If you have questions
about any part of this procedure, do not hesitate to
Make sure you know the original publication year of the book. (Almost always,
the hardcover edition appears before the paperback, so you want the year
that the hardcover came out--usually the same as the copyright date on
the back of the title page.) If a book was written in a foreign language
and then translated into English, you want the year of the first English
Excellent printed reference tools (but there are others as well) are
Review Index, Book Review Digest, Humanities Index, Social Sciences Index.
They are all located on index tables on the left side of the Reference
Room. In each of these tools, begin with the year of original publication
and search, under the book author’s name, for at least two
additional years to identify all major reviews.
Write down the complete citation for each review you want to read.
You can "decode" the journal abbreviations in the front of the index volume.
(Hint: If you would like to find to find 4 reviews, write
down at least 8, selecting longer ones because these will usually be more
critical. The reason to identify twice as many as you need is so you do
not have to go back to the index volumes if a journal issue you want is
not available. The basic contingency principle!)
Search Princeton's Main Catalog to find the location and call number of
the periodical. On the Basic Search page, select "journal title" and type
in the title of the journal. Omit any initial articles (a, an, the). See
for more detailed help with the Main Catalog.
Once you've found the iten, look at the "long display" to see Princeton's
precise holdings. The display that results will tell you which volumes
are bound or in microformat, whether any are checked out or missing, and
the publication's location(s) and call number(s) in campus libraries. The
display will also indicate where the most recent, unbound issues are shelved.
Be sure to match the exact volume you need to the holdings information.
If the periodical is located in Firestone, refer to the green sheet headed
"Call Number Information" to learn the floor and region where the bound
volumes are shelved, adjacent to books on the same subject. If the periodical
is located somewhere other than Firestone, refer to the sheet headed "Designated
Locations" to learn which building or special collection houses the volumes.
To identify book reviews using electronic resources, start with the Library
home page: Select "Databases & Reference Tools / by Subject."
This gives you a chart. In the General category, select "Periodical Indexes."
The two we recommend for book reviews—provided the book in question has
appeared in the past dozen years or so—are Expanded Academic Index
and Proquest Direct - Periodical Research Library. Try a keyword
(also called a basic) search using the novelist's name, one or two significant
words from the book' s title, and the term reviews, but make sure
you are appropriately in the current or backfile of the database, depending
on when the novel came out. For example, in the backfile of either of these
indexes, this would be the most precise formulation:
beloved and morrison and reviews
confer with a reference librarian.