AA — Information Sources; Information Science

Manuel de bibliographie générale [Handbook of General Bibliography]. MarieHélène Prévoteau and Jean-Claude Utard. New ed. Paris: Editions du Cercle de la Librairie, 2005. 524 p. 24 cm. (Collection bibliothèques). ISBN 2-7654-0912-9: EUR 44 [06-1-001]

The authors of this and the previous edition (see RREA 3:11) of this introduction to the theory and practice of bibliography are librarians at an academic and a public library in France, and this manual serves both libraries well. The authors have made significant improvements to the 1997 edition. The chapters for the most part cover traditional aspects of bibliography and reference, such as general and subject-specific sources, for example dictionaries, encyclopedias, specialized dictionaries, subject bibliographies, national bibliography, union catalogs, primary and secondary sources, and also chapters covering acquisitions and cataloging. There is a separate chapter on digital and Internet resources and a chapter on working with print and digital resources. The final chapter lists guides to information resources, specialized journals, and indexes to them.

The focus is, naturally, on sources in the French-speaking world; non-French sources are included but are relegated to the background. There is too much emphasis on CD-ROMS over on-line databases, which detracts from the latter’s by now established predominance. The work concludes with discussion of the new challenges to the profession, especially the availability of full-text sources via the Internet. The appendix contains tables with criteria for evaluating Internet resources, a selective bibliography, an author-title index, and register of professional terminology.

There is no comparable work for germanophone bibliography. The Manuel is a valuable source for francophone bibliography and methods, but because of non-English language barriers, venerable works such as William Katz’s Introduction to Reference Work (Boston, 2002) and Joseph Janes’ Introduction to Reference Work in the Digital Age (New York, 2003) are more apt to be acquired in European libraries. [sh/ga]

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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