Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Article Note: a bibliography on Sufism

Citation for the article:

Francesconi, Danilo. "Sufism: A Guide to Essential Reference Resources." Reference Services Review 37.1 (2009): 112-124.

Read via Emerald.

It may be a librarian thing, but once in a while I like reading over bibliographies, especially ones on topics that can help me learn new things. I will admit that Sufism is not something I know a lot about, so I certainly wanted to read this article to get an idea of where to start if I wanted to learn more. The article did just that, and it also gave me some ideas in case I have to help out some patron who may starting to investigate the topic. The author provides a list of works meant for a general reader; he introduces "essential works about this broad subject, its fundamental doctrinal concepts, its basic ritual practices, its ethics, and the history of the main Sufi masters and their groups" (112). He also mentions that this guide can be useful for small public libraries to develop some collections on Sufism (113). I will argue that this guide can be also useful for small academic libraries as well. It certainly would be a guide I would use to develop our holdings related to Sufism.

Francesconi provides a brief historical timeline and briefly discusses some of the challenges in doing research in this area. A big challenge is that a lot of the resources may be scattered, and this is where the librarian comes in to help the researcher. There is a good listing of electronic and print sources from basic reference sources (like encyclopedias) to good books and databases. The article is not meant to be exhaustive, but it will give you a good start.

No comments: