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Printed Bibliographies. English 650 James M. Hutchisson. Enumerative Bibliographies. generally list items or catalogues of what exists (by a certain writer, on a subject, in a library); no attempt to summarize or to produce a qualitative assessment of individual items;

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Printed Bibliographies

English 650

James M. Hutchisson


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Enumerative Bibliographies

  • generally list items or catalogues of what exists (by a certain writer, on a subject, in a library);

  • no attempt to summarize or to produce a qualitative assessment of individual items;

  • if the item exists and fits the editorial criteria, then it is included


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Annotated Bibliographies

  • similar to enumerative but include synopsis or commentary on its contents

  • abstracting tools, such as Dissertation Abstracts International, also this type.


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Annotated Bibliographies

  • annotated bibliographies are not necessarily better than enumerative ones

  • always review the introductory sections to see if the bibliography will suit your needs; how up-to-date is it?

  • how comprehensive?

    • are foreign languages included?

    • how is it organized? (by work? by year? by author?)

    • does it contain primary and secondary works?

    • does it have a good subject or author index?


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Primary versus Secondary Bibliographies

  • Primary bibliographies list the works by an author

  • Secondary bibliographies list the works written by others about the author

    • Literary criticism – academic articles

    • Other books and articles on an author

    • Writing in the popular media – magazines, newspapers, etc.

    • Writing in reference works -

    • Reviews of the primary works by the author


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Descriptive or Analytic Bibliogs

  • Not concerned with secondary sources

  • Mainly for book collectors and textual bibliographers

  • Physically analyze the production of editions and printings, etc.

    • Printing or impression: one run through the printer of the text, bound and distributed

    • Edition: one version of the text set in type.

      • There can be multiple printings of a single edition


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Old Definition of Bibliography

  • "What the bibliographer is concerned with is pieces of paper or parchment with certain written or printed signs. With these signs he [/she] is concerned merely as arbitrary marks; their meaning is no business of his [/hers].“

  • Sir Walter Wilson Greg (1911)


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Newer Definition of Bibliography:

  • "... bibliography is the discipline that studies texts as recorded forms, and the process of their transmission, including their production and reception ....

  • Fredson Bowers (1968)


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Preventing Information Overload

  • Locate sources of information Resist the urge to make final judgments right away.

  • Review the sources of information to determine which ones are most important/interesting.

  • Try to examine each relevant source hands-on.

  • Focus on your task. Allowing for the benefits of idle curiosity or following your nose


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