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Book Reviews: A Finding Guide: Online Resources

Access to critical reviews of thousands of books. Click on the TABS to access each section.

Online Resources

EBSCOhost. Start with this database
Coverage: Early 20th century (for some included databases) to date. Cross-searches most of our many EBSCO databases in one search. To see the database titles being searched, click on the Choose Databases link at the top of the search page. Use Page Options to reset the display to 50 results for easier browsing.
Caveats: The Get It Cornell link resolver is not available in the search results; search the individual databases to use it or look up the journal titles in the library catalog.
The Wilson databases in EBSCO, including Book Review Digest Plus, are not selected by default in an EBSCOhost search.


Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL).
(Part of Literature Online)
Covers 1920 to date. "ABELL, which can be accessed via the Criticism screen in [Literature Online's] Search: Criticism and Reference, contains more than 860,000 records covering monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays and doctoral dissertations published anywhere in the world; unpublished doctoral dissertations are covered for the period 1920-1999. The bibliography consists of 77 volumes, beginning in 1920 and issued annually; a number of items published between 1892 and 1919 have been indexed retrospectively.All aspects and periods of English literature are covered, from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. British, American and Commonwealth writing are all represented. Coverage is international, including scholarly material in languages other than English." [from LION's Information Centre]


Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
Covers 1975 to date with some earlier coverage. Academic Search Premier indexes more than 13,000 journals and magazines with the full text of 4,700 titles. To limit your search to reviews, on the Advanced Search page, under Document Type, you can choose Book Reviews.
Free online resource.
Date coverage unknown. Primarily a bookselling site, sometimes includes the full text of some published book reviews--"Editorial reviews". Their "Search inside the book" function allows viewing of selected, scanned pages--usually the covers, table of contents, index, and an excerpt from the main text. Also includes user reviews, of highly variable quality and usefulness. Overall, a very useful site for evaluating recent trade and academic books. Access to the scanned table of contents and index is very useful for nonfiction titles.


America: History & Life. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio.
Covers 1954 to date. Book reviews in U.S. and Canadian history only. Indexes about 6,000 book and media reviews from over one hundred academic journals. NB: there are no reviews in the sister database, Historical Abstracts. To limit your search to reviews, enter the book title in quotes in the default Advanced Search box.


ARBA Online. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 1997- .
Covers 1997 to date; see print version for earlier coverage. Reference reviews only. Reviews CD-ROMs and Web sites as well as books.


Articles & Full Text [aka Summon]
19th century to date.
Summon is a our meta-database that searches across many individual databases. Using the Advanced Search, click the Book Review option under Document Type to limit your results to reviews only for your book title, then run your search. Search results often produce a significant number of duplicate citations. The Full text Online link invokes the Get It Cornell URL resolver. Search journal titles in the CUL catalog when the Get it software does not show your article.


ATLA Religion Database. [S.l.]: American Theological Library Association.
Covers 1949 to date. Book reviews in religion only. Incorporates the printed Index to Book Reviews in Religion (IBRR). Primarily academic titles.


Book Review Digest Plus. Bronx, NY: H. W. Wilson.
Covers 1983 to date online; the print version shelved in Olin Reference Z 1219 .B72 covers 1905-1983. Reviews of English language adult and juvenile fiction and non-fiction titles. Book reviews are selected from journals in the humanities, sciences, social sciences and library review media. Links to the full text of some reviews is available.


Bowker's Books in Print. New York: R. R. Bowker.
Coverage limited to titles in print or recently out of print. A database of bibliographic records for books, audio tapes, and videos from over 44,000 North American publishers. Many records include full-text reviews. Titles with reviews are starred. Click on the book title to open the record, then click on the "Professional reviews" link at left. The full record also may have synopses/annotations, book jacket text, media mentions, and a list of awards. College Art Association.
Coverage begins online September, 1998. "publishes timely scholarly and critical reviews of studies and projects in all areas and periods of art history, visual studies, and the fine arts, providing peer review for the disciplines served by the College Art Association. Publications and projects reviewed include books, articles, exhibitions, conferences, digital scholarship, and other works as appropriate" [Mission Statement]


IBR: International Bibliography of Book Reviews. Osnabrück, Germany: F. Dietrich.
Covers 1988 to date; see print version for earlier coverage. Emphasis on reviews appearing in European social sciences and humanities journals. German or English interface. For coverage of 1911-1943, see Bibliographie der Rezensionen under the print tab in this guide.


JSTOR: The Scholarly Journal Archive. New York: JSTOR.
Covers from the beginning of the journal (earliest is 1665) up to within three to five years of the present [the "moving wall"]. Rich in book reviews and review journals for specific subjects and disciplines, JSTOR is a fully-searchable, full-text database containing the back issues of several hundred scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, music, ecology and botany, business, and other fields. List of journals included and years covered. To find book reviews, select Advanced Search. In the Advanced Search page, type one or two keywords from the book title in the first search box. Under Narrow Your Search to "These Types," check the Review box. Click Search.


Oxford Bibliographies [Online]. Oxford UP.
Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies (essentially thumbnail reviews) of books and journals on specific topics in a growing range of subject areas. There are at least 50 specific topical bibliographies in each subject area. Each of these features an introduction to the topic. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. Contains a "My OBO" function that allows users to create personalized bibliographies of individual citations from different bibliographies


Periodicals Index Online. [was PCI: Periodical Contents Index]
Covers 1770-1993. Searches can be restricted to book reviews only. Click the box under "Scope" on the search page. Provides comprehensive indexing to the contents of 4,250 periodicals in the humanities and social sciences, from their first issues (some as far back as the 18th and 19th centuries) to 1993. The scope is international, including journals in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and other Western languages. Journals that are indexed in PCI which have full text available in JSTOR are linked at article level.


ProQuest Historical Newspapers.
Full image access to three major U.S. Newspapers: The New York Times, 1851-2011; the Wall Street Journal, 1889-1996; and the Washington Post, 1877-1997. Most useful for the Times and for the drawings and illustrations that sometimes accompany Times reviews. Searches by document type can only be limited to "reviews." This includes theatrical and musical reviews.


ProQuest Research Library. Ann Arbor: ProQuest.
Coverage varies. Indexes general interest magazines and scholarly journals in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences. Also included are citations and abstracts for some newspapers and selected television and radio programs. The full text of some articles is provided. Under Document type you can click Reviews to limit your search results.


Project MUSE. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Coverage varies by title, beginning no earlier than 1993, and running through the current issue. Project MUSE covers the full text of over 200 journals in literature and criticism, history, the visual and performing arts, cultural studies, education, political science, gender studies, economics, and others. To find book reviews, choose Advanced Search and use the pulldown menu under Limit Search and By Type to select Review.


Reader's Guide Retrospective,1890 to 1982. Bronx, NY: H.W. Wilson and Ipswich, MA: EBSCO Publishing.
Book reviews appearing in popular magazines. Entries are sometimes labeled Book Review or Review. Beware of alternate spellings of international authors' names.


Reference Reviews Europe Online. Firenze: Casalini Libri.
Covers 1994 to date. "Each year Reference Reviews Europe offers around 300 English-language reviews of European reference titles. The journal is published in two forms: the electronic Reference Reviews Europe Online (RREO) and the printed Reference Reviews Europe Annual (RREA) (Uris Z 1002 .R32, 1995- , latest volume in Olin Reference). Much of the content consists of abstracts in English of reviews that originally appeared in the German journal Informationsmittel: IFB (IFB) [previous title Informationsmittel für Bibliotheken]. IFB, edited by Klaus Schreiber of the Württembergische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart, and formerly published by the Deutsches Bibliotheksinstitut in Berlin, currently is available only online. Since its inception in 1993, it has reviewed more than 500 titles per year, covering reference materials in all subjects and formats. Although German-language publications predominate in IFB, titles in other European languages, including French, Icelandic, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish are also covered. The reviewers for IFB are mostly German librarians and academics. The abstractors for Reference Reviews Europe are mainly North American librarians." [adapted from the RREO Website; more information]


Web of Science. Philadelphia: Institute for Scientific Information.
Science Citation Index covers 1945 to date; Social Sciences Citation Index covers 1956 to date; Arts & Humanities Citation Index covers 1975 to date. A multi-disciplinary set of three databases indexing thousands of titles. To limit your search to book reviews, select Advanced Search and highlight "Book review" in the box under "Restrict search by languages and document types."