Subject Bibliography: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Mary Firestone
Find out what a subject bibliography is and how it can be useful to your research essay or project. Learn what goes into a subject bibliography, then take a quiz to test your knowledge.

Subject Bibliography

Subject bibliographies are books or pamphlets with bibliographic listings of works about a single subject. They're different from the bibliographies that you find at the end of a book or research paper.

A subject bibliography contains bibliographic information about everything (of quality) that's ever been written about a topic. This includes all the books, periodicals, pamphlets, journals and works in other languages. The subject might be an area of literature, a person or a time in history, but the potential topic areas are endless.

How These Are Useful

You might wonder why someone would bother to collect a list of everything written on a subject. The works collected are generally thought of as the best available materials on the topic, so a subject bibliography can be a helpful resource for someone doing research on the topic. For example, if you were interested in the writing by women during WWI, there's a subject bibliography on this topic that lists all the note-worthy novels, short stories, letters, journals and published diaries.

Examples of Subject Bibliographies

  • Ouditt, Sharon. Women Writers of the First World War: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Routledge, 2000. Print.

This subject bibliography begins with an introduction describing the categories and contents of each section. It lists and annotates (brief summary of each work) hundreds of works by women during World War I.

  • Kistler, J. (2000) Animal rights: A subject guide, bibliography, and internet companion. Westport, CT: Greenwood

The author has collected over 900 sources that cover everything in print and online on the subject of animal rights. Each section begins with an essay, focusing on the theme for that section.

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