Book Reviews in Databases
- Academic Search Premier and ProQuest Research Library have reviews from both popular and academic journals in all subjects.
- Essay and General Literature Index provides access to thousands of essays from 1985 onward contained in thousands of anthologies and collections which cover the entire range of the humanities and social sciences, including economics, political science, history, criticism of literary works, art history, drama, and film.
- LexisNexis Academic has reviews from newspapers and popular magazines; Scholarly books may not appear unless they happen to have a local interest.
- Newspaper Source, 1994 to present offers some popular-interest reviews.
- New York Times Book Review website provides thorough coverage from 1985 through the current issue. For retrospective coverage, see New York Times Historical database.
- For newspaper reviews of older books, see Times (London) Digital Archive, 1785-1985. Chicago Tribune Online, 1985-current, Wall Street Journal Historic (1888-1989) and Washington Post Online (1987-current).
Print Book Review Indexes
Paper resources: general
- Book Review Digest, 1906-2008/2009, HSSE Periodicals, 050 B64
- Book Review Index, 1985-2009, HSSE Ref, 016.0281 B644
- New York Times Book Review, 1903 through July 2009, HSSE Periodicals, 051 N48, latest issues in HSSE Periodicals Reading Room (1st floor, far back).
- Times Literary Supplement, 1902 through Oct. 9, 2009, HSSE Periodicals, 052 L841, latest issues in HSSE Periodicals Reading Room.
If you are still looking for reviews of old books, in the Purdue Libraries catalog or in WorldCat, a subject search on: Books Reviews Periodicals brings up some surprising sources in microform, paper, and electronic sources. In WorldCat, you will want to limit at least by language (below the rows of search boxes) and possibly by date of publication. In the Purdue Libraries catalog, by clicking in a box at the upper left, you can arrange results in chronological or reverse chronological order.
Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals
Scholarly journals are the birthplace and natural habitat of most reviews of scholarly books. Particular journals, especially e-journals, can be very handy for providing reviews. In order to find out which e-journals to search for the history of particular eras and regions, at www.lib.purdue.edu, click on Purdue Libraries' eJournal tab and key in some distinctive terms into the search box, such as: Georgia history. Because this search covers only e-journal titles, it cannot be very thorough.
In order to get more thorough coverage of which journals to search, you might try searching WorldCat. Below the rows of large search boxes, check the little box beside Serial Publications, then, above that, in the rows of search boxes, specifying the Subject field in the box at right, and, to the left of that, keying in broad historical terms, such as: Germany history war. Note: some journals do not include book reviews or used to do so but have discontinued them.
A good source of subject specific scholarly book reviews is Omnifile Full-Text Mega, which is an amalgamation of online indexes, including those specific to Art, Education, Humanities, Social Sciences, etc. For further subject specific databases, see individual subject pages.