Hartman, Donald K. 1959-
HARTMAN, Donald K. 1959-
PERSONAL: Born March 24, 1959, in Buffalo, NY; son of John and Maura (Rooney) Hartman; married Laura Weig; children: Katelin, Chelsea, Emma. Education: State University of New York—Buffalo, B.A. (economics), 1981, M.L.S., 1984.
CAREER: State University of New York—Buffalo, staff member at Lockwood Library. Epoch Books, Inc. (small press), co-owner.
AWARDS, HONORS: Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Librarianship, 1996.
(With Jerome Drost) Themes and Settings in Fiction: A Bibliography of Bibliographies, Greenwood Press (New York, NY), 1988.
(Editor) Fairground Fiction: Detective Stories of the World's Columbian Exposition, Motif Press (Kenmore, NY), 1992.
(With Gregg Sapp) Historical Figures in Fiction, Oryx Press (Phoenix, AZ), 1994.
(With David J. Beruca and Susan M. Neumeister) World's Columbian Exposition: A Centennial Bibliographic Guide, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1996.
Historical Figures in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Epoch Books (Kenmore, NY), 1999.
Contributor to periodicals, including AWP Chronicle, Unabashed Librarian, College & Research Libraries, Bulletin of Bibliography, and Accountants' Journal.
SIDELIGHTS: Donald K. Hartman has established a niche for himself as an author, editor, and compiler of reference works connecting literature and history. His Themes and Settings in Fiction: A Bibliography of Bibliographies, compiled with colleague Jerome Drost, is, as the title proclaims, a work that refines the bibliographer's art: not only is it a 200-page bibliography, but its entries themselves consist of bibliographies. The volume contains 1,412 bibliographic works or parts of works—such as articles and selections from dissertations—that involve place and theme in fiction. Theme, in this instance, is broadened to include characters with a thematic slant. The entries include brief annotations. J. M. Parker, reviewing the book for Choice, noted that "Hartman and Drost have discovered an impressive number of bibliographies," and predicted that the book would be valuable to graduate students and others researching specific topics in fiction. American Reference Book Annual reviewer Edmund F. Santavicca called the bibliography of bibliographies "impressive in the scope of subjects covered," and "a valuable supplement to the research collection."
Another successful venture in the classification of fiction with regard to history was Hartman's 1994 book, Historical Figures in Fiction, written with Gregg Sapp. The book provides a ready-reference answer to a real but sometimes overlooked question asked in libraries: how to find a piece of fiction containing a given historical figure. "Hartman and Sapp have taken a giant step toward solving this problem," declared Paul D'Alessandro in Library Journal. The 1,500 historical personages included in the book represent 4,200 different works of fiction in English published between 1940 and 1993 and encompass the obvious and not so obvious: from Mogul emperor Akhbar, rock star Bruce Springsteen, actor Sal Mineo, and comedian Lucille Ball to "Son of Sam" serial killer David Berkowitz and Sacagewea. Booklist reviewer Sandy Whiteley praised the volume's indexing, cross-referencing, and inclusion of review information. Whiteley concluded that the project is "the most comprehensive index to characters in historical fiction available," and asserted that it would be useful for students and researchers. The critic also noted, however, that "more than half of the books listed were published before 1970."
Hartman once told CA: "The three major areas of my research efforts have been: subject access to fiction, the Ph.D. dissertation (access to and its variations of publication), and international expositions.
"Fiction is studied for educational purposes as well as to provide pleasure to the reader, but subject access to fiction has always presented obstacles. Frequently a reader is interested in reading or studying a work of fiction set in a certain place or time period, or having a certain theme or motif, but obtaining such a fictional work may be difficult because the vast majority of fictional publications are not accessible by subject. The obstacles to classifying fiction include the subjective nature of fiction, the topical diversity of imaginary works, and the vague distinction that is made between 'literary' and 'popular' forms of fiction. Several of my published articles and books were compiled with the hope that, by their existence, the gap between subject access and fiction would be narrowed.
"Electronic bibliographic control and sophisticated print sources to dissertations have made them an increasingly important informational resource. The traditional format and objective of the Ph.D. dissertation has been modified by educational innovations so that the dissertation can be a musical composition, a novel, et cetera, which in turn requires a new perspective on 'research' and 'scholarship.' My article 'Dissertations—An Online Dilemma' surveys individual database producers to find out to what extent dissertations are covered. 'Novels as Ph.D. Dissertations' surveys authors who wrote novels for their dissertations. The survey sought answers to such questions as whether the novel dissertation was ever published, how the novel dissertation shaped the author's academic and professional career, and whether the author felt the decision to write a creative dissertation was wise from a personal or professional viewpoint.
"My interest in international expositions or world's fairs has also led me into publishing endeavors. The World's Columbian Exposition, which was held in Chicago in 1893, was the largest and most spectacular international exhibition of the nineteenth century. It drew more than twenty-seven million people to its grounds and is considered by many scholars to be a watershed in American history. My book The World's Columbian Exposition: A Centennial Bibliographic Guide, coauthored with two colleagues, was chosen as one of the best bibliographies in history for 1995-96 by the history section of the Bibliographies and Indexes Committee of RUSA. Fairground Fiction: Detective Stories of the World's Columbian Exposition tied together my interest in fiction and my interest in international expositions.
"In all my publications I try to achieve one of the primary goals of research in librarianship: to make the complicated information-finding process transparent to the subject-oriented information seeker."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Reference Book Annual, Volume 90, 1989, Edmund F. Santavicca, review of Themes and Settings in Fiction: A Bibliography of Bibliographies, p. 468.
Booklist, December 15, 1994, Sandy Whiteley, review of Historical Figures in Fiction, p. 771.
Choice, May, 1989, p. 1493.
Library Journal, September 15, 1994, Paul D'Alessandro, review of Historical Figures in Fiction, p. 65.