Review by Choice Review
Updates H. J. Poulton's aging standard, The Historian's Handbook (CH, Jan'73). This book does not, however, entirely replace Poulton's, nor does it obviate the serious student's need to consult the relevant sections in W. H. Webb et al., Sources of Information in the Social Sciences (3rd ed., CH, Jan'87), A. J. Walford's Walford's Guide to Reference Materials (5th ed., 1989- ), and Eugene P. Sheehy, Guide to Reference Books (10th ed., 1986). The basic problem with this book is that its unnecessarily detailed, chatty annotations limit the editors to a mere 685 bibliographic entries. This number is far below that in any of the sources mentioned above and greatly reduces the value of the guide to the would-be specialists who are its most likely users. Indexing is excellent, and coverage is comprehensive. A recommended purchase for libraries that cater to a large number of upper-division undergraduate and beginning graduate history students. -L. Kincaid, Boise State University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
First published in 1990, this second edition contains entries on 930 reference works, making it almost one-third larger than its predecessor. The content is still organized in 14 chapters by topic, format, and country. The chapters cover bibliographies, historical statistics, biographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and atlases, to give only a few examples. Each entry is helpfully numbered and includes useful bibliographical information and an evaluative annotation and frequently provides references to related works not listed in the volume. The index provides personal name and title access. Especially noteworthy are the listings of core journals and the extensive coverage of Web sites, databases, and CD-ROMs. The editors are to be commended for mining the huge historical reference literature and compiling this compact and superbly researched guide. Nicely designed with easy-to-read type, this unique and updated work is highly recommended for both reference and acquisition librarians in public and academic libraries. The chapter on bibliographies lists Reference Books Bulletin as one of the premier sources of reference reviews in the United States. Even if the editors hadn't offered this trenchant and wise observation, the volume is still outstanding! --Donald Altschiller Copyright 2004 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
The authors, two university reference librarians (Brian C. Coutts and Louis A. Vyhnanek) and an academic historian (Fritze), have produced an accurate, current, and reliable work that supersedes Helen J. Poulton's classic but dated The Historian's Handbook ( LJ 5/15/72). The volume is intended to serve as an introduction to the major reference works for all periods of history and for all geographical areas, with particular emphasis on materials published in English on Anglo-American and European history. Special attention is paid to newer types of sources such as microfilms, specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias, interdisciplinary publications, and computerized databases. There are 685 entries divided into 14 chapters, arranged by type of sources, e.g., historiography, book review indexes, core journals, dissertations and theses, and archives and manuscripts. Each chapter includes a brief introduction that provides definitions of terminology and is subdivided primarily geographically, but occasionally by subject. Entries have complete bibliographic citations and evaluative annotations with cross-references to other works in the volume and full citations for sources not found in the guide. The index lists all authors, editors, and titles mentioned in the text; however, subject access is limited. This is a major flaw in an otherwise indispensable source for librarians and all students of history . Brian Coutts is the author of ``Best Reference Books of 1990'' in this issue, p. 39.--Ed.-- Charles C. Hay, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Archives, Richmond (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.