This illustrated essay collection by Tucker (curator of books & records, Newcomb Coll. Ctr. for Research on Women, Tulane Univ.; Telling Memories Among Southern Women), Katherine Ott (curator, science & medicine, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History; Fevered Lives), and Patricia P. Buckler (English & composition, Purdue Univ.) examines in two parts the great variety of scrapbooks, their creators, and their importance as historical records. In "Manuscripts of Learning and Knowledge," one finds records of physicians' careers, daily life on a Southern plantation, the Mexican War, and the World's Columbian Exposition. "Books of the Self" includes family records and the documentation of personal experiences. Two essays here deal with the relationship of early development to adult creativity in the lives of famous writers based on the scrapbooks compiled by their mothers. Unfortunately, the writing is a bit dry, and the book could have offered a more revealing glimpse into the makers as real people. Over all, this is not a how-to but a "why" book; a serious, systematic investigation of the history of an enduring tradition suitable only for specialized libraries with large collections.-Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.