By Sarah Hashimoto
‘Thirty-nine case studies highlight artwork and everyday items—paintings, food, and even popular entertainment—to address questions relating to the nature of beauty and taste.’
‘Especially noteworthy is the inclusion of 47 critical readings from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America that showcase non-Western scholarship'.
‘The Contemporary Aesthetics platform is attractive and engaging. Patrons can access materials through the top navigation menu, which provides options for exploring movements/schools of thought, subjects, periods, and people. They can also browse by content type.’
‘If exploring rather than conducting targeted searches, patrons can use the interactive time line, which connects thinkers from the 17th century onward with pivotal social and cultural developments of the time.’
‘The search function is intuitive and responsive.’
‘One helpful feature is the ability to create personal accounts to save search results and content. Additionally, APA, MLA, and Chicago citations are available for all content.’
‘Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics offers students and researchers an engaging entry into robust scholarship and innovative thinking in contemporary aesthetics. This user-friendly resource should have a place in academic libraries.’
By Rob Tench
'Aimed at undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and researchers, Bloomsbury Philosophy Library comprises three collections. Bloomsbury History of Modern Aesthetics consists of 20 hard-to-find 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century texts. Bloomsbury 20th-Century French Thought offers 25 primary texts from late 20th-century French philosophers and 125-plus works of secondary literature. The Encyclopedia of Philosophers offers 6,500 articles covering the life and work of prominent philosophers from North America, Britain, Germany, Ireland, France, and the Middle East, from the 17th to 20th centuries.'
'New multi-content collections (Contemporary Aesthetics, Asian Philosophy, Radical Thought, Women Philosophers) are under development.'
'The platform is user-friendly, with an engaging interface, resourceful indexing, excellent searching tools, and attractive graphics. At the top of the landing page are tabs labeled “home,” “explore by,” “browse collections,” “about,” and “for librarians.” A basic search bar is below the main navigation, with an advanced search link next to it. Below the search bar, a box labeled “featured content” spotlights relevant material (for instance, an article on women in philosophy). Underneath, there are four boxes that let users search by primary texts, secondary literature, articles, and a time line. Scrolling down further, users will see three boxes devoted to each of the main collections in the database, as well as a “teaching and learning tools” box.
Clicking “explore by” allows users to search by subject, movements and schools of thought, person, period, and content type (articles, time lines, primary texts, secondary literature). “Browse collections” lets users access the three content collections.
Response time to queries is fast, with results arranged by relevance. Retrieved items can be sorted by ascending or descending order and title or date. They can be further refined by subject, movements and schools of thought, person, period, place, primary text, and content type. Using advanced search, researchers can narrow results by title, author/editor/creator, summary/abstract, category, or identifier and by article, bibliographic guide, biographical entry, image, or ebook. Boolean searching is also available.
Users can create personal accounts to save and organize content. Retrieved information can be saved, printed, shared, and cited in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.'
'Easy navigation, multiple ways to access content, and numerous search features characterize the archive. It is a viable resource for students, teachers, and researchers of philosophy ... In sum, this is a strong product that will continue to improve as more content and resources are added.'