Using Bibliographies

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This article originally appeared in Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records, edited by Kory L. Meyerink.


A bibliography is a list of books on a particular topic or subject. Additionally, a bibliography can verify the exact title of a book and provide publishing information. The standard information given in a bibliography is similar to that found on most library catalog cards: author, title, edition (if other than a first edition), place of publication, publisher, date of publication, a collation (i.e., number of pages, illustrations, size), and price.

Books in Print is the standard bibliography used by librarians nationwide. Genealogists find Books in Print a good source to search for titles currently in print and published by major genealogical and historical publishers. The more familiar format, and the one usually available in libraries, is the printed multi-volume set, which lists more than 1 million titles produced by forty-six thousand publishers. Access to these titles is provided by author and title in alphabetical listings. Each entry lists the title, author, edition, price, publisher, year of publication, number of volumes, Library of Congress catalog card number, and the International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This information is essential when purchasing a book through a bookstore or directly from the publisher. A separate volume provides name, address, and telephone number for all publishers listed. Subject Guide to Books in Print (New York: R. R. Bowker, annual) offers subject access to all nonfiction titles in Books in Print.

To locate genealogical books published at state and local levels, consult Netti Schreiner-Yantis’s Genealogical and Local History Books in Print (Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 198590). This five-volume source lists thirty thousand books and microforms published by local and state genealogical societies and independent publishers. It is arranged alphabetically by state and therein by county. To learn what has been published for Shelby County, Missouri, for example, look in the section under that state and county.

The Genealogical Publishing Company (Baltimore) published the fifth edition of Genealogical and Local History Books in Print in four volumes compiled and edited by Marian Hoffman. The Family History Volume (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996) contains more than four thousand recently published genealogies. The General Reference and World Resources Volume (1997) lists reference books currently available for a variety of genealogical topics, including adoption, computers, heraldry, and immigration. This volume also contains genealogy and local history books currently available for countries other than the United States. The U.S. Sources and Resources Volume (1997) is actually two volumes divided alphabetically by state. The first volume covers Alabama through New York.


Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records


Publication Information:

Introduction - By Kory L. Meyerink

Origin of InformationCategories of Research Sources and ToolsEvaluation of Printed SourcesDocumentation and CopyrightLearning What Printed Sources ExistPublishers and DistributorsRepositories of Printed SourcesEffective Use of Libraries and Archives

Chapter 1: General Reference - Martha L. Henderson

Unique Resources in Public LibrariesDewey Decimal Classification SystemReference SourcesEncyclopediasGeneral History SourcesSocial History SourcesAlmanacs, Chronologies, and Statistical SourcesUsing DirectoriesLocal DirectoriesPrinted Professional DirectoriesInstitutional DirectoriesDirectories of Groups and AssociationsSource GuidesGeneral Language DictionariesHistorical and Etymological DictionariesSlang DictionariesSubject DictionariesSurname DictionariesGovernment DocumentsUsing BibliographiesElectronic SourcesReferences for Printed Sources: Chapter 1

Chapter 2: Instructional Materials - Sandra Hargreaves Luebking

Introduction to Instructional MattersHow-To Guides and Manuals for AdultsHow-to Guides and Manuals for Young PeopleGenealogy Technologies and Refinement of SkillsCourses and Programs of StudyPeriodical ArticlesIdentifying and Obtaining Instructional MaterialsEvaluating Instructional MaterialsSelecting Textbooks for Classroom UseThe Future of Instructional MaterialsReferences for Printed Sources: Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Introduction to Geographic ToolsIntroduction to Maps and GazettersMapping of a New NationRoutes to the WestCanals and WaterwaysRailroadsPolitical MapsNineteenth-Century MapsUSGS Topographic MapsOrdering Topographic Map Names and NumbersOrdering Topographic MapsDigital Topographic MapsOut-of-Print Topographic MapsFact Sheets and General Interest PublicationsOther Types of USGS MapsNineteenth-Century National GazetteersTwentieth-Century National GazetteersPostal Guides and Shipping GuidesMaps, Gazetteers, and the ComputerFinding Geographic ToolsUsing Geographic ToolsReferences for Printed Sources: Chapter 3

Chapter 4

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Chapter 5

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Chapter 6

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Chapter 7

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Chapter 8

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Chapter 9

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Chapter 10

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Chapter 11

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Chapter 12

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Chapter 13

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Chapter 14

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Chapter 15

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Chapter 16

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Chapter 17

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Chapter 18

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Chapter 19

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Chapter 20

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Appendix

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