Bibliography : history of a tradition /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Balsamo, Luigi.
Uniform title:Bibliografia. English
Imprint:Berkeley, Calif. : B.M. Rosenthal, 1990.
Description:iii, 209 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Format: Print Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0960009426 (alk. paper)
Notes:Translation of: La bibliografia.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 183-200) and index.
Review by Choice Review

Balsamo's impressive book, first published in Italian (Florence, 1984), concentrates on the period 1500-1800. Its strength lies in its imaginative exploration of the rationale behind the work of those compilers who successively expanded, refined, and reconceived the techniques for addressing what, as early as 1522, was identified as "the fundamental problem. . . : To determine the most appropriate way to select from so immense a quantity of books and information." Balsamo's account extends beyond lists of citations themselves as it introduces libraries and booksellers, religious censorship and critical opinion, scholarly journals and lexicography, as they contribute to the expanding assignment and changing practices. His formidable erudition is rendered into English so as to read comfortably and at the same time catch the agenda of the American library and information world of today. This is not only a very good book but also the only substantial one on the topic in English today. Other works of European origin, Georg Schneider, Theory and History of Bibliography (tr. by Ralph Shaw, 1934), Louise-Noelle Malcles, Bibliography (tr. by T.C. Hines, 1973), and Rudolf Blum, Bibliographia: An Inquiry into Its Definitions and Designations (tr. by M.V. Rovelstad, 1980) are older and address more limited and slightly different topics. Any academic library that takes seriously its intellectual mission really ought to own Balsamo's book. -D. W. Krummel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review