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7. Using the Internet to Find History Bibliographies
Bibliographical research using the Internet will lead you to two kinds of materials. Not only will you find citations to printed bibliographies; there are on-line bibliographies as well. Perhaps some of the former will be available to you in your college or university library, a large research library nearby, the local public library, or a local book store. On-line bibliographies will be more convenient, and many are excellent. On the other hand, some of the best bibliographies are only available in hard copy because of copyright considerations. Serious scholars will want to consult all available resources in whatever form.
One way to find bibliographical information on the Internet is to use one of the several search engines available. For example, using AltaVista, type "history bibliographies" in its search box. Include the quotation marks. This will yield about 125 entries. For examples of both kinds of bibliographical data on the Internet, do an AltaVista search as indicated above. Early in the list is an item titled, Bibliographies in Middle Eastern History. There is a list of printed bibliographies. Scroll down to the one titled, "Women in the Middle East," and you will find an item titled, Women in the Ancient Near East: A Select Bibliography of Recent Sources in the Oriental Institute Research Archives (1992). You will probably need to use several search engines to find bibliographies of interest to you.
Another way to find bibliographies is with subject directories. For example, using American and British History Resources, select Bibliographies from the links on the left-hand side of the screen. Scroll down to "American and British History Bibliographies." Select Interpreting McCarthyism: A Bibliographic Essay by Ellen Schrecker. It is excerpted from The Age of McCarthyism: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Bedford Books, 1994). Fairly often, one will find bibliographies buried within history Web sites. (See, for example, "The Richard III Society: American Branch Homepage" below.)
Library of Congress Catalog. This is in some respects the ultimate bibliography, as most titles that exist about a subject are in the LC.
Another source of bibliographical information is on-line bookseller's catalogs. One is Amazon.com Books!. Another is Barnes & Noble. You can browse by subject in either one. The advantage to using these catalogs is that you can (in some instances) read reviews, see tables of contents, and, should you be interested in purchasing books in in your research subject area, see what titles are probably in print and their price.
Example: In the catalog Amazon.com Books!, do a subject search, entering the term "Alamo." On November 10, 1997, there were 77 titles displayed. These catalogs include titles that may not be in print..
A Sampling of On-line Bibliographies
- Gender in the West: A Bibliography. It was compiled by Catherine J. Lavender, Department of History, University of Colorado, Boulder. I found this bibliography while looking for another.
- Sample Bibliographies.(Scroll down until you see "Sample Bibliographies.") The bibliographies found there are used in on-line history courses taught at the University of San Diego. They are Abigail Adams, 1744-1818; Manifest Destiny and Texas, 1824-1845; Manifest Destiny and U.S. Exploring Expeditions, 1838-1854; War with Mexico, 1846-1848; California Gold Rush, 1849; Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865; Ulysses S. Grant, 1822-1885; The Civil War, 1860-1865; Manassas in the Civil War; American Civilization, 1865-1989; U.S. Diplomatic History, 1912-1989; Mass Media, 1492-1989; World War II, 1939-1945; Cold War, 1945-1991; and Film History. The emphasis in these bibliographies is on recent publications. A few of them include articles from scholarly journals.
- Bibliographies in African-American History These include An African American Bibliography: History; African-American Women in the Sciences (a Library of Congress bibliography); and Afro-American Sources in Virginia: A Guide to Manuscripts.
- The Richard III and Yorkist Server, sponsored by The Richard III Society, American Branch. This is an example of finding an excellent bibliography in an unusual location. Using one of the subject directories, I came upon this Web site. Although I do not share the positive attitude that most members of The Richard III Society hold toward that famous/notorious English monarch, I accessed the site anyway. I selected the link on the front page to Study/Teach. Then I scrolled down to the section titled "Bibliography for Self-Study" and clicked on Ricardian Reading. After selecting it, I found references to both hard-copy bibliographies and links to on-line ones as well. An excellent example of the latter is Fifteenth Century Life. In that section is a link titled, Fifthteenth Century Life: An Annotated Bibliography This well-formatted, annotated bibliography which has titles about Europe in general and England in particular. It is divided into thirteen subtopics, including Women in Medieval Society.
- Medieval Europe Bibliographies. There are more than twenty bibliographies, compiled and/or collected by the Department of History, University of Kansas. Because they are FTP files, the titles are very short. This can be daunting for non-Medievalists. The title gregtour.bib., when selected, leads to a file titled "A Bibliography of Gregory of Tours." Some of the bibliographies are annotated. All include works in several European languages. At least two (on ancient Rome) relate to non-medieval subjects.
- Communal Studies Bibliographies. Includes references to books and articles from 1993 to the present, both historical and contemporary in content. Historical subjects include communitarian movements, societies, experiments, etc., such as the Shakers, Fourierists, Owenites, etc.
- Bibliography of Women in Byzantium, edited by Thalia Gouma-Peterson, Wooster College, Ohio. The entries are broader in scope than the title implies. Many have to do with the Roman Empire in the West or to the Greco-Roman world in general. Some relate to men or to persons of both genders.
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