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STS 480: Senior Research Seminar: Books & Book Reviews

Finding Book Reviews Online

To find more scholarly book reviews from the last twenty years or so, first try searching your book title in Primo Search, which can return book reviews along with information about the book itself. Check the icons to look for 'reviews' or 'articles' which include the title of the book.

Then try one of the databases below. Search by the title of the book, or by the author of the review and a keyword from the title.

  • Academic Search Premier  
    Finds reviews for books published from about 1975-present Limit to book reviews: Before you run your search, scroll down to 'Document Type' and limit to 'Book Review.' Use the author's last name and a keyword from the book title in your search.
  • JSTOR  
    Search for books published from the 1800s up to about five years ago. To limit to reviews: click Advanced Search, then check 'review.'
  • ProQuest Central
    Search for books published from 1986 up to the present. To limit your search to book reviews, use Advanced Search, and scroll down to select 'Review' under 'Document Type'.
  • America: History and Life 
  • Select the "Advanced Search" option. Type (in quotation marks) the title of the book for which you seek reviews. Under the limiter options, select "book review" in the "Document Type" category.

Finding Book Reviews in Print

For older books, you will need to use print indexes to book reviews. At Collins, try the following print resources, all found in the library's Reference section.

Book Review Index Call #: Z1035.A1 B6 1965-2012 (Reference)
Book review digest Call #: Z1219 .C96 1906-2012 (Reference) 

Keywords and Subject Headings

You can search the library catalog for keywords and subject headings. What's the difference?

A keyword is a word used anywhere in the catalog record- title, author, summary, wherever. Subject headings are words that are specifically applied to express what the book is mostly about. Using both will help you find the most relevant results.

Consider starting with a keyword search to get the broadest range of results. Then, when you find a book that is especially good, look for its subject headings. In the catalog, subject headings are a link you can click to find other books about that same subject. You can also make a note of those headings to use them as search terms in other databases: