Best Historical Materials

The Committee seeks to improve the usefulness of bibliographies and indexes in the field of history. In addition, the Committee evaluates the pattern and effectiveness of coverage in all fields of history, promotes enhanced availability of historical works and information, and serves as liaison among bibliographers, indexers, publishers, and professional associations.

For further information, please visit the committee roster page (login required) or the staff contact page.

The Winners

Caseidyneën Saën – Learning Together: Colonial Valley Zapotec Teaching Materials. Edited by Xóchitl Flores-Marcial, Moisés García Guzmán, Felipe H. Lopez, George Aaron Broadwell, Alejandra Dubcovsky, May Helena Plumb, Mike Zarafonetis, and Brook Danielle Lillehaugen. 2021. Open access.

Caseidyneën Saën, which means “learning together” in Zapotec (a family of languages indigenous to Oaxaca, Mexico) is a fantastic resource for learning about the Zapotec language and people and offers a way to expand and preserve knowledge of the language by Zapotec speakers and learners for future generations.

Caseidyneën Saën is an online open access pedagogical resource that complements the Ticha project, a digital explorer for a corpus of Colonial Zapotec texts. Caseidyneën Saën is available in both English and Spanish and like the original Ticha project, was written and developed by a large collaborative team made up of both Zapotec and non-Indigenous individuals from academic and non-academic backgrounds. Zapotec people are one of the intended audiences of this resource along with high school and undergraduate students, and advocacy for Zapotec history, language, and culture is woven throughout.

Chapter titles include “Colonial Documents and Archives,” “Reading an Interlinear Analysis,” and “Twitter and Zapotec Language Activism,” giving a sense of the range of historical, linguistic, and contemporary cultural topics addressed. Each chapter includes a useful introduction, teaching summary, and answer key. The lessons include videos, images, and links to relevant content within the Ticha website, including guidance on how to help with transcription of Ticha’s colonial era documents. Instructors could use selected chapters or the entire resource, depending on the nature of their course. This source will be most useful for high school and university libraries and any public libraries serving Zapotec communities.

Rebecca Lloyd, Temple University

The Complete Writings and Selected Correspondence of John Dickinson. Edited by Jane E. Calvert. Vol. 1. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2020. 528 pp. $45 hardcover (ISBN: 9781644531839). $45 e-book (ISBN: 9781644531846).

Dickinson was a figure of immense importance in the period of the American Revolution and Early Republic as a writer who popularized resistance to parliamentary taxation in the colonies and as a drafter of the Articles of Confederation. He also served in many capacities, including “president,” in the early state governments of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Although his public writings have been collected before, this is the first time all of his papers as a lawyer and public servant, as well as some of his letters, have been published—most for the first time in any format. As our understanding of the complexities of this period continues to grow, this detailed account of a leader of moderate inclinations will be invaluable to scholars seeking a variety of perspectives. Two volumes have been published to date, covering 1751–1763. Contents include letters from and to Dickinson, legal briefs, petitions to officials, and drafts of essays on law and empire which foreshadow his later thinking. The contents are edited to preserve formatting, amendments, and strikethroughs in the typesetting, and each document is thoroughly annotated with contextual information to supply the reader with a thorough understanding of the matters at hand.

Steven A. Knowlton, Princeton University

Defining Documents in American History: U.S. Involvement in the Middle East. Edited by Michael Shally-Jensen. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2020. 2 vols. 600 pp. $295 hardcover (ISBN: 9781642653977).

The United States and the Middle East have had a complex and sometimes turbulent relationship and this volume of Defining Documents works to provide insight into that relationship through historical documents. This two-volume set is broken into five distinct parts that covers the history from the late 1700s to modern day and includes items from the evolution of Islam, colonialism, 9/11, and the Arab Spring. The sources that are discussed in the set include political debates, newspaper and magazine articles, political speeches, and book excerpts and are all considered to be critical to defining the relationship between the US and the Middle East.

This two-volume set is beneficial for bringing together sources and context for any student or researcher that is beginning their studies on the relationship between the US and the Middle East. This is accomplished by giving each item a summary overview, placing it within its temporal context, explaining who authored the document, and suggesting further readings to add more context and provide more depth to the topic the item discusses.

This set is recommended for academic libraries and for those professors teaching political science or history courses related to the relationship between these two areas of the world.

Kathryn New, Mississippi State University

Documents of the Harlem Renaissance. Edited by Thomas J. Davis and Brenda M. Brock. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2021. 243 pp. $97 hardcover (ISBN: 9781440855566).

The transformative outpouring of African American cultural creations and ideas in the early 20th century, which came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance, was actually known as the “New Negro Renaissance” at the time. And while Harlem was the epicenter of this movement, it was actually occurring in Black communities throughout the United States and spanned the first three decades of the 1900s until slowed by the Great Depression. The New Negro Renaissance was more than a cultural phenomenon, it was a historical period where Black Americans began to assert their views and presence in new ways in American society.

While there are many collections of the cultural products of the Harlem Renaissance, this primary source reader brings together magazine stories, newspaper articles, and other texts that provide political, economic, and sociological context to this historical period. The documents were selected to showcase the viewpoints of ordinary Black people as well as the intellectual and cultural elite. The book’s editors provide a valuable introduction to the historical period, as well as useful introductions to each of the thematic chapters (“The New Negro at War,” “The New Negro Woman,” etc.). There is also a brief introduction to each primary source itself, providing rich contextual information to help readers make use of this vast collection of brief documents and excerpts. There are suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter. Any student of African American history in this period will find this a useful set of documents for understanding the origins and development of what came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance. Highly recommended for university libraries.

Rebecca Lloyd, Temple University

The Letters & Charters of Henry II, King of England, 1154-1189. Edited by Nicholas Vincent. New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. 7 vols. 4225 pp. $125 hardcover per vol. (ISBN: 9780198738213).

This remarkable work is the culmination of decades of work by Vincent and his predecessor, Jim Holt, who painstakingly tracked down every document Henry II ever issued from 286 archives across England and Normandy. It contains the full Latin or French text (with notes expanding on abbreviated words) of every known document emanating from the crown during Henry’s reign. There are also entries for documents referred to in other texts that are now lost. Most of these have never been published; at best, many of the entries have been calendared. Scholars of medieval England now have a rich and deep corpus of texts that should provide many new insights into the administration of Henry’s kingdom and the social and political history of the era.

Steven A. Knowlton, Princeton University

Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam. Written by Sean W. Anthony. Oakland: University of California Press, 2020. 304 pp. $32.95 hardcover (ISBN: 9780520340411). $32.95 e-book (ISBN: 9780520974524).

This monograph examines early documents relating to the life of the historical Muhammad. The author includes translations, descriptions, and analyses of many of the documents, which range from inscriptions to papyrus fragments to letters. Many are incredibly brief or truncated. Without this book many of these documents would be inaccessible to most scholars.

This book focuses on the sīrah-maghāzī tradition, an early Arabic genre examining the life of the Prophet. Extant sīrah-maghāzī documents date from 150 to 250 years after the death of Muhammad. The book contextualizes these writings amongst other religious texts of Late Antiquity. Throughout the volume, the author addresses the difficulty of using these documents as historical sources. He argues for their value where past scholars have overlooked them. The stated intention of this book is to reinvigorate interest in research using these documents rather than to create a biography of Muhammad.

Recommended for graduate students and other researchers.

Sarah Meisch-Lacombe, SUNY Delhi

Navigating the Old English Poor Law: the Kirkby Lonsdale Letters, 1809-1836. Edited by Peter Jones and Steven King. Oxford: Published for the British Academy by Oxford University Press, 2021. 400 pp. $130 hardcover (ISBN: 9780197266816).

Navigating the Old English Poor Law compiles correspondence from those seeking financial relief in Kirkby Lonsdale parish (northwest England) in the early 19th century. This type of correspondence is not unusual, but an expansive collection of letters is unique because the almost 600 letters included in this volume were written by only 20 families from the Old Poor Law for England and Wales. With some families writing over 40 letters, this collection of documents provides an insight into the needs of the families and the techniques the writers used to illustrate the direness of their situations.

This volume is arranged by the families who corresponded with the parish. Letters were written by the families or those pleading for assistance on behalf of the families. The completeness of the correspondence by family is a strength of this source. The introduction provides important contextual information that explains the importance of the source. The straightforward design and organization are strengths of the title.

This resource is recommended for academic libraries.

Jennifer Brannock, The University of Southern Mississippi

Reading Russian Sources: A Student’s Guide to Text and Visual Sources from Russian History. Edited by George Gilbert. New York: Routledge, 2020. 284 pp. $160 hardcover (ISBN: 9780815394969).

Reading Russian Sources contributes to the study of Russian history not by being a guide to archival repositories nor by being a source guide, but instead by looking at methodological problems within Russian history and by using different types of sources. The book is broken up into two different parts, the first focusing on context and approaches while the second part focuses on the variety of sources and how they can be interpreted. It is the second section that looks outside the bounds of traditional archival sources and looks at items such as maps, art, prison literature, and film and television. The sources that are discussed throughout the chapters of the guide are a mix of translated and original sources and are used to reflect major discussions within the study of Russian history.

Overall, the guide forces readers to think about how to approach traditional and non-traditional sources in a respectful and thought-provoking way. It also serves as a reminder to make sure all research is done within the context of the time of the resources and to do one’s best to refrain from introducing ideology into the discussion unless it is the ideology of the time.

Reading Russian Sources is part of the larger series Routledge Guides to Historical Sources and is designed to introduce students to a variety of sources that are used by historians. This resource is recommended for academic libraries, for researchers starting their work in Russian history, and for use in the classrooms of undergraduate and beginning graduate students in Russian history.

Kathryn New, Mississippi State University

Reconstructing the Landscapes of Slavery: A Visual History of the Plantation in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World. Written by Dale W. Tomich, Reinaldo Funes Monzote, Carlos Venegas Fornias, and Rafael de Bivar Marquese. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021. 176 pp. $29.95 paperback (ISBN: 9781469663128). $95 hardcover (ISBN: 9781469663111). $24.99 e-book (ISBN: 9781469663135).

This volume brings together landscape images, including art works, maps, and photographs, from the era of enslavement in the Americas. It explores these works as culturally and politically charged objects. It challenges the reader to think critically about how and why images are created; what is not shown in many of the images in this book is just as important as what is shown.

With a focus on three distinct geographic areas (the Mississippi Delta, Cuba, and Brazil), this work describes how landscapes played a role in the development of plantation culture and how the practice of enslavement had its own effect on the environment. The format and writing style of this book will be suitable for many readers. It offers readers a great example of how historians use primary sources other than textual documents to examine history.

Recommended for academic and public libraries.

Sarah Meisch-Lacombe, SUNY Delhi

The Red Vienna Sourcebook. Edited by Rob McFarland, Georg Spitaler, and Ingo Zechner. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2020. 773 pp. $49.95 paperback (ISBN: 9781640140677). $120 hardcover (ISBN: 9781571133557). $24.99 e-book (ISBN: 9781787446106).

Red Vienna refers to a fifteen-year period (1919-1934) when the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Austria (SDAP) maintained continuous control of the Vienna Municipal Council. Reflecting a shift in interest from the individual to the collective, the period saw a flourishing of artistic and scientific achievements that served society at large. “The highest goal became access to education and culture for everyone” (6), according to the editors’ introduction. The Red Vienna Sourcebook reproduces nearly 300 primary sources, translated into English, that document many aspects of social, cultural, intellectual, and political life during this period. The editors make clear that their goal was to demonstrate, through these myriad sources, that the period was not an inevitable march from one war to the next and that Red Vienna still has lessons to teach us about addressing social ills.

The book is an outgrowth of the International Research Network BTWH (Berkeley/Tübingen/Vienna/Harvard), an intellectual collaboration over twenty years old. Nearly everyone involved in putting the sourcebook together has or has had some affiliation with BTWH. Individual scholars composed contextual introductions to each of the thirty-six chapters and brief introductions to all of the primary sources. An excellent chronology and indices of subjects and persons help readers locate relevant sources and make sense of the complicated history of Red Vienna. Faculty will undoubtedly find sections of the book useful in their teaching and student researchers will benefit from the extensive document list and the translated texts.

Scott P. Libson, Indiana University Bloomington

Roma Voices in History. Edited by Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2021. 1068 pp. $170 hardcover (9783506705181). Open access e-book (ISBN: 9783657705184).

Roma Voices in History examines primary sources relating to the civic emancipation of Roma in Central, Southeastern, and Eastern Europe from the 19th century to World War II. This book expands on the limited resources about the Roma, which often center on anti-Roma legislation. An emphasis of this sourcebook is to provide sources that focus on the often-overlooked voices of the Roma.

The book is divided by the countries where the civic emancipation movement was strong and where the bulk of the featured documents were found. The holdings are particularly strong for the USSR, Romania, and Bulgaria. An initial chapter provides an overview of the birth of the Roma emancipation movement as illustrated by primary sources. All sources are provided in the original language, which changes based on country of origin, or the type of document. Documents in the Romani language are found across all countries. Immediately following the original text is an English translation with related comments and notes providing additional context and addressing the significance of the document. The conclusion beautifully summarizes the importance of the sourcebook, and the extensive bibliography provides additional sources for consultation.

This resource is recommended for academic libraries and professors teaching social movements or Roma history.

Jennifer Brannock, The University of Southern Mississippi

The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815: A Reader of Primary Sources. Edited by Christina H. Lee and Ricardo Padrón. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020. 249 pp. $120 hardcover (ISBN: 9789463720649).

The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815: A Reader of Primary Sources grew out of a 2018 conference. “Each participant was asked to pick a text that illuminated a vital area of contemporary research, to transcribe, edit, and translate it, and to provide a general introduction” (11). The result is a book that informs readers of the current state of the field through a wide variety of primary sources. Unlike earlier conceptions of the Spanish Pacific, which largely focused on Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, recent scholarship on the Spanish Pacific is more closely connected to global history and the documents and discussion in this book reflect that fact. Many of the documents had never previously been translated into English and some of the most well-known documents (from Magellan’s voyage, for instance) were consciously left out. The time period covered begins shortly before the Spanish colonization of the Philippines and ends near the conclusion of the Manila galleon trade route that connected Asia with the Americas for more than two centuries.

Each chapter starts with an abstract that introduces the author, the piece of writing, and the document’s significance. A list of keywords helps frame the chapter. Contributors to the edition also composed lengthier introductions that provide extensive context for each chapter. Translations are well-done and include footnotes. Finally, a bibliography at the end of each chapter offers sources for further reading. The Spanish Pacific, 1521-1815 will mainly benefit professors looking for a primary source reader or undergraduate student researchers who lack the language skills to read the sources in the original.

Scott P. Libson, Indiana University Bloomington 

Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History. Edited by Howard Chiang. Farmington Hills, Mich: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2019. 3 volumes. 1500 pages. $727; (ISBN: 9780684325552).

The three-volume Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History expands on the Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History first published in 2004 by ensuring proper representation for non-Western perspectives and locations. There are already a handful of encyclopedias detailing LGBTQ+ culture, but this particular work provides a unique global perspective in their definitions. The editors strived to cover the wide range of genders, races, and classes found in the LGBTQ+ community and made a conscious effort to view LGBTQ+ history from a wider lens than previous works while honoring the reality of the winding path progress often takes through history. The definitions acknowledge influential concepts previous encyclopedias have shied away from such as imperialism, patriarchal society, and racism and how those concepts influence modern definitions in the LGBTQ+ community. Authors and editors were selected from a variety of cultures with diverse views and backgrounds to ensure a well-rounded global encyclopedia. Entries are arranged alphabetically and cover both specific topics such as people and places, and broad overarching themes found in the LGBTQ+ community around the world. Each volume contains a full table of contents that covers all three volumes for an easy overview of what’s available.  This work is especially suitable for academic libraries, but it would also be a valuable resource for public and school libraries where questioning people of all ages could have access to accurate information about the LGBTQ+ community.

Amanda Wahlmeier, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS.

Martin R. Delany’s Civil War and Reconstruction : A Primary Source Reader. Edited by Tunde Adeleke. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2020. 262 pp. $99 hardcover (ISBN: 9781496826633). E-book also available (ISBN: 9781496826688).

Martin R. Delany is one of most important 19th century Black leaders in the United States, yet he is understudied and often poorly understood. Delany has been most frequently described as a radical and Black nationalist. But he was also a Union army officer, labored for the Freedmen’s Bureau, and often espoused moderate, pragmatic political views. Tunde Adeleke has sought to enable scholars to develop a more nuanced understanding of Delany’s complicated and often contradictory ideas. Adeleke has painstakingly collected documents written by and about Delany during his career in South Carolina in the Civil War and Reconstruction period from a range of archives and other sources. This allows readers to grapple with Delany’s ideas via his own unedited words. Many of the over 90 documents Adeleke has compiled are published here for the first time.

The introduction begins with an analysis of the historiography of Delany and its shortcomings, followed by a detailed biography. The primary sources are organized chronologically but are also contextualized thematically with detailed introductions to each chapter, which carefully connect the documents to historical events. This work offers not just insight into the life and character of Delany himself, but the challenges of African American leadership generally during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Highly recommended for academic libraries.

Rebecca Lloyd, Temple University

The Atlas of Boston History. Edited by Nancy S. Seasholes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019. 224 pp. 57 color plates. $40 paper (ISBN: 9780226631158). $40 e-book (ISBN: 9780226631295).

This remarkable atlas offers a visual representation of Boston’s physical, economic, political, social, and cultural history from the last ice age to the present. The atlas is edited by Nancy Seasholes, who gathered a group of historians and cartographers to contribute to the project. It includes new and historical maps, charts, and photographs. The maps are colorful and well-designed, and the historical maps have color codes and other details added to enhance their usability. There are detailed sources for each of the maps and accompanying text at the end of the work. The book is organized chronologically, and each section contains a useful introductory essay, giving the atlas a truly narrative feel.

Some of the many interesting topics covered in this volume are the Revolutionary War, landscaped cemeteries, the abolition movement, Irish immigration, water and sewerage systems, public transportation, public housing, and higher education. The atlas would be a valuable resource for the study of any historical trends in Boston. The book even works reasonably well in electronically format, which is somewhat rare for such a visually rich text. Recommended for public, school, and academic libraries.

Rebecca Lloyd, Temple University

Southern Women in the Progressive Era: A Reader. Edited by Roberts Giselle and Walker Melissa. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2019. $61.99 Hardcover Edition (ISBN: 978-1-61117-925-5). $61.99 E-book Edition (ISBN: 978-1-61117-926-2).

Progressive Era women were activists in many areas, including public health, labor, and racial justice. Women’s’ stories are often overlooked in history, Southern Women in the Progressive Era, an anthology in the Women’s Diaries and Letters of the South series, brings women’s’ voices to the forefront. It features the writings of nine women from the period of 1890 to the end of World War One. The women featured include preachers, educators, suffragists, and more. They represent the range of social backgrounds of the Progressive Era South including Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge, the daughter of a Congressman, and Mary McCleod Bethune whose parents were formerly enslaved. If this volume has one shortcoming it is that the majority of the women included are white.

The book is divided into three thematic sections, “Activists in the making,” “A New Southern Workforce,” and “Regional Commentators.” Each chapter begins with a biographical entry on the featured writer. The original text of the documents, including errors, is preserved, with explanatory notes where needed.

This volume will be well suited to undergraduates who have begun to incorporate primary sources into their projects. Recommended for university libraries and for public libraries whose patrons have an interest in historical documents.

Sarah Meisch-Lacombe, The University of Texas at Tyler

Sodomites, Pederasts, and Tribades in Eighteenth-Century France: A Documentary History. Edited by Jeffrey Merrick. Penn State University Press, 2019. $89.95 Hardcover (ISBN: 9780271083353). $34.95 Paperback (ISBN: 978-0-271-08336-0).

In heteronormative societies, the very real history of the spectrum of human sexuality is often erased. This volume uses the documentary evidence available to show the wide experience of human sexuality and desire in eighteenth-century France. It includes new translations of documents that will be accessible to the modern reader. It is not meant to be exhaustive but to show the range of extant source material. Some of the instances described in the documents would be considered legal and moral by twenty-first-century standards, while others would not. The editor is careful not to apply twenty-first-century motivations and identities to the individuals in the documents.

Each section begins with an explanation of where the archival documents are found and who created them, as well as a summary of what the documents show. The first part of the volume features records of different law enforcement groups on the surveillance and detention of men who engaged in and solicited sex in public places. The second part of the volume includes excerpts from news sources, literature, and other texts to explore how eighteenth-century French citizens viewed same-sex desire.

This volume will be of interest to many scholars, including those interested in the history of gender and sexuality, police power, the Enlightenment Era, and archival research. Recommended for University Libraries.

Sarah Meisch-Lacombe, The University of Texas at Tyler

Na, Man’gap. The Diary of 1636: The Second Manchu Invasion of Korea. Translated by George L. Kallander. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020. $120 hardcover (ISBN: 9780231197564). $30 paperback (ISBN: 9780231197571). $29.99 e-book (ISBN: 9780231552233).

The diary of Na Man’gap (1592-1642) documents not only the events surrounding the second Manchu (Qing) invasion of the Korean peninsula, but also the social and political dynamics of the Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1897) at a key moment of transformation. Translator George L. Kallander contextualizes the work with a lengthy introduction that covers Na, the diary, and Chosŏn history. He convincingly argues for the centrality of the invasion in shifting Chosŏn to focus more inwardly and less on China. This, in turn, produced long-term economic, political, and cultural changes. The diary and Kallander’s commentary sheds light on the origins of that transformation.

Na’s diary consists of eight sections, the longest of which was written as a contemporaneous day-to-day account of the invasion. Na was serving in the government when the Manchu invaded and he sheltered in Namhan Mountain Fortress with King Injo when the Chosŏn court fled Hanyang (Seoul) to escape the quickly advancing Manchu army. He remained there until the Manchu surrounded the fortress and forced Injo and his son to agree to humiliating terms of surrender. Following the invasion, Na was demoted and lived in exile while completing and editing his diary.

Kallander provides many tools to help readers follow Na’s narrative, including a dramatis personae section; a glossary of names, terms, and places; and thirty pages of endnotes. The bibliography lists related English and Korean primary and secondary sources and the twenty-page index includes names, places, and topics. The translated diary will undoubtedly be most useful for instructors of Asian history at English-language colleges and universities, but anyone interested in East Asian history will find the translation and commentary enjoyable and easy to follow.

Scott Libson, Indiana University Bloomington

Medieval Disability Sourcebook: Western Europe. Edited by Cameron Hunt McNabb. Brooklyn, NY: Punctum Books, 2020. 501pp. Open Access: (ISBN: 9781950192748)

Medieval Disability Sourcebook: Western Europe examines medieval documents relating to impairments and disabilities. The book is the brainchild of The Society for the Study of Disability in the Middle Ages and was produced with the intention of the book being used in undergraduate and graduate classes. With over 40 contributors from various disciplines, the book emphasizes its interdisciplinary nature through the topics and types of documents highlighted.

The book is divided by format – historical and medical documents, religious texts, poetry, prose, and images. Each entry includes an introduction to the document with an emphasis on the representation of the disabilities and the significance of religious, legal, and medical perceptions of the impairments. For further reading, a bibliography is provided. All documents are presented in modern English, often with the original text alongside the translation. A thematic table of content is available which provides a list of the primary sources arranged by disability or impairment including blindness, mental illness, leprosy, and (in)fertility and reproduction.

The editor and others involved in the production of the book are dedicated to accessibility. In their minds, it was essential that the book was published with an open-source, academic press to allow for the greatest audience.  This resource is recommended for academic libraries and professors teaching disability studies.

Jennifer Brannock, The University of Southern Mississippi

Stalin’s Master Narrative: A Critical Edition of the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), Short Course. Edited by David Brandenberger and Mikhail Zelenov.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. 780 p. $65 Hardcover (ISBN: 9780300155365).

The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks): Short Course served as a central publication to the development of party ideology since the beginning of its circulation in 1938.  This publication was crafted first by Ye. M. Yaroslavsky, V.G. Knorin, and N.N. Popov before it was edited by Stalin and because of the edits that he made, presents his narrative on party and state history.  This narrative stats with the creation of the Social-Democratic Labour Party in 1883 and going through to 1937 and the introduction of the new constitution. This publication was not only central to the Soviet Union but also would become a basis for which other socialist societies developed around the world.

Brandenberger and Zelenov have created a critical edition to this ideology centerpiece that looks at the original version of the Short Course and shows how Stalin revised the document.  The critical edition of the Short Course is based on the 1939 English translation but also includes translations from the original work and three different versions of edits that were made by Stalin. Because of the work that Brandenberger and Zelenov have done with the publication of this critical edition it allows for Cold War, Modern Russian, and other scholars to see how much of Soviet ideology was created and influenced by the actions of Stalin’s edits to the Short Course.

This book is recommended for academic libraries and those pursuing academic research relating to Soviet ideology.

Kathryn New, Mississippi State University

Anne Frank: The Collected Works. Edited by Anne Frank Fonds. London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2019. 733pp. $70 hardcover (ISBN: 9781472964918).

The writings of Anne Frank have become required readings to help understand tragedies of World War II and the life and hope seen in the diary of a 15-year old Jewish girl in hiding. Anne Frank: The Collected Works includes all known texts written by Frank, and this volume is the first time all this material has been compiled into one source. The book includes Frank’s diary, “personal reminiscences, daydreams and essays,” letters, verses in friendship books, and notes made in her “Favourite Quotes Notebook.” Before each section, there is a brief summary of the significance of the writings. Accompanying the writings are photographs of Frank and her family, as well as an extensive biography of Frank, the Frank family, the historical context of the time, and an overview of the publication history of the diary. The appendix includes two versions of Frank’s diary – Diary Version A is the original diary with Diary Version B including her additions and comments added at a later date. The book is appropriate for high school, undergraduate, and graduate readers. Recommended for school, college, and public libraries. – Jennifer Brannock, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Documents of the Chicano Movement. Edited by Roger Bruns. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2018. $94 hardcover (ISBN: 9781440854491). $69.09 e-book (ISBN: 9781440854507).

This primary source reader collects materials related to Latinx, particularly Mexican American, political activism. The volume is divided into nine topical chapters, defined primarily by the different individuals, groups, or interests within the diverse Chicano Movement. Topics covered include the United Farm Workers, the Land-Grant Movement, the Crusade for Justice, and La Raza Unida. Except for an initial chapter entitled “prelude to protest,” nearly all the documents date from or reflect upon the 1960s and 1970s. Speeches, interviews, pamphlets, reports, and declarations are among the thirty-eight primary source documents.

Bruns has contextualized the documents in the book on numerous levels. Each chapter includes its own topical introduction and each document its own specific introduction. A historical overview preceding the documents brings all this context into a single narrative. For readers wishing for more information, each chapter concludes with related sources for further reading. Most are recent secondary sources, both trade and scholarly publications.

The volume will be best suited for instruction and reference at the undergraduate or advanced high school level. General readers interested in Latinx history may also benefit from the volume. More advanced researchers are unlikely to find much new material or information. Undergraduates, however, will greatly appreciate the nesting introductions, as well as the six-page index. The “further readings” sections that conclude each chapter will provide a basis for undergraduate research papers. Like other volumes in the Eyewitness to History series, the book also contains a chapter on reading and analyzing primary sources and a timeline, both highly useful for high school and undergraduate students. —Scott Libson, Indiana University Bloomington

Gender Roles in American Life: A Documentary History of Political, Social, and Economic Changes. Edited by Constance L. Shehan. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2018. 2 vols. $198 hardcover (ISBN: 9781440859582).

History is often told from the perspective of men with women serving as supporting characters.  Gender Roles in American Life: A Documentary History of Political, Social, and Economic Changes looks at primary sources that define the ways in which women were spoken and written about in American from 1775 to the present. The two-volume resource is divided into eight chapters and includes writings ranging from Thomas Paine’s “Occasional Letter on the Female Sex” (1775) to A Woman Journalist Describes Sexism and Misogyny in American Sports Media (2016). In between, you’ll find writings from Alexis de Tocqueville, Susan B. Anthony, “a female textile worker,” Phyllis Schlafly, and The National Organization for Women.  Many of the readings are expected like readings by Gloria Steinem or Eleanor Roosevelt, but there are also unique sources from the Girl Scouts (“The Girl Scouts Urge Young Girls to Pursue Lives of Adventure” – 1920) and Jerry Falwell (“Moral Majority Leader Jerry Falwell Laments ‘Assault’ on the Traditional Family” – 1980). Prior to each chapter, there is an introduction that provides the context to the years covered in that section. In addition, each chapter has a list of references and sources for further reading. This resource is appropriate for high school, undergraduate, and graduate readers. Recommended for school, college, and public libraries. – Jennifer Brannock, The University of Southern Mississippi.

Documents of Native American Political Development: 1933 to Present. Edited by David E. Wilkins. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. 520 p. $99 hardcover (ISBN: 9780190212070). $97.99 e-book (ISBN: 9780190212087).

With this volume, Wilkins follows up a similarly titled book that documented Native American political and legal innovations in the context of European colonialism from the 1500s to 1933. The new book takes that history to the present, examining political developments following the Indian Reorganization Act, the “Indian New Deal,” which promoted self-rule by, in part, recognizing Native governments, constitutions, and corporations. The introduction outlines the growth and setbacks of self-rule since then. Among the 108 primary sources in the book are a wide variety of legal documents that Native nations have enacted or produced, including constitutions, legal codes, treaties, and intergovernmental memoranda. The book also includes court cases and federal and state law that have had profound impacts on Native self-government. Short introductions contextualize each document and a bibliographic essay will help readers pursue their own research on the topic. The ten-page index is comprehensive and the volume references over 150 Native peoples.

A highlight of the book is a series of constitutions, proposed constitutions, or amended constitutions, dating from 1935 to 1993. The constitutions provide rich documentation, not only about the individual nations that adopted them, but also about the development of Native constitutions during the twentieth century.

The two volumes fill a void within the field of political science, which has largely overlooked Native political institutions, but researchers and students from many fields will find the book highly edifying and interesting. It brings together documents that would otherwise be difficult or time-consuming to locate. Researchers of 20th or 21st-century Native history will undoubtedly want to look through the volume and educators will find sections to assign to students, whether in high school, college, or graduate school. The book will also be of interest to more general readers, since it covers aspects of Native history often overlooked in other works. —Scott Libson, Indiana University Bloomington

The Empires of the Near East and India: Source Studies of the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal Literate Communities. Edited by Hani Khafipour. New York: Columbia University Press, 2019. 672 p. $150 hardcover (ISBN: 9780231174367). $49.99 e-book (ISBN: 9780231547840)

Finding primary source texts from the early modern Near East empires can be a daunting task for students. This compilation offers an extensive and diverse collection of sources in English translation from the Safavid, Ottoman, and Mughal empires. This book encourages researchers to view the early modern Islamic empires as porous territories with connected histories rather than entirely distinct realms. Studying the empires through primary sources allows scholars to draw new conclusions from those found in monographic literature, which often perpetuate Eurocentric and nationalistic understandings of the early modern history of this region.

There are eleven chapters in the book, each containing a primary source from each of the three empires on a particular theme. There is a brief introduction to each chapter’s topic. Then each primary source has a more extensive introduction contextualizing the translated source material that follows. The source themes include religion, politics, philosophy, literature, and the visual arts. The book includes an index and an extensive bibliography. Recommended for academic libraries. — Rebecca Lloyd, Temple University

The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela. Liveright Publishing Corporation; 2018; 620 pp; ed. by Sahm Venter; ISBN 978-1-63149-117-7: $35.00.

“The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela” includes letters written by Mandela from 1962 – 1990, many of which are previously unpublished. Though many letters were written in English, the letters originally written in Afrikaans and isiXhosa have been translated into English for this volume. The original images of these letters are then printed on the opposite page from the transcript. The letters are arranged in chronological order and grouped by prison sentence, with two sections being dedicated to the Robben Island Maximum Security Prison. Appendices at the end of the volume provide a glossary, timeline, and a map of South Africa from about 1996. A ten-page index at the back of the book provides quick reference for places, names, and ideas referenced in Mandela’s letters. Each letter includes a brief introduction to aid the reader in viewing each letter as a standalone document to utilize the text without reading the book straight through.

The volume gives relevant background text to each letter’s contemporary history, both in Mandela’s family life and in South African. The forward, written by Mandela’s granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, and the introduction, written by the editor Sahm Venter, both give details for the reader to better understand the organization and context of the letters.

Overall, this volume will help researchers or readers interested in Nelson Mandela, but also those interested in South African history, apartheid, race relations, and world affairs.

Amanda Wahlmeier, Johnson County Library, Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

The Yale Law School Guide to Research in American Legal History. Written by John B. Nann and Morris L. Cohen. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2018. 368pp. $35 paper. (ISBN:9780300118537).

Legal history is an area of research that is not always easy to navigate, even for an experienced researcher. This addition to the Yale Law Library Series in Legal History and Reference aims to demystify the process of researching American legal history. The book’s chapters are organized into six different time periods ranging from the 1500s to the 2010s. Each chapter describes recommended print and online resources for researchers to consult. In addition, each chapter ends with a case study to show how the resources could be used. The book’s other chapters cover general bibliographic resources, legal language and biographies, international and civil law, nonlegal resources, and archival materials. This book presents its material in a way that is both comprehensive and easy to follow. Given the topic, this is no easy feat. Recommended for law libraries, academic libraries, and other libraries with collections containing historical legal resources.

Mackenzie Ryan, Minnesota Historical Society.

Women in Colonial Latin America, 1526 to 1806: Texts and Contexts. Edited by Nora E. Jaffary and Jane E. Mangan. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2018. 328 p. $66 hardcover (ISBN: 9781624667510). $66 e-book (ISBN: 9781624667527).

Primary sources from Latin America are, naturally, typically in Spanish or Portuguese. This excellent collection of translated sources allows students and researchers who read English to engage with the history of women in the region during the colonial period. This collection offers insights into the lives of women of European, indigenous, African, and mixed-race descent from a range of socio-economic backgrounds. The sources are mainly drawn from archival legal documents, and most of them have been published for the first time. The sources are organized chronologically but have also been curated around thematic connections, such as family, law, sexuality and gender, etc. Each chapter includes useful background and contextual information, questions to consider when reading the primary sources, and suggested further readings. An index and a glossary are included. Recommended for academic libraries. — Rebecca Lloyd, Temple University

Kingdoms: An Encyclopedia of Empires and Civilizations. Edited by Saheed Aderinto. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, [2017]. 363 pp. $89 hardcover (ISBN: 9781610695794). E-book also available (ISBN: 9781610695800).

While its title implies that this work will focus on political history, it is actually (according to its introduction) “a reference book on African civilization before the 1880s”. After a valuable editor’s introduction that lays out important themes in African history, a series of alphabetical entries cover polities ranging in time from the third millennium B.C.E. (ancient Egypt) to the twentieth century C.E. (Asante, Buganda, and several others). A selection of primary sources follows. An index, timeline, and glossary are included. In addition to narratives of political and military history for each nation, there is discussion of developments within economic, cultural, and religious life that shaped the history of the kingdoms. Interactions between kingdoms and with European and Arab traders and diplomats are also covered. Each entry includes suggestions for further study. The works are written to be accessible to advanced high school and undergraduate readers. Recommended for school, college, and public libraries. Steven Knowlton, Princeton University.

Harvard University. “Colonial North America at Harvard Library.” Accessed January 21, 2019.

Expanding access to primary source documents through digitization, this collection focuses on archival records in various Harvard University Library collections from the 17th and 18th centuries (passing from the Colonial to the Early Republic era of American history). The documents are diversewills, inventories, maps, mathematical texts, correspondence, bills of lading, etc. —and the digitization is of very high quality. There are several curated collections which gather various documents around a thememedicine, material culture, women, the sea, etc. —with a useful introductory essay regarding the information to be found, its application to the theme, and the place of the theme in historical studies. Users may browse the thematic collections or search by keyword (excellent metadata for searching is provided). The viewer is Well-designed, with multiple options for manipulating, saving, citing, or sharing the image. This source will be most useful for high school, college, and public libraries. —Eileen M. Bentsen, Baylor University.

Grossman, Mark.Constitutional Amendments: Encyclopedia of the People, Procedures, Politics, Primary Documents Relating to the 27 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, 2nd ed. Amenia, N.Y.: Grey House Publishing, [2017]. 2 vols. $275 hardcover (ISBN: 9781682171769). $344 e-book (ISBN: 978-1-68217-177-6).

Much of American jurisprudence and political debate centers around the amendments to the United States Constitution, and the interpretations given to their texts. Grossman’s two-volume set, a revision of his 2012 edition, offers vital context for such interpretation. The complete text of each amendment is reproduced, along with timelines of their progress toward ratification, introductory materials that outline the contemporary political questions that motivated the amendments, selections from congressional debates and the opinion pages of newspapers, subsequent Supreme Court cases involving the amendments, capsule biographies of individuals important to the amending process, and social history documents such as advertisements and commodity prices from the time period of each amendment. An index is included. Any interested citizen will benefit from the information presented here, and it is appropriate for all libraries. Steven Knowlton, Princeton University.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Holocaust Encyclopedia.” Accessed January 21, 2019.

Preserving the artifacts, memories, and history of the Holocaust in terms accessible to students, educators, and policymakers, the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust also aims to develop critical thinking skills and help its users combat Holocaust denial arguments. Oral histories, photographs, maps, and documents provide primary source evidence for personal, research, and classroom use. Context is provided by essays, video interviews with curators describing research into specific artifacts in the collections, and animated maps. The encyclopedia provides keyword searching with optional limiting by content type and language; users can also browse by tags or an A-to-Z table of contents. Accessibility level varies with each itemsome videos have transcripts or captions, others have none. The encyclopedia also includes resources for teachers: critical thinking questions for selected essays, a very accessible essay on “How to Identify Reputable Historical Sources,” curriculum guides (on the Museum’s page), and more. Valuable for school, college, and public libraries. Eileen M. Bentsen, Baylor University.

Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond. Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America. Reviewed 1/7/2019.

Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America is the product of the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, with contributions from the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, and Johns Hopkins University. The site provides access to the Depression-era records of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) that highlight the practice of redlining in the real estate industry. The HOLC maps outline areas deemed a secure financial investment in green, declining areas in yellow, and areas of increased financial risk in red. However, their reasoning for these rankings often had a racist base that resulted in neighborhoods with large numbers of people of color being more likely to receive a red outline. The information displayed on the site helps users interpret redlining’s impact on urban neighborhoods and the current economic conditions of their city. Users can interact with these records by viewing various cities, selecting different neighborhoods within those cities, and filtering areas based on HOLC’s grading system. The site opens with instructions on viewing the materials and downloading the images. Users can zoom in on their current city or find information for other areas using the search function. The navigation bar lists an introduction, detailing the background of the HOLC’s grading system and information on the archival process; a bibliography and bibliographical note with a comprehensive listing of studies about HOLC’s system, segregation, and discrimination; an “About” section with information on the contributors to the site; and a “Contact Us” page. The site can be used by the average public library patron, but would most benefit academic researchers. This unique site gives a convenient, accessible place to access information only found using resources housed in multiple locations. Amanda Wahlmeier, Johnson County Library, Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Not Even Past: The Public Archive: Doing History Online and In Public, Reviewed 1/14/2019

The Not Even Past website includes blogs, reviews on historical materials from all over the world, The Public Archive: Doing History Online and In Publiccollection of student works, and archived episodes of the podcast 15-Minute History. The website is edited by Professor Joan Neuberger, Professor of History at the University Of Texas (UT), Austin. This random assortment of archived materials showcases work developed by UT graduate students and faculty. Graduate students in a Public and Digital History Seminar develop archives for The Public Archive: Doing History Online and In Public. These works were previously not digitized and the students select the topics with the assistance of UT librarians. Most collections represent a physical archive on the UT campus. As Neuberger notes, “Each website includes digitized archival documents, 2 or more blog-essays to make the archival material accessible and provide historical context for them, and two lesson plans for ideas about how to teach related subjects using these documents.” The Department of History at UT Austin provides the website and organizational support. The site is composed of collections relevant to both world and United States history; for example, The Road to Sesame Street and Mercenary Monks. The blogs, lesson plans, and digitized information provide pieces to the historical puzzle. Podcasts and search functions add to the research opportunities. Additional lists of resources connect these vignettes of history to a solid historiographical foundation. This is a project that enlightens viewers through content and context. Another archive-blog, Guards and Pickets: The Paperwork of Slavery is an example of an emotional and exemplary view of history. The site remains active with plans to add historical materials into the future. It is recommended for students in grades 6-12, undergraduate students, and individuals interested in wide-ranging historical content. Sue McFadden, Indiana University East,

Van der Vieren, Monica.On the Trail of the North American Buffalo. Reviewed 1/7/2019.

On the Trail of the North American Buffalo is a website with content primarily written by Monica Van der Vieren with assistance from Shaun O’Neil and input from many other historians and historical institutions. The site provides a chronological timeline of the North American buffalo, or bison, starting with the Ice Age 1.8 million years ago. It also gives information on other elements of natural history, such as ice sheets, tectonic plate shifts, grasslands, and prairie ecology. Users scroll through the timeline interspersed with primary sources including photographs, videos, and maps related to the buffalo and its habitat. Unfortunately, there is no search function, but topic areas such as arrival of the buffalo, the great slaughter of the nineteenth century, and new trails are listed at the top of the site so users can navigate through the timeline without endless scrolling. The site provides a comprehensive look at a natural history topic in an engaging and appealing format and ends with an extensive bibliography that can guide the user to more information on any given aspect of the buffalo’s life. The information is best suited for the average public library patron or high school level researcher. Amanda Wahlmeier, Johnson County Library, Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia and Document Collection of the Progressive Era. Edited by Jeffrey A. Johnson. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, [2017]. 2 vols. $189 hardcover (ISBN: 9781440837203). E-book also available (ISBN: 9781440837210).

The “Progressive Era”, was a time of seeming contradiction, as reforms that expanded individual rights and political “reform” ran into movements to entrench segregation, promote eugenics, and mechanize the workplace. As such, current students of history may find it challenging to understand historical actors and events of the period without appropriate contextual information, which his encyclopedia strives to provide. It is organized thematically (Social and Political Life; Work and Economic Life; Cultural and Religious Life; Science, Literature, and the Arts; Sports and Popular Culture), with each section containing short alphabetized entries, followed by a selection of primary sources. Each entry includes suggestions for further reading, and the overall bibliographic essay and timeline further enhance its usefulness. An index is included. It is most appropriate for school and public libraries. Steven Knowlton, Princeton University.

Bookheim, Louis W. Reports of U.S. Presidential Commissions and Other Advisory Bodies: A Bibliographic Listing, updated ed. Getzville, N.Y.: William S. Hein & Co., 2017. 572 pp. $275 hardcover and online package (ISBN: 9780837740188).

From the time of Andrew Jackson, presidents have appointed special commissions to deal with matters that fall outside of the purview of congressional committees or departments of the executive branch. Often, these commissions have an investigatory function and their reports prove to be of great value by gathering together information that would otherwise be scattered; in all cases, their reports are a primary source of use to historians, political scientists, economists, and other scholars. However, the reports are not necessarily included in the Public Papers of the Presidents, nor in the Weekly Compilation of the Presidential Documents. Bookheim has performed the valuable service of locating publication information for nearly all of the commissions’ reports (some are classified), and plans to continue to add new entries to the online version of the book. Where reports are found in the Congressional Serial Set, Bookheim provides citations; otherwise, he offers full title entries, along with, as relevant, SuDoc numbers, OCLC record numbers, or archival locations. Researchers should, with a quick reference to the entry and access to WorldCat, be able to immediately identify a library or archive that holds a given report. The volume is indexed by presidential administration and by commission name. This volume is especially appropriate for law libraries and research libraries. Steven Knowlton, Princeton University.

Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection. Edited by Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, [2017]. 4 vols. $415 hardcover (ISBN 9781610696029). E-book also available (ISBN: 9781610636036).

The subtitle of this encyclopedia is indicative of its ambitious scope. The work encompasses not only capsule biographies of important historical figures, but also discussions of law, cultural mores, economics, and political movements as factors in women’s lives throughout American history. Each volume covers a separate time period, and within the time period presents a historical overview, numerous alphabetical entries interspersed with occasional primary sources, a thematic issues essay, and a bibliography. In addition, each entry includes suggestions for further reading. Throughout the work, the editors have ensured that the emphasis upon providing social and legal context for the discussion within any entry is maintained, and this gives the reader a better sense of the work of historians than do many historical encyclopedias. Any researcher beginning with this volume will be well served in framing a research question appropriate to the era and the field of women’s history. The entire work is thoroughly indexed. Appropriate for all libraries, but especially for public and school libraries. Steven Knowlton, Princeton University.

British Library, World War One, Reviewed 1/16/2019

The British Library brings together materials from various institutions across Europe in this comprehensive website focusing on Europe in World War I. The website features over 500 items including photographs, videos, diaries, books, cartoons, and other types of materials that provide evidence about the ways that Europeans experienced the war on both sides of the conflict. Users can explore materials by theme, search using keywords, and filter collections by years, languages, creators, and formats. In addition to the digitized collections, the website also features articles written by historical experts, interviews, and teaching resources with lesson plans designed for middle and high school students. This resource is suitable for any type of library and would be helpful for researchers of any skill level interested in World War I as well as middle school and high school teachers interested in teaching with primary resources. Mackenzie Ryan, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas

WW1 – The Definitive Collection, from British Pathé, Reviewed 1/16/2019

British Pathé, a newsreel and documentary production company, holds an extensive collection of archival film footage from World War I. Now available online, the footage provides a rare glimpse into various aspects of life during the Great War. The films in this collection are international in scope and organized into categories such as political leaders including President Woodrow Wilson and Tsar Nicholas II, battles and types of warfare, and experiences of civilians during and after the war. Users can also search for films by keyword; the results are drawn not only from the World War I collection but also the entire catalog of British Pathé’s film archives. Each film includes a short summary and description with options to view the films in full screen or as individual stills. The website is an excellent source for researchers of any level interested in primary source materials on World War I and may be of particular interest to those in academic and research libraries. Mackenzie Ryan, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas

Carole Levin, Anna Riehl Bertolet, and Jo Eldridge Carney, eds., A Biographical Encyclopedia of Early Modern Englishwomen: Exemplary Lives and Memorable Acts, 1500-1650 (New York: Routledge, 2017); ISBN: 9780754669005.  One volume, 630 pages.

This encyclopedia presents brief, signed, biographies of over 700 women who lived in England between 1500 and 1650. It groups women into 22 categories, primarily along occupational lines, but including categories for “Travelers,” “Litigants,” “Women at Court,” and other topical headings.  Each category is preceded by a brief introduction, and each entry includes a brief bibliography of sources. It is useful for beginning research on women and to demonstrate the wide variety of fields in which women participated in the early modern era. Includes an index by name and by contributor (with affiliation). Audience: General through researchers. Recommended for large public libraries and academic libraries.
$149.95 (print edition; e-book edition reviewed)
Date Reviewed: 12/5/17

Katherine A.S. Sibley, ed., A Companion to First Ladies (Malden, Mass.: John Wiley and Sons, 2016); ISBN: 9781118732229.  One volume, 741 pages.

This resource provides essays about the First Ladies of the United States in chronological arrangement. Most essays describe one First Lady and several First Ladies are discussed in two or more essays. Several essays summarize the lives of multiple First Ladies. The variation depends on the number of presidential terms, number of first ladies per president, and the lack of details for multiples in one essay. This work updates the First Ladies through Michelle Obama. The resource includes notes on the contributing authors, including credential information. The information provides a view First Ladies through a new lens, about the individual importance of the Lady beyond the White House.
$204.95 (print edition; e-book edition reviewed)
Date Reviewed: 12/08/2017

Digital Library on American Slavery

The University of North Carolina Libraries provide access to digital collections of primary resources concerning slavery. These include metadata and digital copies of the original documents. The Digital Library on American Slavery is well organized, includes several collections such as the Race and Slavery Petitions Project, and offers access to additional collections provided by other institutions. The resource continues to add collections, such as the North Carolina Slave Deeds now in development, and metadata are available for libraries to link to digital artifacts. One of the linked collections includes summarized information about life insurance (on individual slaves) sold to slave owners. These resources help tell the story of slavery by introducing the context of slavery in the terms of slaves’ daily life, concerns of non-slave owners, and actions of slave owners. A must review for historians of slavery, the United States of the period, and related fields.
Free Resource (Online)
Date Reviewed: 12/08/2017

Helaine Selin, ed., Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures, Third edition (Dordrecht: Springer, 2016); ISBN: 9789400777460. Five volumes, 4071 pages.

Alphabetically arranged entries provide broad coverage of science, indigenous knowledge, religion and science, and biographies of known individuals from Africa, Asia, South American, and Indigenous cultures of Australia and the Americas. Articles are significantly revised from the 2008 edition and topic coverage is expanded. It contains charts, graphs, and illustrations. Articles include bibliographies (international in scope) for further research. Recommended for large public libraries, academic libraries, and special libraries.
$2900 (print or e-book)
Date Reviewed: 12/5/17

Walter R.T. Witschey, ed., Encyclopedia of the Ancient Maya (Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016); ISBN: 9780759122840.  One volume, 538 pages.

Introduces the culture, art, archaeology, and history of the Maya to novices and updates the scholarship, archaeological findings, and significant research of the past two decades. Individual entries vary in length from one to two paragraphs to two pages, include see-also references, and lists of further readings. Entries are arranged alphabetically and are supplemented by a topical index, a chronology, maps and illustrations, a glossary, a bibliography, and a listing of research institutions and internet sites. Suitable for public, academic, and special collections, general readers through researchers.
$95.00 (print or e-book)
Date Reviewed: 12/6/17

Falola, Toyin, and Akíntúndé Akínyẹmí, eds., Encyclopedia of the Yoruba (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016); ISBN: 9780253021335.  One volume, 371 pages.

Prominent historian Falola and cultural scholar Akinyemi have edited this single-volume encyclopedia of the Yoruba people, who live in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, as well as in diaspora in Europe and the United States.  While it covers topics traditionally classified as history, it has a strong emphasis on religion, folklore, and cultural practices, which provide crucial context to narrative history.  Lengthy articles cover topics at a level of depth that is unusual for a single-volume reference work.    This volume gathers in one place important information from a variety of disciplines that will prove essential to helping newcomers to West African history understanding the culture and milieu from which Yoruba history arose.
$120.00 (print)
Date Reviewed: 12/06/17

KKK Newspapers / Hate in America: The Rise and Fall of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s at

When the re-formed Ku Klux Klan reached its peak of influence in the mid-1920s, more than four million members were exposed to reactionary rhetoric through widely distributed newspapers produced by local, state, and national branches of the KKK, as well as affiliated publishers.  Few libraries at the time collected the newspapers, however, making it difficult for later researchers to access these scattered titles.  Reveal Digital, using a “crowdfunding” financial model, is digitizing and making available via open access a growing number of Klan newspapers.

By the end of the 2017, the database had 19 titles published between 1921 and 1932. They are full-text searchable and include page images with illustrations and advertisements.  With interest in right-wing rhetoric on the rise in both the academy and among public library patrons, this database provides a timely and useful resources for studying its history.
Some portions open access; others require a fee.
Date Reviewed: 12/06/17

Cavanagh, Edward, and Lorenzo Veracini, eds., The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism (New York: Routledge, 2017); ISBN: 9780415742160. One volume, 469 pages.

Settler colonialism – the conquest and occupation of foreign lands with the intention of permanent settlement – is often thought of as a development of early modern period, originating from Europe.  However, the editors of this volume take an expansive view of the phenomenon, tracing it from the Assyrian Empire and ancient Israel to nineteenth-century Hokkaido and twentieth-century New Zealand.  In 30 extensive chapters, invited authors provide lengthy historical overviews of settler colonialism in selected geographic regions, as well as discussions of historiography, economic, trade, and cultural factors driving the movement of peoples, and the impact of settler colonialism on the indigenous inhabitants being displaced.  Coverage of racial ideology is thorough, as well.   While formal historiography is not a concern of this volume, the authors do point to essential works in their bibliographies.  Each entry is an essential introduction to settler colonialism in its regional history.
$250.00 (print)
Date Reviewed: 12/05/17

TRIP HISTORIC: travel like an expert

Trip Historic is a unique online resource, developed by Mike Lewis and his team, providing images and context for travelers about historic sites around the world. Anyone is free to use the site and travelers may become “community members” with extended privileges on the site. The home page offers searching by country, date/historic period, and keyword. As a beta site, the information is broad, with opportunity for growth through user suggestions and member additions. While not a scholarly resource, the tool links general users with historic sights to plan visits during their travels. Trip Historic offers a public appeal within the confines of history. All libraries benefit from this tool geared toward the general public.
Free Resource (Online Community-Based)
Date Reviewed: 12/08/2017