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American History in Video. 2009. Alexander Street [http://ahiv.alexanderstreet.com].
Access to archival films of historical interest, ranging from rare government and public-affairs footage to more commercial, popular documentaries, should particularly appeal to those who prefer discovering information via nonprint visual media.
Berkshire Encyclopedia of China. Ed. by Linsun Cheng. 5v. 2009. 2,800p. illus. Berkshire, $675 (9780977015948).
“The first multi-volume, multi-authored Encyclopedia of China to be published outside China itself” is designed to help high-school and college students prepare for a world in which China will be more important than ever.
Cinema Image Gallery. 2009. Wilson [www.hwwilson.com].
Researchers and fans wanting access to more than 152,000 high-quality film stills and related images copyright-cleared for educational use—as well as linked biographies and articles on actors, directors, films, and related topics—could do no better than Cinema Image Gallery.
The Columbia Gazetteer of the World. 2d ed. Ed. by Saul B. Cohen. 3v. 2008. 4,424p. Columbia Univ., $595 (9780231145541). The Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online. 2008. Columbia Univ. [www. columbiagazetteer.org].
This classic reference source has had a long history, beginning in 1855, and different titles and publishers. The latest edition has 7,000 new entries (for a total of 170,000) and is also available as recently revamped Columbia Gazetteer of the World Online.
Daily Life through World History in Primary Documents. Ed. by Lawrence Morris. 3v. 2008. 1,083p. illus. Greenwood, $299.95 (9780313338984).
What sets this resource apart in the crowded field of primary-resource collections is its subject matter: daily life. It presents a balanced social and cultural cross section of authors and subjects spanning from the ancient Sumerians to the intellectual and social world of the present.
Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-first Century. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. 5v. 2009. 2,672p. illus. Oxford, $595 (9780195167795).
The combined eight volumes of this set and its companion, Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass (2006), represent the most in-depth coverage of African American history from the arrival of the first slaves to the present day.
Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy. Ed. by J. Baird Callicott and Robert Frodeman. 2v. 2008. 585p. illus. Macmillan, $280 (9780028661377).
Environmental philosophy extends beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries, and this encyclopedia reflects this “dedisciplining” by offering a wide range of perspectives. Entries include not only the topics one might expect but also other subjects, such as religion and art.
Encyclopedia of Gender and Society. Ed. by Jodi O’Brien. 2v. 2009. 976p. Sage, $350 (9781412909167).
Providing readers with coverage of the major theories, research, people, and issues in contemporary gender studies, this encyclopedia succeeds in advancing a distinctly social perspective with which to analyze gender.
Encyclopedia of Human Rights. Ed. by David P. Forsythe. 5v. 2009. 2,672p. Oxford, $595 (9780195334029).
Focusing primarily on developments since 1945, when human rights (defined here as “international consensus on the minimum conditions for a life of dignity”) were included in the UN charter, articles provide in-depth analysis of one of the most important topics of our time.
Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania. By Barbara A. West. 2v. 2009. 1,002p. illus. Facts On File, $175 (9780816071098).
Epitomizing the very best in introductory subject encyclopedias, this set covers a vast subject area at a basic level, keeping it readable and understandable for its target audience of students and novice researchers.
Encyclopedia of Pestilence, Pandemics, and Plagues. Ed. by Joseph P. Byrne. 2v. 2008. 920p. illus. Greenwood, $199.95 (9780313341014).
Authoritative content written for the nonspecialist on a topic of broad appeal—the medical, cultural, sociological, and historical aspects of infectious diseases from prehistoric times to the present.
The Facts On File Companion to British Poetry: 1900 to the Present. By James Persoon and Robert R. Watson. 2009. 568p. Facts On File, $85 (9780816064069).
The twentieth century saw great changes in British poetry, and this volume makes a solid attempt at capturing all of them. The authors succeed in touching on all major poets and works and also resurrect often-neglected poets who made an impact on the literary scene or whose reputations are on the rise.
Greenwood Encyclopedia of Global Medieval Life and Culture. Ed. by Joyce E. Salisbury. 3v. 2009. 1,200p. illus. Greenwood, $299.95 (9780313338014).
A much-expanded version of the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life, Volume II (2004) extends the coverage of medieval life around the globe, and this is what sets it apart from other works on the period.
The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. Ed. by Jonathan M. Bloom and Sheila S. Blair. 3v. 2009. 2,124p. illus. Oxford, $325 (9780195309911).
The value of a spin-off reference work lies in its updated content, lower cost, and depth of coverage appropriate for specialized collections. This example lends a new perspective to a discipline that has become critically important since the publication of its parent set, the 34-volume Dictionary of Art (1996).
Grzimek’s Animal Life. 2009. Gale [www.gale.com].
Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, long a standout on the reference shelves, has gone online, and it’s a definite pleasure to see this classic resource in its latest incarnation. The videos, audio clips, interactive tools, links to periodicals, real-time news, and Web sites, as well as other added content and features, enrich Grzimek’s text, and the site can be used by researchers at many levels in high-school, public, and academic libraries. (Top of the List winner—Reference Source.)
The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest: 1500 to the Present. Ed. by Immanuel Ness. 8v. 2009. 4,280p. illus. Wiley-Blackwell, $1,195 (9781405184649).
Since protests against governments or other entities underlie many historical events, this set is, essentially, a history of the human race in modern times, and not an area of the world or significant topic has been ignored. An online version is available on the Blackwell Reference Online platform.
Latino America: A State-by-State Encyclopedia. Ed. by Mark Overmyer-Velazquez. 2v. 2009. 1,000p. illus. Greenwood, $175 (9780313341168).
Written from a Latino cultural perspective, this reference successfully illustrates Latino contributions and struggles. The detailed historical overviews include superb demographic data.
Magill’s Survey of World Literature. Rev. ed. Ed. by Steven G. Kellman. 6v. 2009. 3,000p. illus. Salem, $499 (9781587654312).
Dipping into these volumes at random might make almost any avid reader want to dig deeper. Emphasizing canonical and classic authors, the set is a revision of the 1993 Marshall Cavendish publication of the same name and its 1995 supplement.
Milestone Documents of American Leaders: Exploring the Primary Sources of Notable Americans. Ed. by Paul Finkelman. 4v. 2009. 2,100p. illus. Schlager, $395 (9780979775857).
In the second publication in the Milestone Documents series (following Documents in American History, 2008), documents are surrounded by features that provide context and help elucidate the text. Purchase of the print set comes with free online access via Salem History.
Music Online. 2009. Alexander Street [http://muco.alexanderstreet.com].
This platform offers a multitude of databases comprising an impressive 14,105 CDs and albums; 298 videos totaling 468 hours of dance and opera; more than 550,000 pages of full-text reference; and 15,222 scores. It may make the use of many traditional library resources unnecessary.
Oxford Biblical Studies Online. 2009. Oxford [www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com].
Six Bible texts as well as commentaries, concordances, and other reference works are made available electronically and integrated with one another. In addition to searching them all, researchers can see the Bible text and a commentary at the same time or compare two Bible texts.
Slavery and Anti-Slavery: A Transnational Archive. 2009. Gale [www.gale.com].
Produced by Gale imprint Primary Source Microfilm, this is the first of an eventual four-part resource and a stunning example of how the Internet continues to redefine primary-source access. Collections include sources from the American Colonization Society and the Anti-Slavery Collection from Oberlin College, among many others.
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