ARBA Guide to Subject Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

ARBA Guide to Subject Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

by Bohdan S. Wynar, G Kim Dority, Heather Cameron

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Reviews of 1300 specialized sources from past volumes of American Reference Books Annual have been re-edited, updated, and classified in 43 subject categories under Wynor's editorship. The selections represent only the ``most useful'' and ``best'' in their fields as reviewed by over 400 librarians and academicians. Most critiques are 200-400 words, but those on major, expensive works are much lengthier. Citations for additional reviews are provided together with complete and current biographical information. While the ARBA Guide specifically excludes general encyclopedias, Kister covers both types in a largely updated version of his Encyclopedia Buying Guide ( LJ 11/1/81). A valuable chapter introduces the reader to important background information, e.g., sales tactics, secondhand encyclopedias, and selection criteria. The major focus is on 52 general works, most of which are still in print. Their strengths and weaknesses are illustrated with specific examples, but the overall treatment is significantly shorter than in his previous book. In addition ``450 recommended specialized encyclopedias'' are covered, with short quotes from other reviews. More thorough treatment of the specialized works and a better layout are provided by the ARBA Guide. Compiled by librarians with distinguished reputations in this field, both items are essential collection development tools, and those contemplating the purchase of a home encyclopedia will particularly benefit from Kister's book. Stanely P. Hodge, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, Ind.

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