The Library holds a large collection relating to book reviews and literary criticism. This guide contains selected print works only.
A book will usually be reviewed in the year it is published, or the following year. Therefore, to find a review you should know the author, the title and the date of publication. Indexes will provide citations of book reviews. Full text sources will provide the entire review.
Catalogue Search Tips
To find reviews and criticism about a particular work or author, use the Advanced Search option. Enter the name of the book or author as a phrase. In the second search box enter search terms such as 'review' and/or 'criticism'.
Book reviews appear in newspapers and scholarly journals. To locate these you can use a Title search of a particular periodical, such as Australian Book Review. To see a list of all periodicals which are devoted primarily to literature reviews use a Browse subjects search for:
There are also a number of subject headings which can be used to locate collections of book reviews. Select the Browse subjects search. Examples of this search include:
Available on open access in the Main Reading Room unless otherwise specified. You can find these and other reference works on the Main Reading Room shelves at number 800: Literature, Rhetoric and Criticism
Encyclopedia of Literary Critics and Criticism. 1999. A guide to literary theory and criticism with entries on individuals, theories and concepts. RF 801.9503 E56.
Encyclopedia of the Novel 1998. Contains essays on classic novels, great novel writers, types of novels, novels identified with particular countries or regions, technical and formal aspects of novels, theory, influence, and novel criticism. RFq 809.3003 E56
The Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia 2003. Presenting a broad overview of travel writing, from classical antiquity to the present. RFq 808.06691 L776
Selected Print Resources
Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities.1960-1990. Originally an index to book reviews which fell within the broad subject area of humanities. From 1971 onwards, an index to all book reviews in selected humanities periodicals.
Book Review Index: 1965-1984. A 10 volume cumulation of every review citation that appeared in the BRI series from 1965-1984. It includes reviews of 740,500 books from 530 sources.
- Australian Book Review 1978+
- The official journal of the National Book Council (Australia). Latest issue held in the Main Reading Room. Selective full text available online through APAFT. NLq 028.1 AUS
- Contemporary Literary Criticism. 1973+ Over 200 volumes of criticism and commentary on authors who are living or died after December 31, 1999.
- Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism. 1981-1992. Criticism on authors who died between 1800 and 1899. Available on open access in the Main Reading Room at Call Number: RFq 809.04 NIN.
- Twentieth Century Literary Criticism 1978+ Criticism on authors who died between 1900 and 1999. Available on open access in the Main Reading Room at Call Number:RF 809.04 TWE.
- Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism 1988+ Provides an introduction to critical commentary of authors of antiquity to the fourteenth century. A cumulative author and title index is included in each volume.
The following three titles form part of the Wilson Literature Series:
- Book Review Digest. 1906-2002. Cites and provides excerpts of reviews of current English-language fiction and nonfiction books. CAC S 015.73 BOO (also available online 1983+).
- Essay and General Literature Index. 1900-2002. Cites essays and articles contained in collections of essays and miscellaneous works published in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. S 801.6 ESS (also available online 1985+).
- Fiction Catalog. 1941-2003. Fiction Catalog is a selective annotated list of fiction for adults that includes both established and contemporary works either written in or translated into English. S 808.830016 FIC (also available online 2000+).