Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Famous Americans: A Directory of Museums, Historic Sites, and Memorials

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Famous Americans: A Directory of Museums, Historic Sites, and Memorials

Article excerpt

Famous Americans: A Directory of Museums, Historic Sites, and Memorials. By Victor J. Danilov. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow, 2013. 419 pages. alkaline $95 (ISBN: 9780-8108-9185-2). E-book available (978-0-8108-9186-9), $94.99.

Here is a directory that enables the user to quickly ascertain whether there is a museum somewhere in the United States associated with a famous American. Although there are many entries for American presidents, individuals who achieved fame in the fields of education, business, literature and the arts are well represented. If you had a patron who was doing research on Thomas Edison, by looking under the subject heading for inventors then the subheading for Edison, you would get a biographical synopsis of Edison's accomplishments, plus information about the six museums associated with him. Danilov's writing style makes the people and places come alive. He skillfully interweaves descriptions of each museum with the biographical details, giving the reader a feel for what each place has to offer that could further his or her understanding of the person's life and legacy The author might have done us more of a service had he personally visited these museums and provided more in the way of hard-hitting critical assessment. We can't really tell whether this or that museum lives up to its billing. The lack of photographs is another real shortcoming of this source. What few photographs the author did include are not only boring but technically defective. …

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