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Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1903-1982 (H. W. Wilson) - FAQs

Q. What is Book Review Digest Retrospective?

A. Book Review Digest Retrospective is a one-of-a-kind resource that provides access to nearly eight decades worth of literary critique, evaluation, and thought. A comprehensive literary and biographical research, readers’ advisory, and collection development tool, the database features at least one substantial review excerpt (up to 500 words) for every book that was reviewed in any of over 500 indexed journals and “Master” records for each book. It contains over 41,000 full-text reviews and nearly 1.5 million review citations from key English-language magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. The product covers nearly 80 years of critical analysis for adult, young adult, and children’s fiction and nonfiction.

Q. How often is Book Review Digest Retrospective updated?

A. Content for Book Review Digest Retrospective is updated yearly.

Q. How should Book Review Digest Retrospective be used?

A. Book Review Digest Retrospective is designed to serve educators, researchers, students, publishers, corporate customers, librarians, and library patrons by providing access to concise, critical evaluations for books with subject coverage in areas such as art, biography, business, education, history, the humanities, literature, religion, science & technology, the social sciences, and much, much more. Given the database’s broad subject coverage and diverse range of review sources, Book Review Digest Retrospective easily provides the following services:

  • A literary research aid. “Master” book records with complete bibliographic data and coverage for over 500 indexed journals, magazines, and newspapers assist with any literature research. Virtually every major idea that shaped the 20th century found expression in books. The reactions to those ideas are reflected in the reviews of those books, and this database makes it easy to search this vast record of information.

  • A biographical research aid. Book reviewers are searchable by name, with excerpts by such famous writers as Edmund Wilson, John Updike, Helen Vendler, and hundreds of others.

  • A collection development aid. Unlike reviews available through vendor sites and the open Web, Book Review Digest Retrospective includes reviews that are serious, academic works to help librarians make informed purchasing decisions.

  • As a general reference tool. Book Review Digest Retrospective covers nearly 80 years of critical analysis for adult, young adult, and children’s fiction and nonfiction.

Q. What is the best way to get a review for a book?

A. There are many ways to get a review for a book; two stand out as the most efficient paths:

  1. Search for a title or author from either the basic search screen or advanced search screen. On the results page, select Reviews within the Source Type facet on the left side of the screen.

  2. In Advanced Search, search for the book’s title and select Review from the Document Type list.