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STS 201 : Science, Technology, and Society I - Antiquity to 1800: Books & Book Reviews

Search Primo

Use Library of Congress Subject Headings!

Books cataloged in Primo are assigned Library of Congress Subject Headings.  Look for these under "Item details" in the catalog record.  Clicking on a Library of Congress Subject Heading will lead you to more books that share that subject heading!

Here's an example:

You've found the following book helpful:

Needham, Joseph, Wang, Ling, Price, Derek J. De Solla, and Su, Song. Heavenly Clockwork : The Great Astronomical Clocks of Medieval China. 2nd Ed. with Suppl. / by John H. Combridge. ed. Antiquarian Horological Society Monograph ; No. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Search Primo for "Heavenly Clockwork: The Great Astronomical Clocks of Medieval China." 

Click on the title for more information.

You'll see:

LCSH and PCI subjects:

Su, Song, 1021-1101

Astronomical clocks -- China -- History

Click on subject headings to see if there are any more books that share this same subject heading!

Requesting Books through Summit

Summit Borrowing allows you to get books from the other libraries that belong to the same consortium of academic libraries in the Pacific Northwest. Instead of just one library, it's like you've got 39!  Books take 3-5 working days to arrive, at which point they will be held for you at the circulation desk for one week, where you can pick them up with your ID card. You may keep Summit books for 6 weeks; there are no renewals. You can see your Summit requests by clicking the 'My Account' link when logged in to Primo. 

 To request an item, click the "Request Item from SUMMIT' link, then enter any comments or request a specific volume if need be, and then click 'request,' as seen below: 


Finding Useful Book Reviews

Avoid general newspaper or magazine reviews and personal book reviews, like those on blogs or on These can't help you analyze your book like a scholar. Also avoid reviews published in Choice or Library Journal, as these are very brief and are intended for librarians who manage collection development. Three tips for finding book reviews:

  • Check to see when your book was published. If it was published more than twenty years ago, and you aren't finding reviews online, you'll need to look beyond online sources and check print indexes.
  • If you're having trouble finding a review, check with a librarian for help and to cover all your bases, but remember that some books are never reviewed. If that's the case, think about what that might mean about the book's scholarly importance.
  • If the book has just been published, reviews may not have appeared yet.  It may be useful to look at the author's credentials and affiliations (is she an expert in the topic? is he affiliated with a university?) and to see who published the book (was it a university press?).

Finding Book Reviews Online

Begin by searching the title of the book in Primo, and then using the facets on the right-hand side of the results page to limit it to just reviews.  If you aren't finding reviews, then try one of the databases below, using the advanced search technique to limit your results to book reviews.


  • Academic Search Premier  
    • Finds reviews for books published from about 1975-present Limit to book reviews: Before you run your search, scroll down to 'Document Type' and limit to 'Book Review.' Use the author's last name and a keyword from the book title in your search.
  • History of Science, Technology and Medicine:  also indexes reviews!
  • JSTOR  
    • Search for books published from the 1800s up to about five years ago. To limit to reviews: click Advanced Search, then check 'review.'
  • Proquest Central
    • Search for books published from 1986 up to the present. To limit your search to book reviews, click 'Advanced Search', and select 'Review' from the list labeled 'Document type'.

Finding Book Reviews in Print

For older books, you will need to use print indexes to book reviews. At Collins, try the following print indexes, all located on the library's lower level, in the room with Periodicals James-Z.

Book Review Index Call #: Z1035.A1 B6 1965-2012