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Find more Booklist Editors' Choice
These titles were chosen by the editor of RBB, based on reviews published in the reference section of Booklist, as well as suggestions from the Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board and guest reviewers. Titles were selected not only because they exemplify some of the major qualities of an outstanding reference work but also because they offer something unique for the reference collection.
Ancient Greece and Rome: An Encyclopedia for Students. 4v. Ed. by Carroll Moulton. Scribner, $350 (0-684-80507-3).
Of the numerous resources we saw in 1998 that have been redesigned for smaller collections or a younger audience, this is one of the most attractive. It is a revision of several of the publisher’s college-level titles, made accessible and appealing for middle- and high-school students.
Biographical Encyclopedia of Scientists. 5v. Marshall Cavendish, $299.95 (0-7614-7064-6).
A nice variety of features supports the text in this attractive set, which highlights the personal as well as the professional lives of more than 500 scientists and inventors.
The Columbia Gazetteer of the World. 3v. Ed. by Saul B. Cohen. Columbia, $750 (0-231-11040-5).
Publication of this successor to the classic Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World (1952) was a significant reference publishing event, reflecting the dramatic changes in the world over the past 40-plus years.
Congressional Universe. Online database. Congressional Information Service.
Combining access to a wealth of information with superior indexing and abstracting makes this online service a document librarian’s dream.
Directory of Schools for Alternative and Complementary Health Care. Ed. by Karen Rappaport. Oryx, $49.95 (1-57356-110-X).
The growing interest in alternative medicine has resulted in more formal education and training programs, now documented in a comprehensive and nicely organized directory.
DISCovering Nations, States, and Cultures. CD-ROM. Gale, $600 (0-7876-0559-X).Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. 4v. Ed. by Timothy L. Gall. Gale, $299 (0-7876-0552-2).
These titles exemplify the way in which “big giant databases” allow publishers to create families of products that can be adapted to suit different audiences and settings. Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life is the new addition to the line that also includes Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations (9th ed., 1998) and Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States (4th ed., 1998). DISCovering Nations, States, and Cultures combines content from all three.
Encyclopedia of AIDS: A Social, Political, Cultural, and Scientific Record of the HIV Epidemic. Ed. by Raymond A. Smith. Fitzroy Dearborn, $125 (1-57958-007-6).
There is nothing comparable to this volume, which systematically organizes, synthesizes, and contextualizes an enormous body of information on the first 15 years of the global HIV/AIDS crisis for a general readership.
Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries. Ed. by Jane A. Malonis and Holly M. Selden. Gale, $350 (0-7876-1863-2).
A useful complement to standard industry sources, this well-designed new volume provides detailed information on “88 newly flourishing businesses and industry segments.”
The Encyclopedia of Housing. Ed. by Willem van Vliet. Sage, $169.95 (0-7619-1332-7).
From a publisher generally known for more scholarly titles, this unique volume is both authoritative and accessible. It takes a multidisciplinary approach to its subject and covers topics about which information is not readily available.
The Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones. Ed. by David Longshore. Facts On File, $45 (0-8160-3398-6).
Amply illustrated, this volume provides an excellent overview of natural weather-related disasters for the general reader.
Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. 3v. Ed. by Spencer C. Tucker. ABC-CLIO, $275 (0-87436-983-5).
A comprehensive and detailed treatment of a controversial topic is provided in this encyclopedia, suitable for the high-school level and up. The publisher plans to use the companion Web site <http:// www.vietnam-reference.com> to augment and update the encyclopedia’s content.
Flags of the World. 9v. Grolier, $239 (0-7172-9159-6).
Libraries have needed a comprehensive, up-to-date resource on flags. This one is nicely organized and designed and should receive heavy use in school and public libraries.
The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. 4v. Ed. by Sharon Malinowski and Anna Sheets. Gale, $349 (0-7876-1085-2).
This ambitious set provides historical, cultural, and current information on more than 400 Native American tribes. Special features in each entry include sidebars, a time line, and profiles of important people.
Gay & Lesbian Almanac. Ed. by Neil Schlager. St. James, $100 (1-55862-358-2).
Here is a volume that very capably facilitates in-depth study of twentieth-century American lesbian and gay experience and culture. Some previous books on the topic have been criticized for leaning toward the male side, but this one displays every attempt to achieve balance between males, females, and shared issues and interests.
Historical Dictionary of American Radio. Ed. by Donald G. Godfrey and Frederic A. Leigh. Greenwood, $89.50 (0-313-29636-7).
More than a dictionary, this work builds on a wealth of historical information about radio in America and covers a wide range of topics.
Instruments of Science: An Historical Encyclopedia. Ed. by Robert Bud and Deborah Jean Warner. Garland, $138 (0-8153-1561-9).
This scholarly resource is an important contribution to the literature of the history of science, providing descriptions of many instruments that are overlooked in other books.
International Encyclopedia of Dance. 6v. Oxford, $1,250 (0-19-509462-X).
Oxford has produced a set that is truly comprehensive, embracing all manner of dance in all countries in all time periods. There has never been a dance reference work with such a wide-ranging outlook presented in such a carefully planned and executed format. Likely to be the standard reference source for years to come in an area of the performing arts that has been notoriously underdocumented. (Top of the List winner––Reference Source.)
The New Book of Knowledge Online. Online database. Grolier.
The latest addition to Grolier Online is the baby of the family, both because it is the newest member and because it is designed for a younger audience.
People of the Holocaust. 2v. Ed. by Linda Schmittroth and Mary Kay Rosteck. UXL, $49 (0-7876-1743-1). Understanding the Holocaust. 2v. Ed. by George Feldman. 458p. UXL, $49 (07876-1740-7).Voices of the Holocaust. 2v. Ed. by Lorie Jenkins McElroy. UXL, $49 (0-7876-1746-6).
From a publisher that aims its materials at the middle-school market comes this Holocaust Reference Library, each component of which provides a difference approach to a difficult topic. Each two-volume set may be purchased separately or as a combined set ($132, 0-7876-1739-3) that comes with a cumulative index to all six volumes.
Resources for People with Disabilities: A National Directory. 2v. Ed. by Elizabeth H. Oakes and John Bradford. Ferguson, $89.95 (0-89434-242-8).
The largest and most useful section is the one on assistive technology, providing information on more than 2,300 assistive technologies and devices.
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 10v. Ed. By Edward Craig. Routledge, $2,995 (0-415-07310-3).
More than 30 years after the publication of The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Macmillan and the Free Press, 1967) comes this new set that is likely to be the definitive encyclopedia of philosophy for the next generation.
State Occupational Outlook Handbook. Ed. by David Bianco. 759p. Gale, $95 (0-7876-1705-9).
Librarians have long relied on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for national information on job outlook, earnings, and employment. Now there is a valuable supplement that supplies state and regional coverage.
The United States and Mexico at War: Nineteenth-Century Expansionism and Conflict. Ed. by Donald S. Frazier. Macmillan, $125 (0-02-864606-1).
Filling a gap in reference works for this particular era, here is a fine example of the many single-volume subject encyclopedias we saw in 1998.
United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997: The Official Results of the Elections of the 1st through the 105th Congresses. By Michael J. Dubin. McFarland, $235 (0-7864-0283-0).
Although voting results from the latter half of the twentieth century are easy to find, this volume comprehensively collects results going all the way back to the first Congress.
Women Filmmakers and Their Films. Ed. by Amy Unterburger. St. James, $110 (1-55862-357-4).
This fascinating book covers women filmmakers, many of whom were pioneers, from the beginning of the cinema to the present. It provides detailed information on an aspect of moviemaking often excluded from other reference sources.
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