Book Review Opportunities

A group of children and adults at an exhibit.
“Dial A Book: Book Review for Young Adults” interactive exhibit displayed by the ALA during the New York World’s Fair in 1964. Image and caption from the American Library Association Archives.

Would you like to become more involved in the scholarly conversations about library history?  One great way to do that is by reviewing new books.  Libraries: Culture, History & Society (LCHS), the peer-reviewed journal of LHRT, publishes evaluative book reviews.

Book review guidelines are listed on pages 7-8 of the LCHS Submission Guidelines for Authors.  Please note that the reviews should be primarily evaluative rather than only descriptive.  Reviews should also situate the book within the historiography by comparing the book to other titles on the subject. Book reviews are not peer-reviewed; the journal editors make a decision on whether to accept a review. Here are three model reviews available open access:

Book Review (pp. 102-104). The British Soldier and His Libraries, c. 1822–1901 by Murphy, Sharon. Review by: Nancy B. DuPree. DOI: 10.5325/libraries.4.1.0102

Book Review (pp. 116-117). Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading by Harrington-Leuker, Donna. Review by: Suzanne M. Stauffer. DOI: 10.5325/libraries.4.1.0116

Book Review (pp. 113-115). A Literary Tour de France: The World of Books on the Eve of the French Revolution by Darnton, Robert. Review by: Malcolm Walsby. DOI: 10.5325/libraries.4.1.0113

This page lists:

1). Section 1: Books available for review 

2). Section 2: Books already assigned to a reviewer

3). Section 3: Books with published reviews in LCHS

Section 1:

Books Available for Review–If you are interested in reviewing one of these titles, please email the LCHS Book Review Editor, Brett Spencer, If you discover a title on library history that is not listed here and you are interested in reviewing it, please email the Book Review Editor to discuss further.

When a book is assigned for review, the title will be moved to the “Books Already Assigned to a Reviewer” section below.  New books are added continually, so check back soon!

Abouseif, Doris, Garrett Davidson, George Dimitri Sawa, Tobias Andersson, Hamza Malik, Damaris Wilmers, Jelle Bruning et al. The Book in Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517). Brill, 2018.

Berardi, Roberta, Nicoletta Bruno, and Luisa Fizzarotti. On the Track of the Books: Scribes, Libraries and Textual Transmission. Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2019.

Boudalis, Georgios. The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity. Bard Graduate Center, 2018.

Burrows, Toby, and Cynthia Johnston, eds. Collecting the Past: British Collectors and their Collections from the 18th to the 20th Centuries. Routledge, 2018.

Carley, James P,  James M W Willoughby and  J I Catto.  Books and Bookmen in Early Modern Britain: Essays Presented to James P. Carley. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2018.

Chiari, Sophie. Freedom and Censorship in Early Modern English Literature. Routledge, 2019.

Chrystal, Paul. Roman Recordkeeping & Communications.  Fonthill Media, 2018.

Cleaver, Laura. Illuminated History Books in the Anglo-Norman World, 1066-1272. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Cole, Heather, ed. Houghton Library at 75: A Celebration of its Collections. Houghton Library, Harvard, 2018.

Coleman, Sterling Joseph. How Books, Reading and Subscription Libraries Defined Colonial Clubland in the British Empire. Routledge, 2020.

Connolly, Margaret. Sixteenth-Century Readers, Fifteenth-Century Books: Continuities of Reading in the English Reformation. Cambridge, 2019.

Curran, Mark. The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe I: Selling Enlightenment. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.

Frampton, Stephanie Ann. Empire of Letters: Writing in Roman Literature and Thought from Lucretius to Ovid. Oxford University Press, 2019.

Hill, Alexandra. Lost Books and Printing in London, 1557-1640: An Analysis of the Stationers’ Company Register. Brill, 2018.

Knight, Leah, Micheline White, and Elizabeth Sauer, Eds. Women’s Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain. Reading, Ownership, Circulation.  The University of Michigan Press, 2018.

Kwakkel, Erik. The European Book in the Twelfth Century.  Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Rosenberg, Simon. Book Value Categories and the Acceptance of Technological Changes in English Book Production. Peter Lang, 2020.

Stewart, Kate. A Well-Read Woman: The Life, Loves, and Legacy of Ruth Rappaport. Little A, 2019.

Thomson, R. M. Fox and the Bees: The Early Library of Corpus Christi College Oxford.  D.S. Brewer, 2018.

Van Straten, Giorgio. In Search of Lost Books: The Forgotten Stories of Eight Mythical Volumes. Pushkin Press, 2018.

Section 2:

Books Already Assigned to Reviewers–Someone has volunteered to review each of the following books.

Adler, Kate, Ian Beilin, and Eamon Tewell. Reference Librarianship and Justice. Litwin Books & Library Juice Press, 2018.

Aguirre, Carlos, and Ricardo Donato Salvatore, eds. Bibliotecas y cultura letrada en América Latina: siglos XIX y XX. Fondo Editorial, 2018.

Arango, Gustavo. Marilla Waite Freeman: A Life in Pictures, Articles, Letters and Manuscripts. Ediciones El Pozo, 2019.

Atkin, Lara, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, and Nathan Garvey. Early Public Libraries and Colonial Citizenship in the British Southern Hemisphere. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Barr, Jessica. Intimate Reading: Textual Encounters in Medieval Women’s Visions and Vitae. University of Michigan, 2020.

Blatt, Heather. Participatory Reading in Late-Medieval England. Manchester University Press, 2018.

Booton, Diane E. Publishing Networks in France in the Early Era of Print. Routledge, 2018.

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. MIT Press, 2018.

Brillenberg Wurth, Kiene. Book Presence in a Digital Age. Bloomsbury, 2018.

Chancellor, Renate. E.J. Josey: Transformational Leader of the Modern Library Profession. Rowman & Littlefield, 2020.

Cole, John Y. America’s Greatest Library: An Illustrated History of the Library of Congress. La Vergne: D Giles Limited, 2018.

Collins, Michael, Alexandra Black, Thomas Cussans, John Farndon, and Philip Parker. Remarkable Books: The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works. DK, 2017.

Cunningham-Kruppa, Ellen. Mooring a Field: Paul N. Banks and the Education of Library and Archives Conservators. Legacy Press, 2019.

Delaforce, Angela. The Lost Library of the King of Portugal. Ad Ilissum, 2019.

Duncan, Dennis, and Adam Smyth. Book Parts. Oxford University Press, 2019.

Eckardt, Hella. Writing and Power in the Roman World: Literacies and Material Culture.  Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Frances, Sherrin. Libraries Amid Protest: Books, Organizing, and Global Activism. University of Massachusetts Press, 2020.

Friedrich, Markus. The Birth of the Archive: A History of Knowledge. University of Michigan Press, 2018.

Galbraith, Steven K. A Brief History of the Book: From Tablet to Tablet. Libraries Unlimited, 2020.

Guarria, Charles I.  Proposition 13: America’s Second Great Tax Revolt: A Forty Year Struggle for Library Survival.  Emerald, 2019.

Gulik, Egbertus van. Erasmus and His Books.  University of Toronto Press, 2018.

Hanbury, Dallas. The Development of Southern Public Libraries and the African American Quest for Library Access, 1898-1963. Lexington Books, 2020.

Hayes, Kevin J.  George Washington: A Life in Books.  Oxford University Press, 2017.

Hamilton, James. The British Museum: Storehouse of Civilizations.  Head of Zeus, 2018.

Hirschler, Konrad. A Monument to Medieval Syrian Book Culture: The Library of Ibn Abd Al-Hadi. Edinburgh University Press, 2019.

Ibekwe, Fidelia. European Origins of Library and Information Science (Vol. 13). Emerald, 2019.

Jumonville, Florence M. Spreading the Gospel of Books: Essae M. Culver and the Genesis of Louisiana Parish Libraries. LSU Press, 2019.

Intrator, Miriam.  Books across Borders : UNESCO and the Politics of Postwar Cultural Reconstruction, 1945-1951.  Palgrave McMillan, 2019.

Jordan, James, Lisa Leff, and Joachim Schlör, eds. Jewish Migration and the Archive. Routledge, 2017.

Kells, Stuart. Shakespeare’s Library: Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature. Counterpoint, 2019.

King, Rachael Scarborough. After Print: Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Cultures. University of Virginia, 2020.

Kluberdanz, Rebecca.  The Art of Reading: An Illustrated History of Books in Paint.  Getty Publications, 2018.

Laugesen, Amanda. Globalizing the Library, Librarians and Development Work, 1945–1970.  Routledge, 2019.

Leff, Lisa Moses. The Archive Thief: The Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust. Oxford, 2015.

Lind, Douglas W., and Stacia Stein. The Leaven of Sympathy: A Bio-Bibliography of Frederick C. Hicks.  William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2020.

Low, Bronwyn. The Right Thing to Read: A History of Australian Girl-Readers, 1910-1960. Routledge, 2018.

Manley, Keith. Irish Reading Societies and Circulating Libraries Founded Before 1825: Useful Knowledge and… Agreeable Entertainment. Four Courts Press, 2018.

Mann, Annika. Reading Contagion: The Hazards of Reading in the Age of Print. University of Virginia Press, 2018.

McDade, Travis. Torn from Their Bindings: A Story of Art, Science, and the Pillaging of American University Libraries.  University of Kansas Press, 2019.

Moore, Sean D.  Slavery and the Making of Early American Libraries: British Literature, Political Thought, and the Transatlantic Book Trade, 1731-1814. Oxford, 2019.

Murphy, Andrew. Ireland, Reading and Cultural Nationalism, 1790-1930: Bring the Nation to Book.  Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Nappo, Christian A. The Librarians of Congress. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

Peiss, Kathy Lee. Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe. Oxford, 2019.

Price, Leah. What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading. New York Basic Books, 2019.

Rabinowitz, Dan. The Lost Library: The Legacy of Vilna’s Strashun Library in the Aftermath of the Holocaust.Brandeis University Press, 2019.

Rico, Christophe, and Anca Dan.  The Library of Alexandria : A Cultural Crossroads of the Ancient World : Proceedings of the Second Polis Institute Interdisciplinary Conference.  Polis Institute, 2017.

Rooney, Paul Raphael. Railway Reading and Late-Victorian Literary Series.  Routledge, 2018.

Eliot, Simon, and Jonathan Rose. A Companion to the History of the Book. Wiley Blackwell, 2020.

Ryholt, Kim, and Gojko Barjamovic. Libraries Before Alexandria: Ancient Near Eastern Traditions. Oxford, 2019.

Rydell, Anders. The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance. Penguin, 2018.

Sachet, Paolo. Publishing for the Popes: The Roman Curia and the Use of Printing (1527-1555). Brill, 2020.

Schaefer, Heike, and Alexander Starre. The Printed Book in Contemporary American Culture: Medium, Object, Metaphor. Palgrave McMillan, 2019.

Selby, Mike. Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South.  Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.

Smith, A. Arro. Capturing Our Stories: An Oral History of Librarianship in Transition. American Library Association, 2017.

Teplitsky, Joshua. Prince of the Press: How One Collector Built History’s Most Enduring and Remarkable Jewish Library. Yale, 2019.

Thomson, Mike. Syria’s Secret Library: The True Story of How a Besieged Syrian Town Found Hope. Weidenfeld &  Nicolson, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd, 2019.

Vine, Angus. Miscellaneous Order: Manuscript Culture and the Early Modern Organization of Knowledge. Oxford, 2019.

Werner, Sarah. Studying Early Printed Books, 1450-1800: A Practical Guide. Wiley, 2019.

Wiegand, Shirley A., and Wayne A. Wiegand. The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism. LSU Press, 2018.

Zalar, Jeffrey T. Reading and Rebellion in Catholic Germany, 1770-1914.  Cambridge, 2019.

Section 3:

Books with Published Reviews in LCHS–To view LCHS published reviews, please access the journal through a JSTOR subscription.  Members of the Library History Round Table receive a free subscription to LCHS with membership. To join, visit

Barndt, Kerstin & Carla M Sinopoli.  Object Lessons & the Formation of Knowledge: The University of Michigan Museums, Libraries, & Collections 1817-2017.  University of Michigan Press, 2017.

Bautz, Annika, and James Gregory, ed. Libraries, Books, and Collectors of Texts, 1600-1900.  Routledge, 2018. 

Black, Alistair. Libraries of Light: British Public Library Design in the Long 1960s. Routledge, 2016.

Breisch, Kenneth A.  American Libraries 1730-1950.  Norton, 2017.

Burke, Colin B. America’s Information Wars: The Untold Story of Information Systems in America’s Conflicts and Politics from World War II to the Internet Age. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Cohn, Barbara Madgy, and Patrice Rafail Merritt. The Detroit Public Library: An American Classic. Wayne State University Press, 2017.

Crawford, Alice, ed. The Meaning of the Library: A Cultural History. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Darnton, Robert. A Literary Tour de France: The World of Books on the Eve of the French Revolution. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Dever, Mary Anne.  Archives and New Modes of Feminist Research.  Routledge, 2017. 

Devereaux, Peter, and The Library of CongressThe Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures.  Chronicle Books, 2017.

Felsenstein, Frank, and James J. Connolly. What Middletown Read: Print Culture in an American Small City. University of Massachusetts Press, 2015.

Gilland, Julianne, ed. A Library for the Americas: The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. University of Texas Press, 2018. 

Gordon, Bruce. John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion: A Biography. Princeton University Press, 2016. c Libraries, 1754-1911. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Harrington-Lueker, Donna. Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading. University of Massachusetts Press, 2019.

Hepler, Allison. McCarthyism in the Suburbs: Quakers, Communists, and the Children’s Librarian. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Hendrickson, Thomas. Ancient Libraries and Renaissance Humanism: The De Bibliothecis of Justus Lipsius. Brill, 2017.

Jarvis, Zeke.  Silenced in the Library: Banned Books in America. Greenwood, 2017.

Kalder, Daniel. The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy. Henry, Holt & Company, 2018.

Kells, Stuart. The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders. Text Publishing, 2017.

MacDougall, Ian.  Voices of Scottish Librarians: The Evolution of a Profession and its Response to Changing Times.  John Donald, 2017.

Murphy, Sharon. The British Soldier and his Libraries, c. 1822-1901. Springer, 2016.

Orlean, Susan.  The Library Book.  Simon & Schuster, 2018. 

Raven, James.  What is the History of the Book? Polity, 2018.

Towsey, Mark, and Kyle B. Roberts.  Before the Public Library: Reading, Community, and Identity in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850.  Brill, 2017.

Wilson-Lee, Edward. The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library. Scribner, 2019.

Yang, Yang. The Sage in the Cathedral of Books: The Distinguished Chinese American Library Professional Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee. Ohio University Press, 2016.