LIBRES: Library and Information Science Research
Electronic Journal ISSN 1058-6768
1997 Volume 7 Issue 1; March 31.
Quarterly LIBRE7N1 REVIEWS
_A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt_.
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Malia
_A Dictionary of the Roman Empire_.
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Malia
_Television: an International History._
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Malia
_SLA Biennial Salary Survey._
Reviewed by: Marylou Hale
_Women Composers: Music Through the Ages_
Reviewed by: Barbara Cressman
_Dada: The Coordinates of Cultural Politics._
Reviewed by: Terry Skeats
_Index to Black Periodicals 1995_
Reviewed by: Kimberly Hill
Bunson, Margaret. (1995). _A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt_. New York: Oxford
University Press. 291 pgs. ISBN 0-19-509989-3.
Bunson, Matthew. (1994). _A Dictionary of the Roman Empire_. New York: Oxford
University Press. 494 pgs. ISBN 0-19-510233-9.
Oxford University Press issues these two volumes (originally published by
_Facts on File_ as "encyclopedias,") as part of their Oxford Paperback
Reference series. Written in a dictionary format both volumes seek to give
readers at most levels easily accessible definitions, descriptions,
explanations, and biographies of noteworthy people.
Both Bunsons organized their material in a similar fashion, perhaps
according to a proscribed formula. Both created a suggested method of
attack for readers in the introductions, which suggests starting with
several broad subject categories as a means of creating a frame of reference
for the more detailed or complex entries. Generally, these broad categories
are grouped around major social forces such as religion, government and
warfare. Copious cross references are made from these topics to more in
depth, narrower topics.
In addition, maps, and chronological aids are provided. For _Ancient
Egypt_, genealogical tables are given for some of the dynasties, and a
glossary is provided. Curiously, _Roman Empire_ has a thorough,
cross-referenced index, while there is none for _Ancient Egypt._ This
volume provides the Greek names of people and places, and access through
these names would have been only possible via a cross-referenced index.
Perhaps Margaret Bunson is relying on the dictionary format to suffice, but
the volume seems somewhat unfinished. Both volumes provide black and white
line drawings as illustrations. In this case, _Ancient Egypt_ provides many
more illustrations, of greater size and detail. Taken from archaeological
artifacts and carvings, these drawings also serve as subtle evidence of the
very stylized artistic style of ancient Egypt. Some color illustrations
would have been helpful, but the line drawings are adequate.
Many _Facts on File_ publications are aimed at use as ready reference, and
these two volumes fit that mold. Both _Ancient Egypt_ and _Roman Empire_
can be used as a quick, detailed resource. Strongest in biographical
sketches and geographical descriptions, all entries strive to give
historical context. In _Roman Empire_, the entirety of Roman history is not
covered, but rather only the period of empire, from the Gallic Wars (59 BC)
to the fall of the western empire in 476 AD. This leaves out the republican
A _Dictionary of Ancient Egypt_ and _A Dictionary of the Roman Empire_ are
best suited to ready reference and supplemental use with monographs on the
subject. They are much more thorough than general encyclopedias, and less
analytical than standard scholarly works on these two civilizations. They
could be used to good effect in all libraries within this scope, but should
not stand alone as the major source on these topics.
Eastern Washington University
Smith, Anthony. (Ed.) (1995). _Television: An International History._ New York:
Oxford University Press. 419 pgs. ISBN 0-19-8119992.
Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words. Even for the 20th century, few
technological breakthroughs have had as wide and pervasive an influence on
society and history than the television. Television has changed politics,
business, and social customs all over the world. Smith has gathered
together a collection of essays which discuss the historical and
international impact of television. Television is the currently dominant
communication format, and faces a future of striving to maintain that
dominance in the information explosion.
The full history of television spans nearly a century, but practical
applications of the technology were not available until 1936. Typical of
many technological innovations, television first took hold in the more
developed countries and by 1990, nearly 98% of the homes in those countries
have televisions. Yet televisions are also encountered in river villages in
India and Thailand. As they have spread, they have also carried with them a
connecting fiber that ties all cultures together, and exacerbates the social
divisions between cultures and peoples at the same time.
The essays are written by people with a wide range of backgrounds,
including television writers, academics from communications programs,
journalists, television producers, and professional television executives.
Their topics are organized into four parts: Origins and institutions, Forms
and genres, Television and society, and Television across the world.
Individual programs are not discussed in detail, unless they illustrate a
particular point in other countries or are indicative of an aspect of social
Copious black and white photographs accompany the text, as well as a
few color plates. A list of suggested readings and an alphabetical index
are included. A chronological table, while very detailed, might have been
helpful to illustrate simply the impact of television on the world.
The United States has often been in the vanguard of television evolution.
Consumer demand and market share have driven much of that evolution. It is
probably fair to say, then, that much of the social system in the United
States has been more fully affected by television. Dinner time news
programs contributed to the unpopularity of the Vietnam Conflict. MTV
specials have raised millions for the aid of starving people all over the
world. Many attribute the increasing viciousness of crime to the over
abundance of violence on television. The essays document this social impact
While other countries have on occasion been slower to embrace television
and it's marvels, the chapters about other countries are enlightening and on
occasion sobering. All societies have been influenced by the western media,
but many have developed their own special hallmarks. Locally produced
programs often surpass western imports in popularity, although nearly all
countries have copied and tailored American programs to their society. And
imports from America often are the bulk of programming, merely because the
United States simply produces more.
Sensitive to the rapidly changing world of communications and information
access, the editor and Richard Paterson end the work with an "epilogue." As
technology changes and the nature of television programming changes, the
whole concept of television will continue to evolve. The authors cautiously
predict that television will be controlled world-wide by ever larger global
corporations for high cost, high concept events, with regional services
covering lower-cost fare. Much can change, much may not. This is a solid,
thorough detailing of the phenomenon of television, and is very readable and
Eastern Washington University
Sayer, L. (Comp. & ed.). (1996). _SLA Biennial Salary Survey._
Washington, DC: Special Libraries Association. 89 pp. ISBN: 0-87111-458-5
A cursory look at this survey brings to mind a line
from an old television show, "The facts, just the facts."
This book is packed with 28 tables, most with multiple parts,
and 21 figures. It may be a temptation on the part of the
reader to dismiss this because it is too complicated
In the opinion of this reviewer, dismissal without
scrutiny would be premature. Admittedly, this is not a coffee
table volume. It is a compilation of timely information
regarding salaries of members of the Special Libraries
Association from across United States and Canada. Although
the data came from members of the Association, all practicing
and potential librarians can benefit from the data provided
in this book. It is beneficial to those seeking employment
as well as those offering employment. Job-seekers can
negotiate the best salary within the range listed for
a particular area and specialty. Likewise, employers can
advertise salaries and positions that are consistent
with their region. This source also helps to standardize
the language by indicating what others call themselves
and their positions.
Conveniently, most of tables are split into separate
parts for Canada and for the United States. This division is
extremely helpful when comparing salaries because the exchange
rate between these countries is usually not one-to-one. Be
sure to note if the salaries are stated in United States dollars or
Canadian dollars. Each table that is not in United States
dollars is clearly identified.
At first glance, the regions identified on page 13
are not intuitive. However, more careful examination of these
divisions reveals that they are based on the United States census.
Such a division allows comparisons not otherwise possible.
Each group of tables is preceded by an explanation of
how the statistics were generated, what is being compared, and
the highlights of the results. These explanations are neither
technical nor complicated. They provide the basis for
interpretation of the tables and are surprisingly easy to
understand. In order to avoid misinterpretation, it is
recommended that time be taken to read the descriptions
before diving into the tables.
One interesting set of tables (6a-6b) defines the median
salaries for metropolitan areas within each census district.
It is disappointing that many metropolitan areas are left out
of these tables. These omissions could be due to the fact that
not many members of the Special Libraries Association reside in
these metropolitan areas, or the members that do live in these
areas didn't return the surveys that were sent. With only a 38%
return rate, it is easy to assume the latter. However, the
reasons will remain a mystery because the editor has failed
to even speculate. A cautionary note is given regarding the
changes from year to year.
Figure 21 lists the reasons for unemployment during
the time period of April 1995-March 1996. This chart is very
helpful. Popular library literature as well as discussions on
listservs talk about downsizing, closing, and outsourcing as
reasons for job loss. This is supported by the data given in
Figure 21. However, with 72.1% of the respondents unemployed
for reasons other than downsizing, closing, or outsourcing, the
major question has to be what does "other" means. It would have
been helpful to know if the nebulous category of "Other" included
voluntary unemployment for reasons such as relocation, pregnancy
and/or child care,or switching professions. Without any more
information, it is hard to assess the real causes of
unemployment among the Special Libraries Association members.
It is worthy to note that only 7.6% of the respondents were
unemployed during the period listed.
The exact salary survey is included in the last few pages
of this book. This is extremely helpful for researchers wishing
to expand on the survey or use it in a different population. It is
also beneficial for graduate students to have a sample of an actual
survey for some classes that require such a thing. Finally, it is
important for all librarians to be familiar with the questions that
are asked on these surveys. Most library organizations exist to
serve the membership, and if the members don't know what the
organization is doing, informed and active participation is
It is recommended that this book be purchased by the targeted
audience, members of the Special Libraries Association. In addition,
human resource officials will find essential information about job
titles, salaries and regional characteristics conveniently placed
in one book. Any librarian ready to switch jobs will discover
the information in this book extremely useful. Armed with the data
in this book, they can reasonably negotiate salaries as well as determine
where the best prospects are for jobs. This is an excellent reference
West Charleston Library
Schleifer, Martha Furman & Glickman, Sylvia. (Eds.)(1996).
_Women Composers: Music Through the Ages_
Volume 1, _Composers Born Before 1599_.
NY: G.K Hall. 365 pgs. ISBN:0-8161-0926-5 (v.1)
_Women Composers: Music through the Ages_, is a 12 volume
series of annotated, modern performance scores from the 9th
through 20th centuries. While not attempting to be
comprehensive, this series features an excellent selection
of music by women composers. When completed, the series
will be organized chronologically: ca.810-1599 (vol. 1),
17th century (vol. 2), 18th century (vols. 3-5), 19th century
(vols. 6-8), and 20th century (vols. 9-12). To date vols. 1
and 2 have been issued.
_Composers Born Before 1599_ includes bibliographies,
detailed notes on manuscript editorial procedures,
explanatory essays that illuminate the scores, as well as a
comprehensive index. The words of the vocal works are in
the original language, with English translations provided.
All of the scores are prepared from original materials, with
careful differentiation made between the original and the
performance editions. The scores are newly engraved to
ensure clarity and ease of use for classroom and
performance. Performance parts are available through the
Hildegard Publishing Company.
The goal of _Composers Born Before 1599_ is to bring to
light a collection of extant music of women composers born
between ca.810 and 1599. The essays, "Was Anonymous a
Woman?", "Women and Trecento Music", and "Lifting the
Protective Veil of Anonymity: ca.1300-1566", challenge the
widespread assumption that the creative voices of musical
women were silent for almost three centuries preceding 1599.
As the coeditors note in the series introduction, "Women's
contribution to the arts and humanities has been the subject
of an explosion of interest in recent years. Historically,
there has been a deep-rooted prejudice against women
composers." (pg. vii). Most women who created music in the
earliest years were members of religious orders,
aristocrats, or members of professional musical families.
The composers featured in volume one range from the
relatively well-known Hildegard von Bingen to the mysterious
Vittoria Aleotti and Raphaela Alleota. "Were they one
composer or two? The earlier works by Vittoria are secular
and the later ones, by Raphaela, a nun, are sacred." (pg.
A notable feature of _Composers Born Before 1599_ is its
exploration of music infrequently performed due to
inaccessibility. Contributor Diane Touliotos, in order to
photograph manuscripts in a monastery to which women are not
admitted, was forced to hire a male photographer in Greece.
Touliotos' ability to read early notation, coupled with her
knowledge of the Greek language, enabled her to prepare the
music of the medieval composer, Kassia.
Most of the contributors to this volume hold Ph.D.s and have
published widely. Coeditor Sylvia Glickman is the founding
president of the Hildegard Publishing Company, a press
devoted to furthering the music of women composers, past and
present. She was appointed coordinating editor for the
_Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music_
in 1995. Coeditor Martha Furman Schleifer is a member of
the music history faculty at Temple University, and senior
editor of Hildegard Publishing Co., and has made several
contributions to _The New Grove Dictionary of Women
Composers_ (London: Macmillan, 1995).
_Women Composers: Music through the Ages_ compares
favorably to other recent publications dealing with this
topic. Mary Booker's _The Work of Women Composers from 1150
to 1995_ (Ilfracombe: Arthur H. Stockwell) is a one volume
treatment of the subject. _Women in Music: An Anthology of
Source Readings from the Middle Ages to the Present_
(Boston: Northeastern University Press) is a slightly
expanded version of the 1982 edition. Robert L. Kendrick's
_Celestial Sirens: Nuns and their Music in Early Modern
Milan_ (NY: Oxford University Press) is an extensive
resource for polyphonic music in women's religious orders of
seventeenth-century Europe, and includes musical examples,
illustrations, and an appendix of documents and musical
This work treats the reader to a hitherto unopened cache of
treasures. The brief biographies of the composer are
delightful, providing peeks into the personal lives of these
women and the driving forces behind their musical creations.
Contributor Thomasin Lemay writes of Paola Massarenghi, "her
life is representative of many gifted women of the period in
that it is largely undocumented." (pg. ix). The series is
an usually comprehensive resource for the study of women
composers and has much to offer to the modern scholar,
performer, teacher, student, and the general public.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Foster, Stephen C. (ed.). (1996). _Dada: The Coordinates of Cultural Politics._
New York: G.K. Hall. xvi+296 pp. ill., bib. refs., biblio., index. ISBN
0-8161-7354-0 (cloth). $95.00. (_Crisis and the arts: the history of Dada,
The Dada movement in literature and the visual arts was founded in Zurich
in 1916, in part as a reaction to boredom with cubism, and with
traditional literature and art, and in part as a reaction to the horrors
which arose from World War I. Amongst its founders were Jean Arp, Hugo
Ball, Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco. The word Dada means "hobbyhorse";
the Oxford English Dictionary also defines it as a "childish or familiar
The term was used as the name of the review begun by the group in 1916,
which frequently contained works (articles, poems and essays) of an
The Dada movement spread rapidly through the art world in the 1920s, and
came to include exhibitions of works by Modigliani, Arp, Max Ernst, Paul Klee,
Kandinsky and others. It also took under its umbrella the French painters
Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp, as well as Americans Man Ray and
Walter Arensberg. In 1922, an international Dadaist exhibition took place
at the Galerie Montaigne in Paris.
The influence of the Dada movement in twentieth-century art and
literature should not be underestimated; the surrealist movement, which
numbered amongst its members many of the early Dadaists and later such
artists as Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguay, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso, is a
prime instance of its influence. Though the organized program of the Dada
group had largely dissolved by the mid-1920s, the Neo-Dadaists of the 50s
and 60s continued the tradition, and strong elements of it can still be seen.
The editor of this collection of essays, Stephen C. Foster, is professor
of art history at the University of Iowa, and director of its Fine Arts
Dada Archive and Research Center. He has written extensively on the Dada
movement, and the present volume is the first in a projected series of
eight; six of the remaining seven volumes will consist of historical
studies of Dadaism arranged geographically, while the eighth will contain
an extensive bibliography on the movement.
In his foreword to Volume 1, Foster describes its function as "...to
present the current problematics of Dada studies, their historiographic
sources, and the complexion of contemporary problem-setting in the
field....Dada is examined in its relationships to the visual and literary
arts, the manifesto, the event, its language experiments, and the text."
The volume contains eleven essays. Foster's introductory essay sets the
tone of the volume, and what he feels should be the approach taken to the
examination of Dada. "In introducing [vol.1]", he says, "what I am
proposing (perhaps imposing) is the possibility that the activities of
Dada were undertaken as much as a means of coping as reforming, and that
their successes or failures must be measured in terms of their
transaction of social experience bereft of any menaingful social
coordinates. Such a perspective permits refocusing questions from *what*
[author's italics] the Dadas' activities added up to, to *how* [author's
italics] they added up. Put differently, there may be more to learn from
the processes of their coping than from the *products* [author's italics]
of their coping." [p.2]
This is a salient point, one worth keeping in mind when examining the
remaining ten essays in the book since, as Foster notes, the skeptic's
tendency is to suggest that Dada "...bore an historical responsibility
for correcting the world's problems for all time" [p.1], and because it
failed in this task, to deny it legitimacy. This same criticism has been
levelled at other literary, artistic and philosophical movements in the
past, yet the skeptics have hardly come up with anything better.
The essays in the current volume cover a fairly wide range of Dada
studies. The two by Rainer Rumold and Michel Sanouillet are critical
histories of Dada literature; the latter focuses on France and the United
States, while the former covers Germany and Central Europe.
Rumold's objective is to cover a span "...reaching from autobiographical
accounts of Dada to Walter Benjamin's and Theodor Adorno's theoretical
perspective on the movement and, finally...to the historical assessment
of academic criticism up to the present." [p.197] Sanouillet proposes to
"...enumerate the number and pertinence of occurrences to Dada in books,
articles and the media in general, underscore the new points made by each
leading critic or historian over the last seventy-five years or so, while
organizing viewpoints around a few major trends." [pp.231-232] Both
authors succeed admirably, and the essays will be useful in conjunction
with the proposed vols. III,IV,VI and VII, which deal in detail with
these geographical regions.
Hanna Bergius' essay "Dada, Montage, and the Press" is particulalry
interesting for its examination of the way in which Dadaists used the
mass media both as an element in their art and as a device to disrupt
traditional art. John D. Erickson's essay on Dada's "cultural politics"
shows clearly how the movement (group?) came into conflict with the
cultural setting Erickson calls "high modernism".
If the standards demonstrated in these essays are any indication, the
series should prove to be a major resource for study of the Dada
movement. Those institutions which do not feel justified in opting for
the entire set would nevertheless do well to consider purchasing vol.I
for their art/literary history collections; the essays are first-rate and
informative, and the 15-page bibliography provides access to much
_Index to Black Periodicals 1995_. (1996). New York: G.K. Hall & Co.
The 1995 _Index to Black Periodicals_ brings together over 6000 citations
from 29 black American journals. Multi-disciplinary in scope, the index has
been published annually since 1961 under a variety of names, including Index
to Periodical Articles By and About Blacks, Index to Periodical Articles By
and About Negroes, and Index to Selected Periodicals, and is considered to
be a standard source in many reference collections. A ten-year cumulation
covering 1950-1959 is also available from G.K. Hall. Interesting to note, is
that in the 1995 issue, an address is provided for people wishing to submit
a suggestion for an alternate name to the Index. While the current editions
of the Index
are now published solely by G.K. Hall, there is still a 5 member advisory board
consisting of renowned Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; Howard Dodson,
chief of the Schomburg collection at the New York Public Library; Thomas Battle,
Rosalind Savage and Jessie Carney Smith.
A wide range of publications are indexed in the 1995 edition. The
researcher can use this one volume to find articles from not only _Ebony_
and _Jet_, but also more scholarly works such as _National Minority
Politics_, _The Howard Journal of Communications_ and _The Journal of Black
Studies_. Included in the preliminary pages are the addresses of the
various publications. While the Index provides access to the majority of
titles in the broad field of African-American studies, two titles, _The
Journal of Negro History_ and _The Negro History Bulletin_ are conspicuously
The title of the source should not lead the librarian/researcher to believe that
information can be found *only* on African-Americans. Citations can be
found on topics of current interest, such as the Israel-Arab Conflict,
Ireland, parenting, the PLO, suicide, United States international relations
and the Oklahoma City bombing.
Access to the citations is provided alphabetically according to subject or
author. Extensive cross-referencing is provided. Subject headings generally
follow the Library of Congress Subject Headings, except in the case of
"Afro-Americans." In this instance, it proves a little redundant. The term
"about" following the name of a person identifies that entry as a subject
heading. Broad subject headings of "poems," "short stories," "book
reviews," film reviews," music reviews," and "theater reviews" provide
in the case of the first three, lengthy lists. While this may not be
practical or the person looking for something specific, it does prove useful
for the student who needs "something," but doesn't know quite what.
Subject/Author headings are easily identifiable due to the bold-face type,
and the remainder of the text is easily readable, with italics identifying
the name of the journal. Citations appear in a standard, easily recognizable
While this is a standard source, and provides a valuable service, it is not
without flaws. Most disturbing is that only selected issues of titles are
indexed. The *List of Periodicals Indexed* appearing in the preliminary
pages provides not only the list of titles, but a list of issues included in
the index. Some entries do not seem to give an adequate citation list. For
instance, a subject search for "Obituaries" leads the researcher to *only*
citations from _Jet_ magazine. There seems, in some cases, to not be a
logical assignment of subject headings. Looking up the term "Internet"
results in 2
citations, while the term "Computer Networking" results in 11, with six of
those 11 being related specifically to the Internet. Locating information
on cities is made difficult. Access is available only by locating the state
and then the city. For example, information on New Orleans can *only* be
found under the listing, "Louisiana New Orleans."
These flaws however, are not so great that they take away from the positive
aspects of the Index. In some sense, this index is a duplication of other
indexes. However, while citations to these articles may be found in a
variety of locations, it is nice to have a collection this varied housed
"under one roof."
University of Southern Mississippi
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_LIBRES: Library and Information Science
Electronic Journal_ (ISSN 1058-6768) March 31, 1997
Volume 7 Issue 1.
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