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Arctic Bibliography

Arctic Bibliography: Prepared for and in cooperation with the Department of Defense under the direction of the Arctic Institute of North America. Four Volumes (to date). (Obtainable from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington 25, D. C.), 1953-1954. Price, $17.50 a set. 9¼ x 5¾ inches.

To the person who seeks to broaden his knowledge of a geographical area, be he layman, scholar, industrialist or scientific investigator, the most important tool at his command will be the writings and findings of those who have studied the region. Until, however, references to source material can be brought together to form a bibliography, the student’s lot will not be a happy one, for he will be forced to depend upon the coverage of accessible collections to supply his needs. Inevitably, serious gaps will occur, his patience will suffer, and his search will be incomplete.

Happily, so far as the arctic and subarctic regions of the earth are concerned, the Arctic Bibliography provides a tool that can only be appraised in superlatives. Undertaken in 1947 by the Arctic Institute of North America, under the direction of Miss Marie Tremaine, and with funds provided by the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force, compilation of the Arctic Bibliography had, by the end of 1954, resulted in four published volumes. Annual supplements are scheduled for appearance in 1955 and 1956. Some impression of the magnitude of the work may be formed from the fact that the four available volumes present a total of over 6000 pages which contain 27,600 references to published works—a monumental accomplishment.

The material is presented in two major categories: (1) an alphabetical register under the author’s name, of his publications, and to each of these an abstract of the contents is appended, (2) a subject-geographic index to all significant topics referred to in the alphabetical register. Finally, each volume contains a map upon which the entire area of interest is subdivided into 69 sections for indexing purposes. Thus, author, subject, and area are inter-related, and the task of the consultant made simple and direct.

The Arctic Bibliography is the most detailed and extensive area bibliography ever produced, and so far as its geographical limits permit, no one can fail to benefit from its contents. The Armed Services which supported its compilation and publication, and the Arctic Institute which produced the result, cannot be praised too highly for their vision and performance.

Walter A. Wood