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 Book reviews are not peer-reviewed; the journal editors make a decision on whether to accept a review.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!


Section 2:

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

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.

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.

Aljoumani, Said, and Konrad Hirschler. Owning Books and Preserving Documents in Medieval Jerusalem
The Library of Burhan al-Din
. Edinburgh, 2023.

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

Argent, Alan. Dr. Williams’s Trust and Library: A History. Boydell, 2022.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Bryan, John Morill. Creating the South Caroliniana Library. South Carolina, 2020.

Buckland, Michael K., and Masaya Takayama. Ideology and Libraries: California, Diplomacy, and Occupied Japan, 1945-1952. 2020.

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

Byers, Reid. The Private Library: Being a More or Less Compendious Disquisition on the History of the Architecture and Furnishing of the Domestic Bookroom. Oak Knoll Press, 2021.

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

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

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

Clapinson, Mary. 2020. A Brief History of the Bodleian LibraryRevised Edition. Oxford, 2020.

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.

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

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

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

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

Cortada, James W. Building Blocks of Society History, Information Ecosystems and Infrastructures. Blue Ridge Summit: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020.

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

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

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

Flanders, Judith. A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order. Basic Books, 2020.

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.

Grandmougin, Anne-Cécile, and Tegan Raleigh. Lucien Herr Socialist Librarian of the French Third Republic. 2020.

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.

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

Hille, R. Thomas. The New Public Library: Design Innovation for the Twenty-First Century. Routledge, 2019.

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.

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.

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.

Jank, Dagmar. Bibliotheken von Frauen: ein Lexikon. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2019.

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.

Marcum, Deanna B., and Roger C. Schonfeld. Along Came Google: A History of Library Digitization. Princeton, 2021. 

Mark L. McCallon and John Mark Tucker. The Academic Library in the United States: Historical Perspectives.   Jefferson, North Carolina.  McFarland.  2022.

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

Mitchell-Powell, Brenda. Public in Name Only: The 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-In Demonstration. University of Massachusetts Press, 2022.

Mizruchi, Susan Laura. 2020. Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Mʹq, Mrb, Frédéric Brenner, and Bnymyn Blynṭ. Jerusalem: City of the Book. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.

Müller, Hans-Peter. Umerziehung durch rote Bibliotheken: SED-Bibliothekspolitik 1945/46 bis zum Ende der 1960er Jahre. 2020.

Mullins, James L. A Purdue Icon: Creation, Life, and Legacy. Ashland: Purdue University Press, 2019.

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

Ovenden, Richard. Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack. John Murray, 2020.

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

Pettegree, Andrew. 2020. Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age. Yale University Press, 2019.

Pettegree, Andrew, and Arthur der Weduwen. The Library: A Fragile History. Profile Books, 2021.

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.

Rao, Shruthi, and Anuradha Jagalur. Spaceship to the Universe: The Story of Libraries. Penguin, 2021.

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.

Roberts, Geoffrey. Stalin’s Library. Yale, 2022.

Rosenbloom, Megan. Dark Archives: A Librarian’s Investigation into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020.

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.

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

Solvi, Daniele, and Massimiliano Bassetti. 2019. Biblioteche medievali d’Italia. Firenze: Sismel – Edizioni del Galluzzo.

Stauffer, Andrew M. Book Traces Nineteenth-Century Readers and the Future of the Library. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021.

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

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

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

Walworth, Julia Caroline. Merton College Library: An Illustrated History. Oxford in association with Merton College, 2020.

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

Wiegand, Wayne A. American Public School Librarianship: A History. Johns Hopkins, 2021.

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.

Yeo, Geoffrey. Record-Making and Record-Keeping in Early Societies. Routledge, 2021.,using%20different%20methods%20and%20technologies

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.

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. 

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Johnson-Jones, Aisha M. The African American Struggle for Library Equality: The Untold Story of the Julius Rosenwald Fund Library Program. Rowman & Littlefield, 2021.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

Winchester, Simon. The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford, 2018.

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

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