Specialized Topics


Harner, James L. On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography. 2nd ed., 2nd printing. New York: MLA, 2001. 48 pp. Z1001.H33 010′.44.

A succinct guide to planning, organizing, researching, writing, editing, and indexing a comprehensive or selective bibliography on a literary subject or author. The second printing of the second edition adds an appendix, “Annotation Verbs,” by Ken Bugajski. Although directed to those preparing an annotated bibliography for publication either in print or online, the practical advice on planning research and identifying scholarly works is valuable for anyone compiling a preliminary bibliography for other scholarly or critical studies.

D. W. Krummel, Bibliographies: Their Aims and Methods (London: Mansell, 1984; 192 pp.), which ranges beyond literary bibliographies, also offers useful advice on compilation and organization.


Love, Harold. Attributing Authorship: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. 271 pp. PN171.F6 L68 809.

Evaluates the potential and limits of traditional and modern methods of attributing authorship, including the use of external evidence, internal evidence (including stylistic elements, self-reference within the work, and evidence from “themes, ideas, beliefs and conceptions of genre manifested in the work”), statistical methods, stylometrics, and bibliographical evidence; also addresses methods of detecting gender and forgery. Concludes with a chapter on arguing attribution. Drawing on a wide range of authorship studies and thoroughly conversant with the methods discussed, Love is essential reading for anyone investigating the authorship of a document or evaluating the evidence behind an attribution.


Latham, Sean, and Robert Scholes. ““The Rise of Periodical Studies”.” PMLA 121.2 (2006): 517–31. PB6.M6.

A description of the emerging field of periodical studies, its methodologies, and the problems attendant on its dependence on digital archives. Focuses on the “hole in the archive,” that is, the failure to preserve advertising pages in bound print runs and digital copies; the unreliability of optical character recognition (OCR) scanning and its implications for searching full text; and the need to “[g]enerate metadata for advertisements along with other features.” “The Rise of Periodical Studies” is required reading for anyone working with digital archives.