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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Booklist Editors' Choice
Among the many excellent reference sources published in 2000, these titles were chosen by the editor of RBB as the most noteworthy. Some are major additions to scholarship, cover significant topics, or are reference collection “firsts.” Others present a fresh perspective or package information in an especially appealing way. Still others are titles that we just plain enjoyed. Although we are still seeing plenty of good books, this year’s list has more online resources than ever, reflecting the growing impact of the Internet on reference publishing.
American Indian History and Culture: An Online Encyclopedia. Facts On File, for pricing visit [http://www.factsonfile.com].American Women’s History: An Online Encyclopedia. Facts On File, for pricing visit [http://www.factsonfile.com].
Facts On File combines flexible search capabilities with content drawn from dozens of their print resources to create an appealing duo of multidimensional online encyclopedias.
Ancient Civilizations. 10v. Grolier, $319 (0-7172-9471-4).
Peoples and civilizations of ancient times (including some, such as the Aborigines of Australia, that are still extant) get multivolume treatment in this highly visual set designed to complement standard elementary- and middle-school curriculums.
The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science: Pioneering Lives from Ancient Times to the Mid-20th Century. 2v. Ed. by Marilyn Ogilvie and Joy Harvey. Routledge, $195 (0-415-92038-8).
Although there is no lack of reference sources on women scientists, Routledge’s entry, with approximately 2,500 biographies, is by far the most comprehensive.
The Cambridge World History of Food. 2v. Ed. by Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas. Cambridge, $150 (0-521-40216-6).
As culinary arts struggles to become an academic discipline, the popular topic of food gets full-fledged scholarly treatment in a fascinating set that should become a standard source. Its sections survey the diet of early man, food-related disorders, food and drink around the world, nutrition and health, and other topics.
The Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space. By Robert Zimmerman. Oryx, $85 (1-57356-196-7).
Entries for every space mission that has been undertaken by every country on Earth help make this an essential title for “space junkies” and the libraries that serve them. Content is arranged chronologically, beginning with Sputnik in 1957 and ending with the December 21, 1999, launch of the commercial communications satellite Galaxy II.
The Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry. [Internet database]. Columbia Univ., for pricing visit [http://www.grangers.org].
Though a standard library source, Granger’s Index to Poetry has always presented challenges in terms of access. The online version not only overcomes many of these difficulties but extends the resource far beyond its traditional indexing function by adding rich, largely original biographical and critical content.
Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920–1960. By Luther F. Sies. McFarland, $135 (0-7864-0452-3).
We’ve seen a number of titles on radio history in recent years, but Sies’ survey of radio’s golden age is the most ambitious. More than 28,000 entries document performers and programs, many not found in other guides to radio.
Encyclopedia of Eastern Europe: From the Congress of Vienna to the Fall of Communism. Ed. by Richard Frucht. Garland, $145 (0-8153-0092-1).
Like the Encyclopedia of the Palestinians (listed below), this book is a useful tool for anyone trying to sort out the complexities of a tinderbox region. A great deal of valuable background material will remain even as some of the information goes out of date.
Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns. Ed. by Thomas Riggs. Gale, $250 (0-7876-3042-X).
This slice of business history profiles 500 twentieth-century print, radio, and television marketing campaigns, from Burma Shave road signs to “Got Milk?” Few reference works offer historical information about advertising, and none match the depth and quality offered here.
Encyclopedia of Monasticism. 2v. Ed. by William M. Johnston. 2000. Fitzroy Dearborn, $295 (1-57958-090-4).
What seems like a narrow topic gets expansive and eye-opening treatment in these volumes, the first to bring together information on monasticism and the first to treat Eastern monasticism as on a par with Western Christian traditions.
Encyclopedia of Psychology. 8v. Ed. by Alan E. Kazdin. Oxford, $995 (1-55798-187-6).
This joint effort of the American Psychological Association and Oxford University Press has more than 1,500 entries. Its all-encompassing scope and superior scholarship make the set an essential purchase for most academic libraries, as well as large public libraries with substantial psychology collections.
Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History. 5v. Ed. by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler. 2000. ABC-CLIO, $425 (1-57607-066-2).
The most comprehensive reference work to date on the Civil War offers more than 1,600 entries on topics biographical, cultural, military, and social. See our review on p.1006.
The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 2v. Ed. by Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam. Oxford, $295 (0-19-508450-0).
Aiming to encompass all scholarship to date on the Dead Sea scrolls, this encyclopedia offers content that is wholly unique. The usefulness of a source that brings together current academic thinking on so important a topic is beyond question.
Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social, and Military History. 3v. Ed. by Spencer C. Tucker. ABC-CLIO, $275 (1-57607-029-8).
The editor of the Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War (1998) applies the same high standards to the first comprehensive examination of a conflict often referred to as the “Forgotten War.”
Encyclopedia of the Palestinians. Ed. by Phillip Matar. Facts On File, $75 (0-8160-3043-X).
As the Arab-Israeli conflict drags on, this book seems even more topical than it did when it was published a few months back. Providing objective coverage of a subject that has been underrepresented in reference collections, it is an essential resource for general readers trying to get a handle on the issues and sources of contention in the Middle East.
Encyclopedia of Third Parties in America. 3v. By Immanuel Ness and James Ciment. Sharpe, $275 (0-7656-8020-3).
Although Ralph Nader failed in his bid to get 5 percent of the vote, our slog through the 2000 presidential election process might just make third parties more appealing. This well-organized volume pulls together information on alternative political parties-their leaders, their ideological roots, their positions, and their successes and failures-throughout U.S. history.
Exploring Life Sciences. 11v. 2000. 880p. Marshall Cavendish, $329.95 (0-7614-7135-9).
Marshall Cavendish applies its trademark full-color approach to a set that is similar in format to its Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (1996) but aimed at students in grades three through five.
Gay Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. Ed. by George E. Haggerty and others. Garland, $140 (0-8153-1880-4).Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia. Ed. by Bonnie Zimmerman. Garland, $140 (0-8153-1920-7).
Addressing a growing need, these two volumes make up The Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures, the first reference work that attempts a thorough survey of the complex histories and wide cultural diversity of lesbian and gay life. Its interdisciplinary approach should make it useful to researchers in almost all fields.
Historical Encyclopedia of Atomic Energy. By Stephen E. Atkins. Greenwood, $65 (0-313-30400-9).
Though they tend to be overshadowed by big sets, there are still plenty of useful single-volume reference sources that focus on narrow topics. We liked this one because it is the first to provide encyclopedic treatment of its subject, attempting to cover every significant political and scientific event, personality, or discovery relating to atomic energy.
Medieval Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs. 2v. Ed. by Carl Lindahl and others. ABC-CLIO, $175 (1-57607-121-9).
Distinguished from other folklore encyclopedias by its emphasis on strictly medieval interpretations, this 306-entry set is one of those rare resources that can appeal to both a scholarly and a popular audience.
Nueva Enciclopedia Cumbre en Línea. [Internet database]. Grolier, for pricing visit [http://go.grolier.com].
The first Spanish-language encyclopedia available online has the complete text of the print edition-more than 15,000 articles-plus 6,500 photographs, 300 fact boxes, 300 maps, 270 flags, 150 sounds, and more than 15,000 Web links. The encyclopedia is updated quarterly; Web links are updated monthly.
The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. Ed. by Jack Zipes. Oxford, $49.95 (0-19-860115-8).
Oxford has produced a first-of-its kind reference source emphasizing the cultures of Europe and North America. Among the 800 entries are lengthy surveys of the fairy tales of each country or region.
Oxford English Dictionary Online. [Internet database]. Oxford, for pricing visit [http://dictionary.oed.com].
The resource that is arguably the ultimate reference book is now online, adding a bounty of new access points to its wealth of definitions. (Top of the List-Reference Source.)
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. 5v. Ed. by Tom Pendergast and Sara Pendergast. St. James, $675 (1-558-62400-7).
Reflecting its subject’s inherent inclusiveness, there seems to be no aspect of U.S. popular culture missing from this fascinating set. Coverage ranges from Currier and Ives to Beanie Babies, Touched by an Angel, and Tiger Woods.
Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery, v.5, 1800–1899. Ed. by Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer. Gale, $85 (0-7876-3937-0).
Following the success of Gale’s World Literature and Its Times series, the first volume in a new seven-volume series applies the same approach to the history of science and technology. Topical essays and pertinent biographies provide excellent background for researchers at the high-school level and up.
Student Resource Center. [Internet database]. Gale, for pricing visit [http://galenet.com].
Available in four levels of comprehensiveness, this easy-to-use research tool contains curriculum-oriented primary documents, biographies, topical essays, background information, and critical analyses drawn mostly from the publisher’s huge database.
World Conflicts and Confrontations. 4v. Ed. by Charles F. Bahmueller and R. Kent Rasmussen. Salem, $320 (0-89356-249-X).
Salem’s set for middle- and high-school students takes a regional approach to describing various types of conflicts, from border skirmishes to drug trafficking. Text is enhanced by sidebars, time lines, maps, and illustrations.
World Poets. 3v. Ed. by Ron Padgett. Scribner, $225 (0-684-80591-X).
Here is a new addition to the prestigious Scribner Writers Series but designed specifically for high-school students. The 110 poets who are treated were chosen based on curriculum demands and representation across eras and cultures.
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