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ARH 107: Women, Gender, and Art

1. Search Discover to Identify Books through Reviews

Book reviews are an important means of identifying books of significance on a particular topic.  The best first step in identifying books about your topic is by searching for book reviews that appeared in scholarly journals and trade/professional magazines.  There are also some news sources that have noteworthy book reviews, including the New York Times.  You can search many resources at once using the Discover search. 

  1. Type in your search words.
  2. Using the limits on the left side of the results page, limit to Source Type: Reviews
  3. You may also want to limit to the past ten years, and to reviews in English
  4. Tip: when searching on artists names and art topics, you may also see galley / musuem exhibition reviews come up in the results

Things to consider:

  • What type of periodical published the review? 
  • Reviews may mention the type of reader that might be interested in the book.
  • Reviews will often put the book into context, relating it to other works also published on the same topic.
  • Scholarly journals will usually review books that have academic interest or merit. 
  • The reviews in scholarly journals from different academic disciplines may have different viewpoints about the book based on their disciplinary focus.
  • Reviews in popular magazines and newspapers can be an indication that the book has potential appeal to a wider audience.
  • Bestseller lists are focused on sales and popularity.  The amount of copies a book sells in bookstores or online is not a very useful indicator of the quality of a book from an academic perspective. 

2. More Options for Identifying Books

3. Creating Your List of Selections

Once the project group has identified up to ten books that are most essential and appropriate to the topic, the group must prepare a spreadsheet of all of the books for the display.

  1. Use Books in Print (linked above this paragraph) to look up each book.  Search using the title and author last name.
  2. Find the Books in Print listing for the most recent edition of the book, listed in US Dollars.  Choose the "Market" filter on the right to limit to US prices.
  3. Use the "Add to List" button to add the books to the list designated for your group
  4. If you cannot find your book in Books in Print, it may be out-of-print.  We can try to obtain it through the o.p. and hard-to-find book market.
  5. To see your complete list of books, click on the "staff lists" link near the top of the page, and choose your group's list.
  6. When you have added all of your books to the list, download the list as "CSV Full."  You don't need to check off any of the options under that.
  7. Open the downloaded list in Excel and add any out-of-print books that you would still like us to try and order for the display.  Add as much information as you have about those books.
  8. Using the library catalog, determine if the library already owns any of the print books
  9. Add a column to the spreadsheet labeled "Library Owns?" and enter Y or N for each book
  10. Save the spreadsheet and send it via email attachment to the librarian and your professor

If you have questions about creating the spreadsheet, contact the librarian.