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Book Reviews

Resources for book reviews

Book Review Index (Ref. 2nd floor - Z1035 .A1 B6)

Book Review Index (BRI) is located on the 2nd floor of the library in the reference collection. We have ten volumes of 1965-1984, six volumes of 1985-1992, and 1993-2013 as individual titles. The entries within the books are alphabetized by author's last name.

You'll need to know the name of the book on which you want reviews and the author of that book. It's not necessary to know the year your book was published to use BRI. Once you know this information, here's how you start:

STEP 1: For the 1965-1984 set, look in the volume that contains your author's last name. For example, if your book is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you should look in the volume that contains authors whose last name starts with F. You can do the same with the 1985-1992 set. These years have nothing to do with the year the book was published, but rather are indicative of when reviews about the book were published. So, the 1965-1984 set contains book reviews that were published during that time period regardless of when the actual book itself was published.

STEP 2: Now, look for the author's name. Here's an example of what a page in BRI looks like:

Book Review Index screenshot

You'll notice that BRI does not provide any text of actual book reviews. Rather, as an index, it's only telling you where you can find book reviews. You'll need to make note of the source and its bibliographic information (e.g., volume number, year of publication, etc.)

STEP 3: Let's look at the entry of the source "BW" as indicated above. This is an abbreviation for a periodical called "Book World." For all abbreviated sources, you can look at the legend in the front of each BRI book as shown below to find out the full title of any given source.

Book Review Index screenshot

STEP 4: Before you start, understand that SFA library does not have access to all of the sources so you may end up needing to using Interlibrary Loan (ILL). If you've never used ILL before, talk to a librarian and we'll help you.

In the above example, here's the bibliographic information we know:

  • Source name: "BW" = Book World
  • Volume: 9
  • Page number: 13
  • Year: 1979

Using the source name (i.e., the name of the periodical), you'll need to find out if we have access to Book World. To do that, you'll need to do a periodical search for it here: Simply type in the title "Book World" and click Search. This search yields no results, meaning that we do not have access to this source. Your only option at this point would be to submit an ILL request to see if we can get it for you from another library.

If we did have access to it, you'd get some results showing the coverage. If this happened for this example, you'd need to make sure we had volume 9 from year 1979; it could be available electronically in a database or in print on the library shelves.