principles (such as determining what to index, choosing terms for entries, and deciding between variants in names and titles), and alphabetization practices. Each point is illustrated with clear examples. Essential reading for an author required to index a book. Review (2003 ed.): Bella Hass Weinberg, Indexer 19.2 (1994): 105–09.

Other authoritative guides are G. Norman Knight, Indexing, the Art of: A Guide to the Indexing of Books and Periodicals (London: Allen, 1979; 218 pp.), which includes chapters on indexing periodicals and preparing cumulative indexes (as well as a delightful survey of humor in indexes), and Nancy C. Mulvany, Indexing Books, 2nd ed. (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2005; 315 pp.; Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing), which provides a clear, thorough description of the process of indexing, extensively illustrated suggestions for resolving the myriad problems facing an indexer, an overview of computer-aided indexing, and a balanced examination of whether authors should index their own books.

Book Reviewing[edit]


Hoge, James O., ed. Literary Reviewing. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1987. 139 pp. PN441.L487 808′.066028.

A collection of essays that address the need for greater rigor in the reviewing of literary scholarship. The bulk of the contributions are devoted to the theory and practice of evaluating kinds of books: works of literary theory; literary histories; literary biographies; editions of letters, journals, and diaries; enumerative bibliographies; and descriptive bibliographies. Other essays discuss factors that affect the quality of reviews. Dedicated to improving the quality and prestige of book reviewing, these essays are required reading for both the seasoned and the novice reviewer.

Klemp, “Reviewing Academic Books” (U6380a), and Wolper, “On Academic Reviewing: Ten Common Errors” (U6380a), are also full of sound practical advice. Much less useful is A. J. Walford, ed., Reviews and Reviewing: A Guide (Phoenix: Oryx, 1986; 248 pp.), which unsuccessfully attempts to provide guidelines for reviewing in a variety of disciplines.

Science and Literature[edit]

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of science and literature, see George Slusser and George Guffey, “Literature and Science,” pp. 176–204 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955).

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Encyclopedia of Literature and Science. Ed. Pamela Gossin. Westport: Greenwood, 2002. 575 pp. PN55.E53 809′.93356.

An encyclopedia of themes, writers, theories, concepts, organizations, objects, and scientific fields important to the interdisciplinary study of literature and science. The approximately 650 signed entries (ranging from 50 to about 3,500 words) emphasize the scientific aspects of literary topics and the literary aspects of scientific ones; most conclude with suggestions for further reading. The bulk of the entries are for individuals (including several literary authors with a tenuous connection to science [e.g., Aristophanes, Victor Hugo, and Philip Sidney]); several entries not on individuals are too brief to offer a clear explanation of their subject (e.g., anthroposophy and colonialism) and several on scientific topics establish no discernible relation to literature (e.g., biophilia, black box, chaos and chaotic systems, Schrödinger’s cat, and scientific textbooks). Concludes with a selected bibliography. Indexed by persons, titles, and subjects (the fuller Web-based index will not be posted). Although needing a firmer editorial hand, the better entries are useful entry points into the study of science and literature and thus make Encyclopedia of Literature and Science a useful resource in this emerging field.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Serial Bibliographies[edit]


Relations of Science to Literature and the Arts, [1950– ]. Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. Soc. for Lit., Science, and the Arts, n.d. 4 Feb. 2013. <>.

  • 1989–99: Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology 1–9 (1993–2001).
  • 1984–88: PSLS: Publication of the Society for Literature and Science 1–5 (1986–90).
  • 1980–83: Relations of Literature and Science: A Bibliography of Scholarship, [1980–83]. Ed. Walter Schatzberg. 4 vols. Worcester: Clark UP, 1982–84.
  • 1972–79: Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History 4–10 (1974–80).
  • 1950–66: Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Foreign Literatures 5–21 (1951–67).

An international bibliography of scholarship (including dissertations) treating in some fashion the relation between science and literature, the visual arts, or music. Originally “Relations of Literature and Science,” the title was changed in 1999 to reflect the actual scope. Entries (which provide merely basic bibliographical information) are now listed alphabetically by author in 14 divisions: biological sciences; computers and digital technology; environmental sciences; exploration, discovery, or travel; medicine; occult sciences; physical and mathematical sciences; popular science; psychological and cognitive sciences; rhetoric of science; science and technology; social sciences; technology; and theory. Three indexes: scholars; subjects (i.e., persons); topics. The electronic version allows for simply keyword searching of citations or keywords; in the bibliographies for 2001 and 2002 essays from a collection are not linked to the entry for the collection and some journal title abbreviations and acronyms are not expanded. The subject indexing is primitive in both the print and electronic versions; researchers with access to Project Muse (K705) can search the bibliographies for 1989–99 through their Web browser. There are omissions, coverage is far in arrears (the bibliography for 2004 was identified as “new” in February 2013), and Schatzberg, Waite, and Johnson, Relations of Literature and Science (U6445), supersedes the bibliographies through 1980, but Relations of Science to Literature and the Arts is the best source for identifying scholarship on literature and science. Researchers should also check “Science,” “Scientific,” and related headings in the subject index of post-1980 volumes of and in the online thesaurus to MLAIB (G335).

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Schatzberg, Walter, Ronald A. Waite, and Jonathan K. Johnson, eds. The Relations of Literature and Science: An Annotated Bibliography of Scholarship, 1880–1980. New York: MLA, 1987. 458 pp. Z6511.R44 [PN55] 016.809′93356.

An annotated bibliography of scholarship (including dissertations) on the relation between science and Western literature (primarily English, American, French, and German). International in scope, the work covers studies that treat a specific aspect of the relation between the two areas, including the literary qualities of scientific works, scientific and literary discourse, and the representation of science or pseudoscience in literary works. Studies of medicine in literature are limited to those dealing with scientific aspects of the field, and studies of science fiction are restricted to those examining the treatment of science per se. Schatzberg excludes general works on cultural history and the history of science.

The approximately 2,500 entries are organized alphabetically by author in eight divisions: general works (with sections for the interactions of literature and science and for surveys), antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, then by century. Each period division has sections for general studies and individual authors (but to locate all studies on an author, one must consult the subject index). Annotations clearly describe the focus and content of works and cite reviews of books. Two indexes: scholars; subjects. Thorough within its limits, clearly annotated, and effectively indexed, the Annotated Bibliography is the essential source for identifying studies of the treatment of individual scientists and scientific themes, theories, and disciplines in literature. Review: Eric S. Rabkin, YCGL: Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 37 (1988): 215–17.

Schatzberg, Waite, and Johnson incorporates and expands the annual “Relations of Literature and Science” and Fred A. Dudley, ed., The Relations of Literature and Science: A Selected Bibliography, 1930–1967 (Ann Arbor: UMI, 1968; 137 pp.). For studies after 1980, see Relations of Science to Literature and the Arts (U6440).

See also[edit]

Woodress, Dissertations in American Literature, 1891–1966 (Q3320).

Social Sciences and Literature[edit]

For introductions to the interdisciplinary study of literature and the social sciences, see Priscilla B. P. Clark, “Literature and Sociology,” pp. 107–22, and Richard Weisberg and Jean-Pierre Barricelli, “Literature and Law,” pp. 150–75 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955). Several works in section U: Literature-Related Topics and Sources/Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies treat literature and the social sciences.


Guides to Reference Works[edit]


The Social Sciences: A Cross-Disciplinary Guide to Selected Sources. Ed. Nancy L. Herron. 3rd ed. Greenwood Village: Libs. Unlimited–Greenwood, 2002. 494 pp. Lib. and Information Science Text Ser. Z7161.S648 [H61] 016.3.

A guide to reference sources for the social sciences generally as well as political science, economics, business, history, law, anthropology, sociology, education, psychology, geography, and communication. Each subject division begins with a brief essay on the nature of the discipline (with some including a discussion of the “reference environment”) and then proceeds to an annotated classified list of reference works variously organized as the subject requires. Although the annotations vary widely in fullness, quality, accuracy, currency, and rigor of assessment, Herron offers the most complete overall guide to reference sources in the social sciences.

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Ed. Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes. 26 vols. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2001. H41.I58 300′.3. 4 Feb. 2013 <>. Updated irregularly.

An encyclopedia of concepts, processes, doctrines, persons, disciplines, forms, and methodologies in anthropology, archaeology, demography, economics, education, geography, history, law, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychiatry, psychology, and sociology. The signed articles by major scholars conclude with selective bibliographies. Although there are liberal cross-references, the subject index offers the best access to contents of the print version. In the online version, Basic Search is too primitive to allow effective access to the Encyclopedia; Advanced Search allows users to perform keyword searches of a combination of fields (all fields, abstracts, authors, entry titles, subheadings, references, and full text). Articles can be viewed or downloaded as PDF files, and citations with links can be marked for e-mailing. Although the online version is being updated, the site does not identify new entries. Besides the articles under the headings “Language” and “Linguistics,” the work is useful for background on the treatment of social science concepts in literary works.

The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, ed. Edwin R. A. Seligman and Alvin Johnson, 15 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1930–35), and International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, ed. David L. Sills, 19 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1968–91), remain useful for their historical perspective.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

Social Sciences Full Text. EBSCOhost. Wilson-EBSCO, 2013. 4 Feb. 2013. <>. Updated daily. (Also accessible through OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition [I512].)

Social Sciences Abstracts. EBSCOhost. Wilson-EBSCO, 2013. 4 Feb. 2013. <>. Updated daily.

Social Sciences Index. New York: Wilson, 1974– . Quarterly, with annual cumulation. Preceded by Social Sciences and Humanities Index (entry G385). AI3.S62 016.3.

Humanities and Social Sciences Index Retrospective. EBSCOhost. Wilson-EBSCO, 2013. 28 Sept. 2012. <>. See entry G385.

An author and subject index to about 625 (currently) English-language periodicals in a variety of fields, including anthropology, economics, gender studies, geography, political science, psychology and psychiatry, sociology, and minority studies; full-text access is available for about 215 journals. Like other Wilson indexes, periodicals are chosen by subscriber vote. Social Sciences Full Text also includes abstracts and index entries from Social Sciences Abstracts, which in turn incorporates the index entries since February 1983 in Social Sciences Index. See entry I512 for an evaluation of the EBSCO search interface, which all of the Social Sciences databases use. Although Social Sciences Index is limited in coverage, its subject indexing and extensive cross-references make it a good source for locating articles on literary topics and authors in journals not covered by the standard bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Education, political science, religion, and sociology are also covered in International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (I519).

See also[edit]

Bullock and Peck, Guide to Marxist Literary Criticism (U6175).

MLAIB (G335): See the headings “Social Sciences” and “Sociology” as well as those beginning “Sociological” and “Socio-” in the index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

History and Literature[edit]

The following is a highly selective listing of major general reference sources of particular use in literary research. Works limited to a country are listed in appropriate national literature divisions.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]

There is no adequate general guide to reference works in history. The most current guide is Ronald H. Fritze, Brian E. Coutts, and Louis A. Vyhnanek, Reference Sources in History: An Introductory Guide, 2nd ed. (Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2004; 334 pp.), but coverage is inconsistent, evaluations are hardly rigorous, and there are numerous errors and significant omissions. Despite its promising title, R. C. Richardson, comp., The Study of History: A Bibliographical Guide, 2nd ed. (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2000; 140 pp.; Hist. and Related Disciplines Select Bibliogs.), lists almost no bibliographies, historical encyclopedias, guides, databases, or other reference sources. Helen J. Poulton, The Historian’s Handbook: A Descriptive Guide to Reference Works (Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1972; 304 pp.) is outdated; and American Historical Association’s Guide to Historical Literature (U6497) does not cover reference works thoroughly enough. Both Guide to Reference (B60) and New Walford Guide to Reference Resources (B65) have extensive sections on history; however, neither is sufficiently rigorous in selection or evaluation of works. For American history, see Perrault and Blazek, United States History: A Selective Guide to Information Sources (Q3185).

Handbooks, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Atlases[edit]


An Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Chronologically Arranged. Ed. Peter N. Stearns. 6th ed. rev. and updated. Boston: Houghton, 2001. 1,243 pp. CD-ROM. D21.E578 902′.02.

An encyclopedia of world history through 2000. Organized by era, then by country or region, and then by periods, subjects, or peoples, the brief paragraphs on individuals, events, and groups appear in chronological sequence. While earlier editions emphasized political, military, and diplomatic matters in Western Europe and North America, the current one is much more global in its outlook, gives more attention to ordinary people, and increases coverage of economic, cultural, and intellectual history. Throughout are numerous maps and genealogical charts of ruling dynasties. Indexed by places, persons, and subjects. The accompanying CD-ROM allows users to search by keyword or browse a detailed outline of contents. Not the typical encyclopedia, it is primarily useful for placing an individual or event in its chronological context.


The Times Complete History of the World. Ed. Richard Overy. 8th ed. London: Times, 2010. 432 pp. G1030.T54 911.

A historical atlas with maps depicting political geography, social history, migrations, invasions, empires, towns, trade routes, battles, and the spread of civilizations and religions. The numerous plates and accompanying commentary are organized in chronological divisions that emphasize broad movements rather than specific events from prehistory to the early 2000s. Concludes with a glossary. Indexed by place-names. This is now the most thorough and current historical atlas in English; however, William R. Shepherd, Shepherd’s Historical Atlas, 9th ed., rev., updated, and rpt. with revisions (Totowa: Barnes, 1980; n. pag.), remains useful for its more precise maps of some topics.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]


Henige, David, comp. Serial Bibliographies and Abstracts in History: An Annotated Guide. Westport: Greenwood, 1986. 220 pp. Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Hist. 2. Z6201.A1 H45 [D20] 016.9.

A guide to currently published serial bibliographies and abstracts, appearing separately or in periodicals, on historical topics. Encompassing “bibliographies which address in whole or part any aspect of the past,” Henige covers several areas tangential to history. It excludes most bibliographies that list only books. The 874 entries are ostensibly organized by library catalog main entry but are actually entered inconsistently under title, journal, or organization. A typical entry includes title; journal; notes on scope, organization, size, and currency as of the early 1980s, along with occasional evaluative or comparative commentary; ISSN and WorldCat numbers; and cross-references to related works. Indexed by subjects. The inclusion of numerous works only loosely related to the study of history, failure to provide adequate publication information (especially the titles of bibliographies in periodicals) or to indicate when coverage began or important changes in scope or taxonomy, frequently inaccurate evaluations, poor organization, and barely adequate subject indexing mean that this work must be used with care to identify serial bibliographies in history.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]

Serial Bibliographies[edit]

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Historical” or “History” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Other Bibliographies[edit]

The American Historical Association’s Guide to Historical Literature. Mary Beth Norton, gen. ed. 3rd ed. 2 vols. New York: Oxford UP, 1995. Z6201.A55 [D20] 016.9.

A bibliography “of the finest and most useful books and articles available in every field of historical scholarship.” Designed to foster broad comparative perspectives rather than serve the needs of specialized inquiry, the Guide’s selection policy emphasizes “reliable syntheses and reference works that provide entry into a historical field,” the essential studies that establish the standards of excellence in fields, and representatives of major alternative approaches to fields. The 26,926 entries—most for English-language books published between 1961 and 1992—are divided among 48 sections, most of which are prefaced by an overview of key historical issues and which begin with sections for reference works and general studies and then are organized in a way appropriate to each field. Entries—listed alphabetically within subsections—consist of a bibliographic citation and a brief annotation, most of which are helpfully evaluative. Two indexes: authors; subjects (unfortunately, titles of anonymous publications are not indexed, making it virtually impossible to locate a work such as Historical Abstracts). Although massive, the Guide is selective and thus will encourage sniping about inclusion and omissions (e.g., many of the subsections on reference works seemed rather thin or exclude essential works). Despite an organization that requires constant reference to the table of contents and to the outline (sans entry numbers, unfortunately) that prefaces each section, the Guide, with its thorough subject indexing and crisp, evaluative annotations, succeeds admirably in its purpose: to direct scholars to studies that will provide a reliable entrée into a subject and lead to more specialized publications. Because of the sheer number of entries and the difficulties posed by the organization, users would be better served by an electronic version that offered keyword searching and hyperlinks between related entries.

Because of the emphasis on works published after 1961, users will still need to consult the first edition, ed. George Frederick Howe et al. (New York: Macmillan, 1961; 962 pp.).


Historical Abstracts. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 1955–2000. Issued in two parts. A: Modern History Abstracts, 1450–1914; B: Twentieth Century Abstracts, 1914–[current year]. Quarterly, including cumulative index. D299.H5 909.8082. <>. Updated regularly.

Nonevaluative abstracts of scholarship on history and related topics. Originally restricted to articles on the period 1775–1945, Historical Abstracts now covers books and dissertations, and has undergone several changes in scope: with vol. 16 (1970), coverage of the United States and Canada was transferred to America: History and Life (Q3310); in vol. 17 (1971), chronological coverage was extended from 1775 to the present; in vol. 19 (1973), chronological coverage was extended back to 1450. Quinquennial indexes cover 1955–89. The electronic version offers the most efficient access to literature- and language-related entries, many of which are from journals not covered in the serial bibliographies in section G. For discusion of the EBSCO interface see I512.

Political Science and Literature[edit]

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and political science, see Matei Calinescu, “Literature and Politics,” pp. 123–49 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955).

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Green, Stephen W., and Douglas J. Ernest, eds. Information Sources of Political Science. 5th ed. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2005. 593 pp. Z7161.I543 [JA71] 016.32.

A guide to English-language reference sources from the 1980s to early 2004 useful for the study of political topics. The 2,423 entries are organized by type of work within classified divisions for general reference sources; social sciences (with sections for anthropology, economics, education, geography, history, American history, world history, biography, psychology, and sociology); general political science; political theory; United States politics and government; international relations; comparative politics and government; public administration and policy studies; and biography. Many entries are accompanied by full annotations that provide helpful descriptive comments. Four indexes: authors; titles; subjects; Web sites. Although users would benefit from more incisive evaluative comments, the full descriptions and advice on research procedures make Green and Ernest the essential guide to reference sources for the study of political science.

The fourth edition by Frederick L. Holler (1986; 417 pp.) remains useful for its coverage of works published before the 1980s.

See also[edit]

Social Sciences: A Cross-Disciplinary Guide to Selected Sources (U6460).

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


International Political Science Abstracts / Documentation politique internationale, [1950– ]. Thousand Oaks: Sage for Intl. Political Science Assn., 1951– . 6/yr. JA36.I5 320.82. <>. Updated regularly. (Also available through EBSCO [I512] and Ovid [6], with coverage in the latter beginning with 1989.)

Nonevaluative abstracts, in English or French, of articles in journals and yearbooks. Coverage is selective, emphasizing scholarly and “scientific” studies in major political science journals and omitting popular or “redundant” articles. Indexed by authors and subjects in each issue; cumulative author and subject indexes in each volume. The electronic versions offer the best way to locate discussions of literary topics and authors. Although coverage is far from complete, the abstracts and subject indexing make International Political Science Abstracts the best source for identifying articles on literary topics published in political science journals and rarely included in the standard serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

See also[edit]

Baldensperger and Friederich, Bibliography of Comparative Literature (T5000).

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Political” or “Politics” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Psychology and Literature[edit]

For an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of literature and psychology, see Murray M. Schwartz and David Willbern, “Literature and Psychology,” pp. 205–24 in Barricelli and Gibaldi, Interrelations of Literature (U5955).

Guides to Reference Works[edit]


Social Sciences: A Cross-Disciplinary Guide to Selected Sources (U6460).

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Encyclopedia of Psychology. Ed. Alan E. Kazdin. 8 vols. Washington: Amer. Psychological Assn.; Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. BF31.E52 150.3.

An encyclopedia of concepts, terms, theories, and other topics related to psychology. The c. 1,500 entries offer fuller treatment and selective bibliographies than the typical encyclopedia does (though the bibliography accompanying the literary and psychology entry is an outdated mishmash). Indexed by names and subjects.

An essential complement is Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science, ed. Irving B. Weiner and W. Edward Craighead, 4th ed., 4 vols. (New York: Wiley, 2010), which offers briefer entries and selective bibliographies but broader coverage of concepts, terms, theories, persons, and other topics. Two indexes: names of authors cited; subjects. Together, these encyclopedias will provide literature researchers some of the best introductions to psychological concepts and theories.

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


PsycINFO. American Psychological Association. Amer. Psychological Assn., 2013. 13 Feb. 2013. <>. Updated weekly.

Psychological Abstracts: Nonevaluative Summaries of the Serial and Book Literature in Psychology and Related Disciplines (Psych Abstracts; PA). Washington: Amer. Psychological Assn., 1927–2006. Monthly, with annual, triennial, and expanded cumulated author and subject indexes. Title varies. BF1.P65 150′.5.

A database of nonevaluative abstracts of research in psychology. In the print version coverage of books begins with vol. 79 (1992); in the online version coverage extends to 1597 (for a list of online providers, see the PsycINFO Web site). For the most efficient and precise subject searching, consult the online thesaurus. A valuable source for identifying studies of psychological topics in and approaches to literary works and language.

Literature and Psychology[edit]

Kiell, Norman, ed. Psychoanalysis, Psychology, and Literature: A Bibliography. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1982. Supplement to the Second Edition. 1990. 587 pp. Z6514.P78 K53 [PN56.P93] 016.801′92.

An international bibliography of scholarship (including some dissertations) treating any aspect of psychology or psychoanalysis and literature. Although Kiell covers studies from 1790 through 1987, the bulk of the works date from the twentieth century. The approximately 27,400 entries are organized alphabetically by author in 14 unclassified divisions: autobiographies, biographies, diaries, and letters; literary, psychoanalytical, and psychological criticism; drama; fairy tales and fables; fiction; film; folklore and folktales; myths and legends; poetry; Scriptures; technical studies (dropped in the supplement); therapy; wit, humor, and jokes; ancillary topics. Three indexes in vol. 2: literary authors as subjects; titles of literary works; general subjects; the indexes of authors and titles are combined in the supplement. Because of the imprecise and unrefined classification system, the subject indexes offer the best access to contents. Although several entries appear to be taken without verification from other sources and the supplement is peppered with typographical and other errors, Psychoanalysis, Psychology, and Literature is the most thorough guide to studies of psychology and literature and is particularly valuable for its coverage of journals in psychology and psychoanalysis. It does, however, admit numerous studies only remotely connected with psychology.

Some more recent studies can be located in IPSA Abstracts and Bibliography in Literature and Psychology, 11 vols. (Gainesville: Inst. for Psychological Study of the Arts, 1986–96), with coverage from 1985 through March 1996; the bibliographies for 1993–96 are also available at The unfortunate discontinuation of this work left the field without a serial bibliography.

Some additional studies, especially in German, are included in Joachim Pfeiffer, ed., Literaturpsychologie, 1945–1987: Eine systematische und annotierte Bibliographie (Würzburg: Königshausen, 1989; 516 pp.), which is continued by “Literaturpsychologie 1987–1990: Eine systematische und annotierte Bibliographie: Erste Forsetzung und Nachträge,” Literatur und Sexualität, ed. Johannes Cremerius et al. (Würzburg: Königshausen, 1991; Freiberger literaturpsychologische Gespräche 10) 221–309; “Literaturpsychologie 1990–1992: Eine systematische und annotierte Bibliographie: Zweite Forsetzung und Nachträge,” Trennung, ed. Cremerius et al. (Würzburg: Königshausen, 1994; Freiberger literaturpsychologische Gespräche 13) 215–323; “Literaturpsychologie 1992–1996: Eine systematische und annotierte Bibliographie: Dritte Forsetzung und Nachträge,” Widersprüche Geschlechtlicher Identität, ed. Cremerius et al. (Würzburg: Königshausen, 1998; Freiberger literaturpsychologische Gespräche: Jahrbuch für Literatur und Psychoanalyse 17) 227–355; and “Literaturpsychologie 1997–1999: Eine systematische und annotierte Bibliographie: Vierte Forsetzung und Nachträge,” Frank Wedekind, ed. Ortrud Gutjahr (Würzburg: Königshausen, 2001; Freiberger literaturpsychologische Gespräche: Jahrbuch für Literatur und Psychoanalyse 20) 301–56. The annotations, however, consist of indexing tags, and there are numerous omissions.

An essential complement for English-language Jungian criticism of English-language literary texts is Jos van Meurs and John Kidd, Jungian Literary Criticism, 1920–1980: An Annotated, Critical Bibliography of Works in English (with a Selection of Titles after 1980) (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1988; 353 pp.). The 902 entries are accompanied by quite full annotations (including evaluations of “particularly perceptive or particularly inept” studies).

Joseph Natoli and Frederik L. Rusch, comps., Psychocriticism: An Annotated Bibliography (Westport: Greenwood, 1984; 267 pp.; Bibliogs. and Indexes in World Lit. 1), focuses more clearly on the relation between formal psychology and literature; covers a wide range of literatures, ancient to modern; offers annotated entries; and provides a good subject index. However, coverage is incomplete and limited to English-language books and articles published between 1969 and 1982.

See also[edit]

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Psychoanalysis,” “Psychoanalytic,” “Psychological,” and “Psychology” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes and in the online thesaurus.

Woodress, Dissertations in American Literature, 1891–1966 (Q3320).

Sociology and Literature[edit]

Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


Encyclopedia of Sociology. Ed. Edgar F. Borgatta and Rhonda J. V. Montgomery. 2nd ed. 5 vols. New York: Macmillan-Gale, 2000. HM425.E5 301′.03.

An encyclopedia of concepts, subfields, movements, research methods, theories, and other topics associated with sociology. Each of the 397 signed entries—including one called “Literature and Society”—concludes with a selective bibliography. The Encyclopedia of Sociology offers literary scholars a solid introduction to the theories and practices of sociology.

Complemented by The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, ed. George Ritzer, 11 vols. (Malden: Blackwell, 2007). Among the 1,786 entries are a few for literary topics (see the literature heading in the author and subject index).

Guides to Scholarship[edit]


Sociological Abstracts. Ann Arbor: ProQuest–CSA Journals, 1953– . 6/yr., plus cumulative index and supplement. HM1.S67 301. <>. Updated monthly.

Nonevaluative abstracts of books, essays in edited collections, and articles from selected sociological and related journals; beginning in vol. 36 (1988), dissertations abstracted in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465) are also cited; and, since vol. 37 (1989), a supplement prints abstracts of conference papers. Although recent issues include the classified section Sociology of Language and the Arts, the best approach to contents is through the online version or the annual subject index. Records since 1952 can be searched online through ProQuest (see I519 for a discussion of the search interface). A useful source for identifying studies on sociological topics in and approaches to literature.


Guides to Primary Works[edit]


Index Translationum, [1979– ]. Paris: UNESCO, 1994– . <>. Updated regularly. CD-ROM.

Index Translationum, [1932–40, 1948–86]: Répertoire international des traductions / International Bibliography of Translations / Repertorio internacional de traducciones. Paris: UNESCO, 1932–40, 1949–92. Annual. Z6514.T7 I42 011′.7.

A bibliographic database of translated books published for the most part in UNESCO member countries. As of February 2013 coverage extended to more than 2,000,000 volumes in more than 500 languages. Entries can be searched by author, title (original or translated), target language, original language, translator, editor, country of publication, place of publication, publisher, year (specific year or range), and nine predefined subject areas (or by any combination of the preceding). Entries—which a search returns in no apparent order—cite author, title of translation, editor, target language, edition, translator, publication information, source language, and original title.

Coverage varies in the print volumes, ranging from six to more than 70 countries. Organized alphabetically by country of publication (using the French form of name), then by Universal Decimal Classification main category, then alphabetically by author or editor, entries cite title of translation, translator, publication information, and—if known—language of the source and original title. (Organization by original author would be more convenient for most literature researchers.) The print version is indexed by original authors; some early volumes have indexes of translators and publishers (both classified by country). Although it is compiled from a variety of sources that vary widely in accuracy and is necessarily incomplete and cumbersome to use (especially in the online version since the results of a search cannot be ordered, saved [except by cutting and pasting 10 records at a time], or exported), Index Translationum does provide the fullest list of translations published each year. Researchers should, however, also search WorldCat (E225).


The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation. Ed. Peter France. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001. 656 pp. PR131.O94 809.21.

An evaluative guide to English-language translations and related scholarship. The first part consists of essays on theoretical issues, historical development, and types of texts (poetry, theater and opera, sacred texts, children’s literature, and oral literature); the second part, which surveys translations, is organized by individual languages, language families, or geographic area, with each subdivided by essays on a language, genre, or author. Each essay assesses both the accuracy and literary quality of translations and concludes with a bibliography of translations and criticism. Indexed by persons and titles of anonymous works. Impressive in scope and enlightening in its evaluations, Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation is the essential resource for readers needing to understand the shortcomings of a translation or choose among competing ones.

A valuable complement is Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, ed. Olive Classe, 2 vols. (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2000), although it is less efficient to consult. Entries—which typically run to c. 1,000 words and cover topics associated with translation; the history, theory, and practice of translation; and authors or works translated—are organized alphabetically and end with a list of suggested readings. As in Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, assessments of individual translations can be trenchant. Three indexes: titles of source texts and target texts; translators; subjects.

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

For an overview of recent developments in translation research, see Lawrence Venuti, “Translation Studies,” pp. 294–311 in Nicholls, Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures (A25).


Translation Studies Bibliography (TSB). Ed. Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer. John Benjamins Publishing Company. Benjamins, n.d. 5 Mar. 2013. <>. Updated annually.

An interdisciplinary database of documents (including unpublished material and reviews) treating translating or interpreting, covering “aspects of intra- and interlingual translation, intercultural communication, adaptation, interpreting, localization, multimedia translation, language mediation, terminology and documentation.” The c. 24,500 entries exclude translations and dictionaries unless they are germane to translation or interpretation research.

The database uses the same interface as Bibliography of Pragmatics Online but with different searchable fields in Advanced Search: author or editor, title, keyword (i.e., subject term), abstract, publisher, document language, source language, pivot language, target language, person as subject, title as subject, series, journal title, and date. It is subject to the same limitations in sorting and exporting results of a search. (See entry U6050 for an evaluation of the interface.) Users can browse a list of subject keywords. International and interdisciplinary in scope but in need of an interface that offers more flexibility in downloading records, Translation Studies Bibliography is the fullest guide to scholarship on translation and interpretation studies.

See also[edit]

Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory (U6133) sometimes devotes a chapter to translation studies.

Women and Literature[edit]

This section includes works encompassing women writers in several national literatures, as well as interdisciplinary women’s studies sources that have a substantial literature component. Numerous works on women writers appear in appropriate national literature and other divisions.

Guides to Reference Works[edit]

For a survey of the pre-1980 bibliographical resources for the study of English and American women writers, see the appendix to Deborah S. Rosenfelt, “The Politics of Bibliography: Women’s Studies and the Literary Canon” (vol. 1, pp. 11–35), in Hartman and Messer-Davidow, Women in Print (U6595).

For an important discussion of the obstacles facing researchers in feminist criticism and women’s studies, an evaluation of their treatment in standard bibliographies, and a list of bibliographic resources, see Marlene Manoff, “Tools for Feminist and Women’s Studies Scholars in Literature: Issues and Problems,” Bibliography in Literature, Folklore, Language, and Linguistics: Essays on the Status of the Field, ed. David William Foster and James R. Kelly (Jefferson: McFarland, 2003) 48–69.


Carter, Sarah, and Maureen Ritchie. Women’s Studies: A Guide to Information Sources. Jefferson: McFarland; London: Mansell, 1990. 278 pp. Z7961.C37 [HQ1206] 016.3054.

A guide to reference sources, all but a few published between 1978 and 1988 and exclusively about women. (A few 1989 publications are included, with most described from publicity releases.) The annotated entries are organized in three divisions: general works (with sections for general reference works, biographical resources, and women’s studies as a discipline); women in the world (with variously organized sections for broad geographic areas); and subjects (including extensively classified sections for arts and media, black women, and literature and language). A concluding page lists resources for men’s studies. Indexed by persons, subjects, and titles; in addition, generous cross-references lead users to multidisciplinary resources. Although the succinct annotations too rarely alert researchers to weaknesses or major limitations of works, the international coverage makes Carter and Ritchie the best single guide to reference works through 1988 devoted solely to women.

An essential complement—because it covers general reference works not devoted solely to women but nonetheless essential to research in women’s studies—is Susan E. Searing, Introduction to Library Research in Women’s Studies (Boulder: Westview, 1985; 257 pp.; Westview Guides to Lib. Research), a highly selective guide addressed to the undergraduate. Of most value is the annotated guide to commonly available English-language sources. Although the annotations are sometimes helpfully evaluative and, for general works, focus on their value to women’s studies, the numerous errors in citations and annotations render Searing untrustworthy.

See also[edit]

Gohdes and Marovitz, Bibliographical Guide to the Study of the Literature of the U. S. A. (Q3180).

Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias[edit]


The Bloomsbury Guide to Women’s Literature. Ed. Claire Buck. New York: Prentice Hall, 1992. 1,171 pp. PN471.B57 809′.89287′03.

A guide to women writers from the earliest times to the present. The coverage is international and extends to popular forms, letters, and diaries as well as belles lettres. Most of the more than 5,000 unsigned entries are for writers and individual works, but cultural practices and beliefs, concepts, terms, periodicals, genres and forms, and other topics are also included. Because of peculiar labels derived from the prefatory essays (see below) and a lack of cross-references, some entries are simply not locatable (e.g., “Early North American narratives of witchcraft cases,” “Early North American Quaker women’s writings,” and “Learned literature in Sweden”). Entries on forms and genres include subdivisions for only a few of the national literatures covered. Entries for authors include basic biographical and career information and a brief commentary on important works; several conclude with a short list of studies. (Entrants are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index [J565].) Prefacing the work are 37 brief essays on national literatures, geographic areas, and critical approaches designed to provide a context for the entries. Impressive in its chronological and geographic breadth, and for the amount of information packed into its readable entries, Bloomsbury Guide is clearly the best single source for basic information about women writers and their works. A browser’s delight, it is especially valuable for the inclusion of many authors and titles virtually unknown to North American scholars.

Bibliographies of Bibliographies[edit]


Ballou, Patricia K. Women: A Bibliography of Bibliographies. 2nd ed. Boston: Hall, 1986. 268 pp. Women’s Studies Pubs. Z7961.B32 [HQ1121] 016.0163054.

A bibliography of bibliographies, surveys of research, library catalogs, and guides to archives or manuscript repositories published as books, parts of books, articles, or databases from 1970 through June 1985. Although international in scope, it emphasizes works about the United States and Canada, and includes a very few publications not in English. Basing selection on “scope, availability, organization, and commentary,” Ballou excludes bibliographies of individuals and small groups, nonprint media, auction and booksellers’ catalogs, and most out-of-print publications. The 906 entries are organized in four divisions: general and interdisciplinary works, bibliographies devoted to a type of publication or format (including library catalogs, biographical sources, and guides to archives and manuscript collections), geographic areas, and subjects (including sections for history, literature, mass media and popular culture, performance art, and anthropology, which encompasses folklore). The literature section includes subdivisions for general works; American, Canadian, English, French, Spanish and Latin American, and other literatures; feminist criticism; and children’s literature. Except for studies involving the United States or Canada, a geographic focus takes precedence over a topical one in organizing works; hence, users should generally begin with the subject index. Entries are accompanied by full descriptive annotations, but only a few offer an evaluative comment. Three indexes: persons; titles; subjects. Although the work is limited in its coverage and now dated, it is the fullest bibliography of bibliographies devoted to women’s studies.

Jane Williamson, New Feminist Scholarship: A Guide to Bibliographies (Old Westbury: Feminist, 1979; 139 pp.), remains an important complement, since it cites works before 1970 and others omitted in Ballou.

See also[edit]

Ingles, Bibliography of Canadian Bibliographies (R4585).

Guides to Primary Works[edit]


Davis and Joyce, Drama by Women to 1900 (Q3513).

Davis and Joyce, Personal Writings by Women to 1900 (Q3545a).

Davis and Joyce, Poetry by Women to 1900 (Q3534).

Grimes and Daims, Novels in English by Women, 1891–1920 (M2640).

Marshall, Pen Names of Women Writers from 1660 to the Present (U5115a).

Reardon and Thorsen, Poetry by American Women, 1900–1975 (Q4330).

Smith and Cardinale, Women and the Literature of the Seventeenth Century (M2007).

Women’s History Sources (Q3245).

Guides to Scholarship and Criticism[edit]

For a valuable introduction to searching women’s studies topics in the online versions of Arts and Humanities Citation Index (G365), Humanities Index (G385), Essay and General Literature Index (G380), English Short Title Catalogue (M1377), America: History and Life (Q3310), Historical Abstracts (U6500), MLAIB (G335), Philosopher’s Index (U6275), Religion Index (U6350), Art Index (U5145), and ARTbibliographies Modern (U5140), see Joyce Duncan Falk, “Humanities,” Women Online: Research in Women’s Studies Using Online Databases, ed. Steven D. Atkinson and Judith Hudson (New York: Haworth, 1990; Haworth Ser. on Lib. and Information Science 3) 7–72.

For an assessment of the indexing of women’s studies journals by women’s studies bibliographies and general serial bibliographies, see Kristin H. Gerhard, Trudi E. Jacobson, and Susan G. Williamson, “Indexing Adequacy and Interdisciplinary Journals: The Case of Women’s Studies,” College and Research Libraries 54.2 (1993): 125–35; and Deborah Mesplay and Loretta Kock, “An Evaluation of Indexing Services for Women’s Studies Periodical Literature,” RQ 32.3 (1993): 404–10.

Surveys of Research[edit]


Fishburn, Katherine. Women in Popular Culture. Westport: Greenwood, 1982. 267 pp. Amer. Popular Culture. HQ1426.F685 305.4′0973.

A survey of scholarship through c. 1980 on the role and image of women in popular culture. Although Fishburn does not provide any explanation of scope or criteria governing selection, she emphasizes recent studies in chapters on histories of women in popular culture; women in popular literature; women in magazines and magazine fiction; women in film; women in television; women in advertising, fashion, sports, and comics; and theories of women in popular culture. The essays vary in organization and breadth, but most conclude with a brief commentary on important reference works and a selective bibliography. Five appendixes: selected periodicals; special issues of periodicals; selected reference works; a chronology; a list of research centers and institutions. Indexed by persons, subjects, and titles. Despite the lack of a statement of editorial policy, Women in Popular Culture is valuable for its detailed descriptions and sometimes trenchant evaluations of studies.


Hartman, Joan E., and Ellen Messer-Davidow, eds. Women in Print: Opportunities for Women’s Studies Research in Language and Literature. New York: MLA, 1982. 198 pp. PN481.W656 809′.89287.

A collection of surveys of areas needing research. The essays on bibliography, archival research, and language and on lesbian, black, working-class, and national literatures selectively survey scholarship as well as define topics for further research. Although now dated in their particulars, the essays remain full of solid practical suggestions for needed research.

See also[edit]

Duke, Bryer, and Inge, American Women Writers: Bibliographical Essays (Q3275).

Inge, Handbook of American Popular Culture (U6295a).

Other Bibliographies[edit]


Boos, Florence, ed. Bibliography of Women and Literature: Articles and Books, [1974–81], by and about Women from 600 to 1975. 2 vols. New York: Holmes, 1988. Z2014.W65 B66 [PR111] 016.82′09′9287.

A bibliography of English-language books, articles, dissertations, and reviews on literature by and about women. Coverage supposedly extends from 1974 through 1981, but a few later studies are included. Vol. 1 (1974–78) is a revised, enlarged cumulation of the annual bibliographies published in 1976 through 1978 as supplements to Women and Literature; vol. 2 ostensibly extracts entries from MLAIB (G335) and ABELL (G340) “for 1979–81,” but it actually cites only a very few works published after 1979. Although emphasizing British and American writers, Boos includes some of the other literatures in English (especially Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand). The approximately 10,000 entries are organized in divisions for general works, British literature (before 1660, 1660–1800, 1800–1900, and 1900–75), American literature (before 1800, 1800–1900, 1900–75), Canadian literature, other literatures in English, and (in vol. 1) foreign language writers; each is subdivided by genre (including children’s literature and one subdivision for the treatment of women by male writers), then by literary author. Some entries in vol. 1 are accompanied by brief descriptive annotations. Three indexes: scholars; literary authors; genres; unfortunately, the poorly conceived numbering system makes locating entries unduly difficult (and quite impossible unless one remembers that S identifies an entry to be found in vol. 2). Although error-ridden, covering a limited span of years and a restricted number of journals, and less accessible than it should be because of two sequences of entries, the separation of reviews from the work reviewed, and poorly conceived indexes, Boos at least serves as a preliminary guide to studies of women authors and women in literature and demonstrates the need for both retrospective and current serial bibliographies of scholarship and criticism on women and literature. Review: Isobel Grundy, Review of English Studies ns 42.166 (1991): 235–36.


Schwartz, Narda Lacey. Articles on Women Writers: A Bibliography, [1960–84]. 2 vols. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 1977–86. Z2013.5.W6.S37 [PR111] 016.82′09′9287.

A checklist of English-language articles and dissertations listed in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465) on women since the Middle Ages writing in English in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Africa. Vol. 1 covers studies appearing between 1960 and 1975; vol. 2, between 1976 and mid-1984. Writers are listed alphabetically by the most commonly used name (but without cross-references for other forms); under each, studies are organized in up to three sections: bibliographies, general studies, and individual works. Indexed by scholars; writers in vol. 2 are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Limited in scope, omitting numerous studies, and taking most entries from other bibliographies rather than the journals themselves, Articles on Women Writers is principally useful as a starting place and must be supplemented by the serial bibliographies and indexes in section G.

Including works about women in literature as well as about female writers, two books by Carol Fairbanks (Myers)—Women in Literature: Criticism of the Seventies (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1976; 256 pp.) and More Women in Literature: Criticism of the Seventies (1979; 457 pp.)—cover only 1970 through 1976, are riddled with errors, omit numerous studies, and are generally useless because of a lack of subject indexing. Some additional publications are listed in Linda K. Lewis, “Women in Literature: A Selected Bibliography,” Bulletin of Bibliography 35.3 (1978): 116–22, 131.

See also[edit]

Humm, Annotated Critical Bibliography of Feminist Criticism (U6170).

International Medieval Bibliography (M1835).

MLAIB (G335): See the headings beginning “Woman” or “Women” in the subject index to post-1980 volumes or in the online thesaurus.

Salzman, American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography (Q3335).



Women Studies Abstracts. New York: Springer, 1972– . Quarterly, with annual cumulated author and subject indexes. Z7962.W65 016.30141′2′05.

Nonevaluative abstracts and lists of studies on a wide range of topics relating to women. The organization varies widely over the years, with recent issues including unclassified divisions for literature, language, theater and films, biography and criticism, and book reviews. Although subject indexing is now very thorough, the early indexes are not reliable for locating literary authors or works mentioned in abstracts or titles. In some volumes, many articles are listed without abstracts.

The best access to Women Studies Abstracts is through Gender Studies Database or Women’s Studies International database, both hosted by EBSCO (; Women’s Studies International is also included in Gender Studies Database); see entry I512 for an evaluation of the EBSCO search interface. Although inconsistent in coverage and annotations, Women Studies Abstracts is useful for its inclusion of numerous works overlooked by the standard bibliographies and indexes in section G.

In addition to Women Studies Abstracts, Gender Studies Database includes Men’s Studies Database (which indexes print and electronic documents produced since 1990), Women’s Studies Database (which indexes about 125 journals since 1972 devoted to women or feminism), and other databases involving women; unfortunately, the Web site does not provide a remotely adequate explanation of the scope of, selection criteria for, or editorial principles governing the individual subfiles.

G. K. Hall Women’s Studies Index, [1988–2002] (New Haven: Hall-Gale, 1991–2003; annual; title varies) includes more popular periodicals among the c. 80 titles indexed by author and subject in each volume. Women’s Studies on Disc, the CD-ROM version, suffers from a rudimentary search engine and minimal help screens.

Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts (London: Routledge–Taylor and Francis, 1983– ; 6/yr.; title varies; <>) offers fuller abstracts of journal articles, essays in collections, and books but covers very few works on literature and suffers from rudimentary subject indexing. The online version offers two search modes: Search (basic keyword); Advanced Search (searches of full text, title of article or chapter, publication title, author, ISSN or DOI, and abstract can be limited by date). Results can be sorted by relevancy, title (ascending), date, or author.

For a comparative assessment of Women Studies Abstracts, G. K. Hall Women’s Studies Index, and Studies on Women and Gender Abstracts, see Linda A. Krikos, “Women’s Studies Periodical Indexes: An In-Depth Comparison,” Serials Review 20.2 (1994): 651.

Dissertations and Theses[edit]


Gilbert, V. F., and D. S. Tatla. Women’s Studies: A Bibliography of Dissertations, 1870–1982. Oxford: Blackwell, 1985. 496 pp. Z7961.G55 [HQ1180] 016.3054.

A classified list of dissertations and some theses accepted through 1982 by British, Irish, Canadian, and United States institutions. Gilbert and Tatla excludes North American master’s theses as well as most studies of gender difference, marriage, and motherhood. The works are organized in 23 variously classified divisions, among which are ones for the arts (including film), language, and literature (with subdivisions for comparative and general studies, feminist criticism, and then national literatures, some of which are broken down by period and individual authors). An entry cites author, title, degree, institution, and date. Indexed by subjects. Because of a classification based on titles, a lack of cross-references, and an insufficiently thorough subject index (which has more than its share of errors), researchers are generally better served by ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (H465) for North American dissertations. Despite its faults, however, Women’s Studies is a convenient compilation.

See also[edit]

Sec. H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses.

Biographical Dictionaries[edit]

For an overview of biographical dictionaries of women published between 1966 and 2006, see Susan E. Searing, “Biographical Reference Works for and about Women, from the Advent of the Women’s Liberation Movement to the Present: An Exploratory Analysis,” Library Trends 56.2 (2007): 469–93; <>. The database underlying the study is available at (last updated 15 November 2012).


American Women Writers (Q3390).

Bell, Parfitt, and Shepherd, Biographical Dictionary of English Women Writers, 1580–1720 (M1433a).

Blain, Clements, and Grundy, Feminist Companion to Literature in English (J593).

Notable American Women (Q3385).

Schlueter and Schlueter, Encyclopedia of British Women Writers (M1433a).

Todd, British Women Writers (M1433a).

Todd, Dictionary of British and American Women Writers, 1660–1800 (M2265).