This book was first published in 1891. However, the vast majority of primary source materials, in many Algonquian languages, had already been written down by that time. Therefore, this work still has a lot of relevance, to anyone interested in studying this fascinating subject.
Please note, incidentally, that this is a bibliography of "Algonquian" languages, as opposed to "Algic." The latter term was devised as an umbrella designation, to allow the inclusion of the northwestern Californian native tongues known as Yurok and Wiyot. These languages are now known to be distantly related to the eastern Algonquian languages, but no such relationship was yet established in 1891, when Pilling's book was compiled. Therefore, don't look here for materials having to do with Yurok or Wiyot.
The Pilling bibliography includes information on finding articles and records in old state historical society records, from various states. For this reason, among others, it still has a lot of value. If you would like to seek out more recently compiled resources, you could try "Bibliography of Algonquian Linguistics," published in 1982, by David Pentland and H.C. Wolfart. Or, for still more recent resources, ask your local librarian to help you seek out the 2003 issues of the newsletter "Algonquian and Iroquoian Linguistics," ISSN 0711-382X, edited by John D. Nichols of the Department of American Indian Studies, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Finally, you may wish to be aware of the work archived on the (non-profit) website [...] If you go to that website, look on the horizontal bar across the top of the main page. Click on "Mailing Lists," which is near the right hand side of the bar. When you get to the page entitled "Welcome to the Mailing Lists Area," click on the first option, "Browse Mailing Lists Archived on the LINGUIST Site. " The third archived list is called ALGONQDICT. Click on the red title of the list, then look down near the bottom of the page. You will be able to browse through listserv archives from October, 2003, to the present. If you look for the e-mail addresses of the list subscribers, they are famously helpful and friendly to anyone with an interest in this little-known topic.
To business... there are 2,245 titled entries in the Pilling book. Of these, 1,926 relate to printed books and articles. 319 have to do with what were unpublished manuscripts, at the time that this book first came out. I would like to point out here that many of these "unpublished" entries can be located today. You may need to use your imagination, and try a few different spellings of Algonquian words in the titles you seek. But ask your local librarian to help you use OCLC/Worldcat to hunt around on the internet. You'll be surprised at what you might turn up in old archives, etc.
Entries vary quite a bit in content, and in length. For example, the entry for John Eliot, (the seventeenth century "Apostle to the Indians," and translator of the bible into Massachusett), is a full fifty-seven pages long. This totally eclipses the number of pages of all other scholars. For example, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft warranted ten pages of entries, and the great James Hammond Trumbull only has seven pages devoted to his work. Other entries are much tinier. Pilling made up all kinds of oddball categories, as a matter of fact. Again, you will probably benefit from using your imagination, in concocting topics to search for.
Entries are alphabetically arranged, all in a single alphabetic sequence. There are not separate sequences for subjects, authors, or titles. No siree. Therefore, for example, under "G," you will find entries for papers authored by people with the last name "Gordon," followed by entries concerning the gospels, followed by an entry on grammars in various tongues. "G" also contains entries on the Gros Ventre tribe, and, of course, many individual authors. Oftentimes, the word "author" really means "translator," if you want to be precise.
Entries typically give an author's name, the work's title, some publishers' information, a quick description of the contents, and often a few paragraphs about the significance of the work, or the author/translator. Finally, mention is made of whether James Pilling or one of his associates actually had seen the volume in question, (which is the case 95% of the time). Again, this information is often enough to dig up copies today, using OCLC/Worldcat.
One additional useful feature is the chronologic index, on pages 577-614. This index places the entire contents of the book in chronological order, item by item. This can help to draw attention to relationships between entries that you might otherwise not have perceived. This can be particularly useful for the earlier entries, when the number of tribes communicating with whites was relatively slight.
I myself have used this book to track down materials pertaining to the old native tongues of New England. I can tell you, it has called my attention to quite a few items that I would never have known existed, without this fine resource. Whatever your particular Algonquian linguistic interest might be, I think this book can probably be a lot of help to you. Therefore, I hereby recommend the living daylights out of "Bibliography Of The Algonquian Languages" (Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletins)
by James Constantine Pilling.