The H.W. Wilson Company has announced the debut of Book Review Digest Retrospective: 1905-1982, an online record of books and reviews reflecting nearly eight decades of the library reference standard Book Review Digest.
Virtually every idea that shaped the 20th century found expression in the books covered by this new resource, and the reactions to those ideas are reflected in the reviews cited and excerpted, according to the announcement. The result is a vast record of historical, sociological, and literary information, offering insight into how society first responded to groundbreaking works of fiction and nonfiction, early works by seminal authors, political treatises, and other important literature.
The database covers some 300,000 books, citing more than 1.5 million book reviews. Master records for each book include the title's essentials (author, descriptive summary, publisher, publication year, page count, ISBN, indicator of illustrations, and more) plus links to review excerpts and review citations. Most books have at least one substantial review excerpt, presenting the most evaluative passages of the review, and most have at least two. These excerpts, together with the descriptive summaries of the books, deliver a complete picture of how the book was received at the time it was published, the announcement states.
Users will find the opinions of such icons as John Updike, Langston Hughes, Steve Allen, Isaac Asimov, John Lennon, Brooks Atkinson, W.H. Auden, Tallulah Bankhead, Wolf Blitzer, Raymond Chandler, Julia Child and many others in this unique resource.
Besides providing review excerpts, the database helps users locate the full reviews. Like other WilsonWeb databases, Book Review Digest Retrospective features links to a subscriber's other OpenURL-compliant reference databases, without the added cost of a link server. Clicking the WilsonLink icon launches an automatic search for full text or additional information on all available OpenURL-compliant resources. WilsonLink also provides extended services, including document delivery options and a Web search, and the WilsonWeb holdings indicator links to the subscriber's OPAC, to let researchers know if they'll find cited periodicals on the shelves. Free 30-day trials are available to librarians.
Source: H.W. Wilson, http://www.hwwilson.com