Reviews of Books, Plays and Films

This bibliography only lists sources that specialize in reviews of books, plays, and films. If you are interested in criticism, take a look at the Libraries'guide A Quick Guide to Literary Criticism.

You may also wish to consult the handout How to Locate Book Reviews for further assistance. There are many other sources available in the library. If you cannot find a review, a reference librarian may be able to suggest other sources.


Electronic Resources

America: History and Life, 1954 to current, updated monthly. Database includes citations to book and media reviews for history and culture of the United States and Canada for the time period from prehistoric times to the present.

Black Issues Book Review. Online Access: Aug 1999 to current. In Print at ULIB Per E 185.5 B527,Volume 3.1, 2001 – current.

Book Review Digest Plus., 1983 to current and updated daily. Book summaries, bibliographic data, and full text reviews from more than 8,000 journals. Covers fiction, non-fiction, children's books and reference works.

Book Review Digest Retrospective. Online 1905-1982. Excerpts from and citations to reviews of adult and juvenile fiction and non-fiction. Covers 300,000 books and 1.5 million book reviews.

New York Times Book Review. Online Access:1969 to current. LexisNexis Academic Database (indexing 1969-May 1980; full text June 1980 to current) In Print at (ULIB REF AP 2 N658) New York, Arno Press. Annual Cumulations 1896-1981, 2001 Also Available: Author, Byline, Subject and category Indexes 1896-1970

Women’s Review of Books Online Access: 1994 to current. Wellesley, MA. Wellesley College Center for Research on Women. Reviews current scholarly books by and about women from a feminist perspective. Indexes by Current Review Index. In Print at (ULIB PER Z 1035 A1 W64x) 1984+. Published monthly except August.

Print Resources

Africana Book Reviews, 1885-1945: An Index to Books Reviewed in Selected English-Language Publications. (ULIB REF DT 3 Z999 E27X) Easterbrook, David L. Boston, G.K. Hall, 1979.

Book Review Index. (ULIB REF Z 1035 A1 B6 and Dewey REF Z 1035 A1 B6) Detroit, Gale Research Co.

Book Review Index: A Master Cumulation 1965-1984. 10 Volumes (ULIB REF Z 1035 A1 B612X 1985) Tarbert, Gary C. Detroit, MI, Gale Research Co.,1985. Also Available at DEWEY: Book Review Index: a Master Cumulation 1969-1979 7 Volumes (DEWEY REF Z 1035 A1 B612X) Tarbert Gary C. Detroit, MI, Gale Research Co., 1980.

Book Review Index: Periodical Reviews, 1976-1984 (DEWEY REF Z 1035 A1 B63 1987) Beach, Barbara. Detroit, MI, Gale Research Co., 1987. Indexes reviews of fiction and non-fiction books in over 200 U.S. periodicals.

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Humanities Journals, 1802-1974. 10 Volumes. (ULIB REF AI 3 C652x) Farber, Evan Ira. Woodbridge, CT, Research Publications, 1982. Indexes by author and title over 500,000 book reviews in over 150 humanities journals.

Combined Retrospective Index to Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals, 1886-1974. 15 Volumes. (ULIB REF Z 1035 A1 C74x) Farber, Evan Ira. Arlington, Carrollton Press, 1979. Indexes by author and title over two million book reviews in 459 history, political science, and sociology journals.

Index to Book Reviews in the Humanities. (ULIB REF Z 1035 A1 I63) Williamston, Mich, P. Thomson. Published annually 1960-1990, volumes 1-30. Indexes reviews in several hundred English language and foreign periodicals.

Internationale Bibliographie der Rezensionen Wissenschaftlicher Literatur = International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature = Bibliographie Internationale des Recensions de la Litterature Savante. (ULIB REF AI 9 I6x) Osnabrück. F. Dietrich Verlag, 1971-1989. Indexes by author, title, and subject reviews from over 500 scholarly journals in all fields and many languages. Semi-annually, each volume is in 4 parts: A. Index of periodicals consulted; B. Classified subject index of book reviews; C. Index of book reviews by reviewed authors; D. Index of book reviews by reviewing authors

National Library Cumulative Book Review Index 1905-1974. 6 Volumes. (ULIB REF Z 1035 A1 N35 1975) Princeton, NJ, National Library Service Corporation, 1975. Indexes book reviews listed in Book Review Digest, Library Journal, Saturday Review and Choice.

Science Fiction Book Review Index.1923-1973 (ULIB REF PN 3433.8 Z999 H34x); 1974-1979 (ULIB REF PN 3433.8 Z999 H35x) Hall, Halbert W. Detroit. MI, Gale Research. Indexes books reviewed in selected science fiction journals 1923-90 whether or not they are works of science fiction.


Sources below include citations to reviews of a particular production of a play and critical articles about the play itself. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two.

Adelman, Irving, and Rita Dworkin. Modern Drama: A Checklist of Critical Literature on 20th Century Plays. (ULIB PN 1621 Z999 A35 1967) Metuchen, NJ, Scarecrow, 1967. Indexes critical articles and reviews of twentieth century plays from all countries.

Breed, Paul F., and Florence M. Sniderman. Dramatic Criticism Index: A Bibliography of Commentaries on Playwrights from Ibsen to the Avent-Garde. (ULIB PN 1707 Z999 B74x) Detroit, Gale Research, Co., 1972. Covers English language criticism in books and magazines of plays from the middle of the nineteenth century to approximately 1970. Arranged alphabetically by name of playwright.

Coleman, Arthur, and Gary R. Tyler. Drama Criticism. 2 Volumes. (ULIB REF Z 1231 D7 C6) In Print: ULIB has:

  • Volume 1: A Checklist of Interpretation Since 1940 of English and American Plays. Denver, Alan Swallow, 1966.
  • Volume 2: Drama Criticism: V.2 A Checklist of Interpretation Since 1940 of Classical and Continental Plays., Swallow Press, 1971.

Eddleman, Floyd Eugene. American Drama Criticism: Interpretations, 1890-1977. 2nd ed. (ULIB REF ReadyRef PS 332 Z999 E34x) Hamden, CT. Shoe String Press, 1979. Description: Indexes critical writings and reviews in books and periodicals. Also Available: Supplements 1, 2, and 3 to the 2nd edition have been issued (ULIB REF PS 332 Z999) Publish Dates: 1984, 1989 & 1992 respectively

Faxon, Frederick W. Cumulated Dramatic Index, 1909-1949. 2 Volumes (ULIB REF AI 3 C72) Boston, MA. G.K. Hall, 1965. A cumulation of the annual volumes of the Dramatic Index. Includes references to reviews of plays, primarily American, duced between 1909 and 1949.

Marks, Patricia. American Literary and Drama Reviews: An Index to Late Nineteenth Century Periodicals. (ULIB REF PN 2256 M37 1984) Boston, MA. G. K. Hall, 1984. Indexes reviews appearing in 13 periodicals from 1880-1990. Part 1 is drama reviews, mostly American productions, with some London productions. 2 covers reviews of books published in the United States during the same time period.

New York Theatre Critics’ Reviews. (ULIB REF PN 2000 N76) New York, NY. Critics’ Theatre Reviews, Inc, 1994. Reprints reviews from New York City newspapers including New York Daily News, Wall Street Journal, Time, New York Post, Newsweek, The New York Times and more. In Print: ULIB has annual publications for 1940-1944 & 1946-1995. Also available: at ULIB: 1940-60 Index and 1961-72 Index.

The New York Times Theater Reviews. (ULIB REF PN 1581 N4) Reprints reviews appearing in the daily and Sunday editions of the New York Times. There are cumulated indexes for 1870-1919, for 1920-1970, and indexes in each biannual volume since 1970. In Print: ULIB has bi-annual publications from 1870/1885 to 1999/2000.

Salem, James M. A Guide to Critical Reviews. (ULIB REF PN 2266 Z999 S34x) Metuchen, NJ. Scarecrow Press, 1984. Indexes critical reviews of productions on the New York stage. In Print: ULIB has:

  • Part 1. American Drama, 1909-1982. 1966, 1973 & 1984 editions.
  • Part 2. The Musical, 1909-1974. 1967, 1973 & 1984 editions.
  • Part 3. British & Continental, 1909-1977. 1968 & 1973 editions.
  • Part 3. The Screenplay. 1971, 1973 & Supplement.


Batty, Linda. Retrospective Index to Film Periodicals, 1930-1971. (ULIB REF PN 1993 Z999 B38x) New York, R. R. Bowker, 1975. Indexes reviews that appeared in 11 English language journals. Reviews are listed under the title of the film.

Bowles, Stephen E. Index to Critical Film Reviews in British and American Film Periodicals, together with: Index to Critical Reviews of Books about Film. (ULIB REF Z 5784 M9 B64) New York. Burt Franklin & Co., 1975. Volume 1 & Volume 2-3. Covers the major British and American film journals from their beginning publication dates through 1971. Arranged alphabetically by film title. There are also indexes to directors, film reviewers, and to books about films.

Film Literature Index. (ULIB REF PN 1993 Z999 F55) Albany, NY. Filmdex, Inc. Quarterly with annual cumulations. Indexes over 200 American and foreign journals. Reviews are listed under the name of the film. Note: The publisher, the Film and Documentation Center, located on the downtown Albany campus, retains copies of all periodicals indexed and will make copies of articles cited in this index. In Print: ULIB has Volume 1, 1973-2004
Online Database: 1926 to current as Film & Television Literature Index

Gerlach, John C., and Lana Gerlach. The Critical Index: A Bibliography of Articles on Film in English, 1948-1973, Arranged by Names and Topics. (ULIB PN 1994 Z999 G47x 1974) New York, Teachers College Press, 1974.

Variety International Film Guide. (ULIB PN 1993.3 I544 BldgOnly) Hollywood, CA. Samuel French. Title changed from International Film Guide in 1990 Contains brief, general articles about the past year’s film production in some 50 countries, with reviews of some of the more important films. Annual. In Print: ULIB has 1966-current. Latest issue shelved in Reference.

International Index to Film Periodicals. (DEWEY REF Z 5784 M9 I49) New York. R. R. Bowker Co. Indexes some 90 U.S. and foreign film periodicals. Reviews are listed alphabetically by film title in the section called "Individual Films". Annual. In Print: DEWEY has 1980-1991.

Kauffman, Stanley and Henstell, Bruce, editors. American Film Criticism, From the Beginnings to Citizen Kane; Reviews of Significant Films at the Time They First Appeared. (ULIB PN 1995 K293) New York, Liveright, 1972.

New York Times Film Reviews. (ULIB REF PN 1995 N49x) New York. The New York Times, 1970 Reprints film reviews appearing in the New York Times, arranged chronologically. There is a cumulated index for 1913-1968 and indexes in each volume after 1968. In print: ULIB has V.1-6, 1913-1968, reviews Also Available: V. 6, 1913-1968, appendix and index Supplements, 1969-70 to 1991-92

Salem, James M. A Guide to Critical Reviews. (ULIB REF PN 2266 Z999 S34x) Metuchen, N.J., Scarecrow, 1984. 2V. Indexes reviews of some 12,000 American and foreign films, released from 1927 through 1963, which appeared in American and Canadian periodicals and in the New York Times. In Print:

  • Part 1: American drama, 1909-1982
  • Part 2: The Musical, 1909-1989
  • Part 3: Foreign drama, 1909-1977 (published 1979)
  • Part 4: The screenplay from "The Jazz Singer" to "Dr. Strangelove" (published 1971)
  • ULIB has the supplement to part IV, 1982. /

Online Access

For ONLINE ACCESS, go to Minerva, the Libraries’ online catalog at and search for the journal or publication title by name (e.g., Black Issues Book Review). Follow the record's LOCATION information to access the journal through an online database.

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