Tag Archives: Choice reviews

G. Edward Evans, Sheila S. Intner, and Jean Weihls, Introduction to Technical Services–Choice 2006

Evans, G. Edward, Sheila S. Intner, and Jean Weihs. Introduction to Technical Services [DRAFT]

284. Evans, G. Edward, Sheila S. Intner, and Jean Weihs. Introduction to Technical Services. 7th ed. Greenwood Village, Colo., Libraries Unlimited/Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002. 543 p. index. (Library and Information Science Text Series). $65.00. ISBN 1-56308-918-1; 1-56308-922-X (paper).

This seventh edition updates the sixth, published in 1994. The book is divided into three parts: general background, acquisitions and serials, and cataloging and processing. The illustrations, plentiful in places, include pie charts, copies of title pages, and illustrations that show how different databases display the MARC record. There is no bibliography at the end of the book. Instead, there are end notes after each chapter, along with a chapter summary, a list of suggested readings and review questions. Sometimes, the suggested readings are divided into sections, or another section is added. Chapter 5 (Acquisitions—Overview) has suggested readings grouped into general, public and academic sections while Chapter 8 (Order Processes) has no division in the suggested readings list, but adds a section on web sites and listservs of pertinent interest to those in acquisitions and serials.

An evaluation of the suggested readings lists are revealing. Michael Gorman’s Technical Services: Today and Tomorrow (1999) is cited in the first chapter. Coming from a cataloging background, I looked for the standard books used in library schools. Arlene Taylor’s The Organization of Information (1999) is listed although Lois Mai Chan’s Cataloging and Classification is missing, although two of her recent works are listed at the end of Chapter 20 (Classification). The vast majority of books and articles cited were published in the last five years, and indication that the authors are current in their professional readings.

The original edition of this book sought to create a reference work for para-professionals working in libraries. This edition goes far beyond the scope of para-professional work. True, chapters do deal with the everyday jobs done in technical services, including those that are not so attractive. Nonetheless, there are chapters that deal with electronic serials, allocation of monies, book dealers, pricing, using vendors, principles of subject cataloging—things that librarians and administrators, at one time or another, have to address.

There is also a more international focus, thanks to the addition of author Jean Weihs, a Canadian librarian. A previous edition was criticized for being too detail-oriented and bogged down with the day-to-day activities of technical services; not enough theory was presented. One must learn to crawl before one can walk, and this includes librarians. The basic processes of technical services must be understood before changes can be made. Most people entering library schools have never worked in libraries and need a textbook that introduces them to the functions, processes, and philosophy of technical services work. The authors are sure to point out that, even though technical services is traditionally a “back room” operation, that operation serves the public; everything done in technical services is to aid the user in finding and retrieving materials.

An excellent introduction to technical services processes for students and those new to the profession.—Michael W. Handis, Associate Librarian for Technical Services and Collection Management, Mina Rees Library, City University of New York Graduate and University Center

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Digital Egypt for Universities–Choice (March, 2007)

Digital Egypt for Universities [DRAFT]

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Digital Egypt for universities. URL: http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/Welcome.html

Created by the University College London at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis for the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology with funds from the Joint Information Systems Committee. Stephen Quirke, a reader and curator of the Petrie Museum, manages the site. According to the learning resources page, “The primary aim of the website is support for learning across different disciplines—including learners and teachers who may know nothing about, or even be interested in, Egypt. The site is aimed at you especially if your subject includes a historical dimension—architecture, art, medicine, science, religion, literature, gender studies, cultural studies, museum studies.” The site is divided into eight parts: archaeological record; art and architecture; communication technologies; ideology and beliefs; technology and industry; contacts between peoples; social history; the exact sciences. At the top of every page is a navigational bar to take the user to the homepage, timeline, maps, A-Z index or learning. The chronology page has extensive links to the different time periods. There are more maps throughout the site than are listed on the maps page. Introductory guides for the different time periods are there for the novice. Pages load quickly. There is no searching capability on the site. Full-color plans and maps of temples, cities, palaces and artifacts—all of which discuss the archaeological record—are easily accessible. In some cases, nothing remains at the site but the web creators decided to recreate via computer technology images to give users some idea as to the possible shape and size of the buildings. These three-dimensional models/reconstructions require a VRML plug-in. A link to free VRML-readable software, Cosmo Player, is listed, on the VRML site (http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk//3d/instruction.html), but links to a site where Computer Associates states that they no longer support Cosmo Player. The Petrie Museum eventually hopes to be able to translate the site into Spanish and Arabic. Highly recommended for all levels.


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Darrell D. Baker, Encyclopedia of Egyptian Pharaohs: v.1: Predynastic through Twentieth Dynasty (3300-1069 BC)–Choice (September, 2009)

Baker, Darrell D. The encyclopedia of Egyptian pharaohs: v.1: Predynastic through twentieth dynasty (3300-1069 BC) [DRAFT]

000000577528                                                                                DT58                                                                                         MARC

Baker, Darrell D. The encyclopedia of Egyptian pharaohs: v.1: Predynastic through twentieth dynasty (3300-1069 BC) Bannerstone Press, 2009 (c2008). 587p bibl index ISBN 9780977409440, $60.00

There is a lot of information in this volume. Each entry lists the various names (and cartouches) of the kings (Horus, nomen, Two Ladies, Golden Falcon) as well as the length of reign, tomb location (if known), mummy (if known), consorts, the king’s name as it appeared on Manetho’s list, and any variant names. There is a bibliography at the end of each entry as well as an extensive one at the end of the book. This is the only volume that gathers the scattered information on each king and in one case clears up a misconception that even confuses some experts. Both Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten, co-rulers with Akhenaton, used the prenomen Ankhkheperure. This led to the merging of Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten’s reigns, listing Smenkhkare as ruling after Akhenaton. Most scholars now believe that Smenkhkare died before Akhenaton and that Nefertiti, who had mysteriously disappeared from the historical record, took the name Neferneferuaten and started her reign before Akhenaton’s death. As Neferneferuaten, Nefertiti co-ruled into the first few years of Tutankhamen’s reign. Baker chooses to end the first volume with Dynasty XX because after it the historical record becomes jumbled, foreigners ruled Egypt and the complex period needs to be treated separately. Highly recommended.

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Ancient Greece (3 v.)–Choice (May, 2007)

Ancient Greece: v.1: Achaean League-Dorian invasion of Greece [DRAFT]
44-4799                                                                                DF214                                                                                           2006-16525 CIP

Ancient Greece: v.1: Achaean League-Dorian invasion of Greece, 1-338; v.2: Draco-Posidonius, 339-684; v.3: Praxiteles-Zeuxis of Heraclea; Appendixes; Indexes, 685-1031, ed. by Thomas J. Sienkewicz.  Salem Press, 2007.  3v bibl indexes afp ISBN 1-58765-281-1, $207.00; ISBN 9781587652813, $207.00.

According to the publisher’s note, “By design, Magill’s Choice reference sets compile and update previously published material from Salem Press.” The set brings together 29 new essays and 315 essays from: Great Events from History: the Ancient World, Prehistory-476 C.E. (2004), Great Lives from History: the Ancient World, Prehistory-476 C.E. (2004), Cyclopedia of World Authors (4th rev. ed., 2004), Encyclopedia of the Ancient World (2002), Weapons and Warfare (2002), and Magill’s Guide to Military History (2001). Each entry’s bibliography has been updated. A complete list of contents is reprinted in all volumes as well as three maps of Greece and the Near East. Entries provide phonetic pronunciations for Greek words. Biographical entries are broken into dates, category of activity, life and influence with see also references to other entries in the set. The homoeroticism of Sappho’s poetry is discussed, but overall the topics of gender and sexuality are underrepresented. There are no index terms for homosexuality, lesbianism or sex. Women’s contributions are discussed in the “Women’s Lives” entry. The third volume contains: a glossary of terms; list of historic sites with URLs; literary works by author; time line; a bibliography of secondary sources; and indices by category, name and subject. For general through undergraduate. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and general readers. — M. W. Handis, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

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Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece–Choice (April, 2006)

Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece [DRAFT]

551713                                                            DF16                                                   2005-4434

Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, ed. By Nigel Wilson. Routledge, 2006. 800p bibl index afp ISBN 0415973341, $150.00

Based on The Encyclopedia of Greece and the Hellenic Tradition, edited by Graham Speake (reviewed in CHOICE jun 2001), which sought to cover the history of Greece from ancient times up to the present, “This new version results from the realization that there is also a place for a shorter work covering the same wide range of themes but concentrating on the ancient or classical world.” It seeks not only to focus on the traditional “classical” Greek period (Homer through Alexander the Great) but also through the fourth century A.D. The work contains lists of alphabetical entries, thematic entries and a chronology of individuals as well as an extensive index. Greek name forms that entered English from Latin have been retained with some exceptions, and 565 A.D. (Justinian I’s death) marks the direct transliteration from Greek into English. There are no illustrations or maps. Each entry has its own bibliography. For persons, a brief biography is given at the end of the entry followed by the bibliography and, in the case of authors, a list of writings. Entries from the original Speakes edition have been reprinted; in some cases, entries have been abbreviated and names changed, e.g. Corcyra for Corfu. Greek deities do not have their own entries; information on them can be found under “Gods and Goddesses” and “Religious History,” although the easiest way to find information would be to use the index. Only two women have their own entries, Cleopatra VII and Sappho. The list of contributors and advisors is impressive, with many well-known researchers in the field. For public and academic libraries.—Michael W. Handis, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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Bojana Mojsov, Osiris: death and afterlife of a god–Choice (May, 2006)

Bojana Mojsov, Osiris: death and afterlife of a god [DRAFT]

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Mojsov, Bojana. Osiris: death and afterlife of a god. Blackwell Publishing, 2005. 150p bibl index afp ISBN 1405131799 pbk, $27.95

This survey book covers more than the Osiris cult. Mojsov traces not only the history of the Osiris cult (and others) over time but also the relation of religion and state in Egypt, starting with prehistory and ending with the Islamic conquest of Egypt. Kings used cults to strengthen their authority, with the favorite local cults of the dynasties being elevated to national status. The Old and Middle Kingdom god Ra gave way to the New Kingdom sun cult of Amun, with the two deities merging into Amun-Ra. The popularity of Osiris, lord of the underworld, ebbed and flowed over the centuries of Egyptian history but never disappeared. The Osiris cult—along with that of his wife Isis—became extremely popular in the Greco-Roman world, with their temples spreading throughout the Mediterranean long after Amun and other once-popular deities were forgotten. The triad of Osiris-Isis-Horus had a great influence on the evolution of Christianity. Osiris gets lost at times as Mojsov traces Egyptian political history. Written in jargon-free language, this book will interest anyone in Egyptian history, politics or religion as well as those interested in the Egyptian contribution to Christianity.—Michael W. Handis, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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Toby Wilkinson, The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Ancient Egypt–Choice (February, 2006)

Toby Wilkinson, The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Ancient Egypt [DRAFT]

54-9871                                                           DT58                                       LC Classification

Wilkinson, Toby. The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, 2005. 271p bibl ISBN 0500051372; 9780500051375, $50.00

Lavishly illustrated, many in color, and maps of the temple complexes, the Nile and its delta. According to the preface, this book seeks “to be the most comprehensive, single-volume dictionary of ancient Egypt currently available in the English language.” The bibliography (p. 270-271) is broken up into subjects: general; art, architecture and monuments; history; individual rulers and periods; language, literature & writing; and religion. The dictionary covers Egypt up to the Macedonian conquest in 332 B.C. Entries are alphabetical and listed under the transliterated spellings of Egyptian names with cross-references from the more familiar forms, e.g. Khufu for Cheops. It incorporates the most recent scholarship, such as the CT scan of Tutankhamun’s mummy that showed no blunt trauma to the head, thereby discrediting the theory that the king had been murdered. One discrepency is Nefertiti. Scholars, Wilkinson writes, now believe that Nefertiti may have ruled under the name Neferneferuaten after her husband Akhenaten’s death. There is no entry under Neferneferuaten. The entry for Smenkhkara, Akhenaten’s successor, was assumed to be an older brother of Tutankhamun but now recent scholarships suggests that Smenkhkara was really Nefertiti. There is no cross-reference from Nefertiti to Smenkhkara. Overall, an excellent general reference for public and college libraries.—Michael W. Handis, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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