The Library's Science, Technology and Business Division has recently issued several new online publications. These include two additions to the Tracer Bullet series of subject bibliographies ("Food History" and "Medicinal Plants"), a quarterly business and economics research report and a market research guide.
Tracer Bullet on Food History
The history of food is a subject well suited to research using the Library's collections. In addition to books on cookery and scholarly treatises on the subject, this bibliography includes sources of historical and cultural data such as serials, letters and diaries, travelers' memoirs, advertising, exposition guides, wartime food manuals and manufacturers' pamphlets.
Because the topic of food history is so broad, the guide can only suggest some areas of interest. The titles included are intended to give an idea of the breadth of information available in both traditional and somewhat less traditional sources, with the focus being on works published in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Tracer Bullet on Medicinal Plants
This update of a previous Tracer Bullet provides resources about plants as a major source of medicines, as they have been throughout human history. Some medicinal plants, such as the opium poppy, have long been recognized and widely used, while others, such as the Pacific yew, the original source for the cancer drug Taxol, are relative newcomers to mainstream medicine. In addition to providing the basis for 30 to 40 percent of today's conventional drugs, the medicinal and curative properties of various plants are also employed in herbal supplements, botanicals, nutraceuticals and teas.
Drug discovery, ethnobotany and traditional and indigenous medicines have long been basic to medicinal plant research. As new uses for medicinal plants have been discovered and popularized, sustainability has increasingly become an issue; concern over the growth in biopiracy goes hand in hand with the critical need for conservation of both species and habitats.
Tracer Bullets are available free of charge, and can be obtained on request from the Science, Technology and Business Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-4750. They also may be accessed on the division's Web site at www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/tracer-bullets/.
BERA: Business & Economics Research Advisor
The division's Business Reference Services has recently inaugurated a new quarterly online publication, BERA: Business & Economics Research Advisor, for subjects related to business and economics intended to serve a wide research audience, as well as to provide useful, high-quality information and research assistance to the interested public.
Issue 1, Globalization, focuses on a much-debated topic. Globalization is defined, and its history, elements and trends are discussed; electronic resources and finding aids are listed.
Issue 2, The Automotive Industry, includes a brief history, as well as statistical sources, information on manufacturing and retail, a section on company research and finding aids. The issue covers the world market, with a strong emphasis on information about the U.S. market. BERA can be accessed at www.loc.gov/rr/business/BERA/.
Ellen Terrell of Business Reference Services has prepared a new online guide, "Market Segmentation: A Guide to Sources of Information." Sellers and advertisers need to be able to determine what the potential market is for their product or service, as well as the best ways to reach potential consumers, and this publication will help them.
The guide includes books and other resources that discuss marketing to particular segments of the population, along with other sources that are important in determining the size and power of a particular market segment. Also included are data whose main focus deal with a specific generational, ethnic or other group. Additionally, the guide includes references to selected articles and online sources, as well as links to relevant subject searches in the Library's online catalog. The guide is available at www.loc.gov/rr/business/marketing/.