Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Purdue University Purdue Logo Purdue Libraries

Book Reviews: General Book Reviews

How to Find Them

Meet Your Librarians

Your librarian for literature in English is Robert Freeman. Contact him with any questions or requests. Your librarian for history is Bert Chapman. Contact him with any questions or requests.

Book Reviews in Databases

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, 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.

Subject Guide