1999 Outstanding Reference Sources

image The 1999 list of Outstanding Reference Sources for Small and Medium-sized Libraries has been announced by the Reference and User Services Association's (RUSA) Reference Sources Committee. The titles were selected during the 1999 ALA Midwinter meeting and represent high-quality reference works that are suitable for small- to medium-sized libraries.

A complete list of the selected titles follows. The list appeared in the May 1999 issue of American Libraries.

The 1999 Selections

AIDS Dictionary. Sarah B. Watstein & Karen Chandler. New York: Facts On File, 1998 (0-8160-3149-5), $45; paperback (0-8160-3754-X), $24.95.
AIDS has made a huge impact on our society medically, socially, politically, legally, and psychologically. Sarah Watstein encapsulates this interdisciplinary issue into approximately 4,000 terms and explains them objectively, clearly, and readably for high school students, adults, and medical professionals. The terms include related diseases such as Kaposi's Sarcoma, treatments such as interleukin, jargon-"no code"- and slang-"bareback sex." The appendixes list statistics, toll-free telephone numbers, Web sites, nonprofit and government organizations, clinical trials, databases, and payment assistance programs. Highly recommended for all libraries.

The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary. Richard A. Tennant and Marianne Gluszak Brown. 408p. Washington: Clerc Books/Gallaudet University Press, 1998 (1-56368-043-2), $35.
The unique feature of this dictionary is that it is organized by handshape rather than by alphabetical order. An American Sign Language learner can look up an unfamiliar sign by looking for the handshape rather than by looking up the word in an alphabetical English glossary. At the same time, an English speaker can look up a sign for a specific word by looking at the Index of English Glossaries located at the end of the dictionary. The introduction includes a history of sign language in the United States. Detailed instructions explain the organization of the handshape sections and the ordering of signs. The illustrations are clear and are described in terms of configuration, location, movement, orientation, and nonmanual markers.

Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History. Mark D. Herber. 674p. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1998 (0-8063-1541-6), $34.95.
Intended for both beginning and experienced genealogists, this guide to tracing British records provides material for navigating archives and a variety of printed sources. Early chapters outline basic steps such as drawing family trees, using census records and searching for birth, marriage, and death certificates. Others outline strategies for organizing research and making use of the Internet and other technology. For experienced genealogists there is detailed information on legal, military, professional-association, and property records. There is extensive information regarding Church of England parish registers, as well as information for tracing Catholic, Jewish, and other nonconformist records. The book is further enhanced by almost 100 illustrations of various records, wills, gravestones, and family photographs.

Columbia Gazetteer of the World. Edited by Saul B. Cohen. 3rd edition. 3 vols. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998 (0-231-11040-5) $750.
Taking into account the doubling of the world's population and massive geopolitical changes, this classic reference work has almost tripled in size. The first new edition since 1952 has greater inclusion of developing nations, as reflected by over 5,000 entries from Brazil alone. Entries include political divisions (states, provinces, capitals), the physical world (oceans, mountains, volcanoes), and special places (military bases, dams, national parks). The Columbia Gazetteer is a truly monumental work that will continue to serve as the starting place for any geography search.

Congressional Universe. Bethesda, Md.: Congressional Information Service, 1998. http:/www.lexis-nexis.com/congcomp. Fee based subscription service. Subscription required.
With excellent indexes to congressional information, CIS has always been at the forefront of government information provision. With its new Web-based product, CIS brings access to full-text documents at the push of a button. An outstanding database, Congressional Universe provides access from the indexes and abstracts of the CIS/Index to the full texts of congressional documents. This Web-based tool's home page is broken down into eight categories: congressional publications; bills, laws & regulations; members and committees; inside Washington; hot topics in Congress; list of links to other Web sites; an overview of the site; and a very useful category to help everyone navigate their way to the information they need: a "How do I ...." link. Hypertext links can be found throughout the service to provide the user navigational points from one document to the next. Searching is allowed by CIS subject descriptors and via keyword. A subject's depth and chronology of coverage, as well as full text availability, depend upon which category you are searching.

Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Michael A. Dirr. 493p. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1997 (0-88192-404-0), $69.95.
Visually beautiful, with over 1,600 color photographs of woody plants that bring the text to life, this volume is destined to become a standard reference source for gardening and botany. Entries are arranged alphabetically by scientific name and describe the habitat, foliage, flower, fruit, availability from commercial sources, and landscape use of U.S. northern trees and shrubs, suitable for zones 3 to 8. Readable, short essays reflect the experience and personality of the author, a professor at the University of Georgia. About the Carolina hemlock, Dirr says that "many gardeners rave about this species . . .[but] my heart never missed a beat." Dirr took all the photographs during his 25 years as a horticulturist, and there is generally a shot of the full bush or tree and smaller close-ups of the fruit and the leaves of each. Thirty-four tables assist the landscaper in "Selecting Plants for Specific Characteristics or Purposes," such as flowering sequence, flower color, or shrub size.

E-BLAST: A Guide to the Web's Top Sites,. selected by the editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1997–1999. http://www.eblast.com. Free access.
With its emphasis on quality rather than quantity, e-blast has been billed as "the thinking person's guide to the Internet." Compiled by the editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, e-blast offers a selectivity of sites not found in other search engines. The site can be searched either by keyword or browsing through categories that range from scholarly to popular-interest topics. A special section of e-blast is tailored for young adults (ages 8-14). Each of the 130,000 sites available through e-blast has been screened for depth and accuracy of content, navigability, frequency of revision, and credentials of the authors. Because of the highly selective criteria for inclusion, the vast majority of commercial and personal home pages have been filtered out, allowing the user to navigate through high-quality sites.

The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History, edited by Michael Glazier & Thomas J. Shelley. 1,567p. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997 (0-8146.5919-5), $79.95.
Utilizing newly opened archival information, the authors of this scholarly resource illuminate the American Catholic experience through 1,200 signed articles and 300 illustrations. Examined are issues, movements, demographics, and history and wars in relation to American Catholics. Issues often neglected by the church are treated: the growing voice of American Catholic women and the church's lack of involvement in the issue of slavery. Since so much immigrant history is reflected in American Catholic history, many ethnic groups have their own entries. Biographies abound and many states have their own entries. Added features include primary documents, such as the American Catholic Bishops' Doctrine on Racism.

Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, edited by Marc Berkoff and Carron Meaney. 480p. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1998 (0-313-29977-3), $59.95.
Whether writing for a term paper, looking up organizations involving animal rights, or researching information as an animal lover, this is a resource chock full of information on animal rights and welfare. Coverage of issues, controversies, significant historical figures, and ideologies related to the treatment of animals are comprehensive. The essays cover a wide spectrum from the founding of the ASPCA and trapping, to religion and animals. The directory of organizations serves practical purposes, such as where to obtain a three-dimensional model of the frog for educators and both high school and college students.

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, edited by Michael Kelly. 4 vols. 2,208p. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998 (0-19-511307-1), $495.
Are things ugly or are they just not beautiful? The answer to this and many other questions can be found in this encyclopedia, the first large-scale comprehensive English-language reference on aesthetics and destined to be a classic in the field. Drawing from experts in the areas of philosophy, art, history, psychology, feminist theory, legal theory, and many more, the encyclopedia presents 600 signed essays alphabetically arranged. Most entries include a headnote clarifying the topic. Entries range from the philosophical essay on ugliness, to the more reality-based article on the impact of AIDS on the arts. Comprehensive coverage includes key figures, concepts, periods, theories, and movements in the history of aesthetics.

Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted In Works of Art, edited by Helen E. Roberts. 2 vols. 1,400p. Chicago: FitzRoy Dearborn, 1998 (1-57958-009-2), $250.
Answers to how various mythological, Biblical, and literary themes have been treated in literature, art, music, and the performing arts can be found in this work. It provides an analysis of over 100 selected themes that reflect the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of scholarly and academic work through the use of various iconographical sources. The alphabetical arrangement facilitates browsing, while the six indexes provide multiple access by considering, among others, references to the Bible; Judeo- Christian personages, places and concepts; and artists and works of art.

Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries, edited by Jane A. Malonis and Holly M. Selden. 580p. Detroit: Gale, 1998 (0-7876-1863-2), $249.
Want to know something about a hot new investment or job opportunity? This new work, which is planned to become an annual, profiles 88 emerging industries that have recently experienced significant growth, shown innovative marketing, or involved the use of cutting-edge technology. Some chapters cover well-established industries such as cigars and draft-beer-brewing, but most cover relatively new industries such as digital imaging, Internet service providers, online shopping, and voice mail systems. Each chapter gives a snapshot of the industry, its pioneers and leaders, organization and structure, work force, and possible global markets. Suggested readings and a list of Internet sites follow the articles. This valuable source is also available on CD and is included in the Web-based "Gale Business Sources."

Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature, edited by Mary Ellen Brown and Bruce A. Rosenberg. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1998 (1-57607-003-4), $99.50.
This encyclopedia examines the profound influence of folklore on literature. The more than 350 alphabetically arranged entries fall into four categories: writers and literary works that use folklore as a resource or source; concepts that make it easier to look at folklore and literature together; themes and characters that originated in oral literature but are also found in written literature; and scholars who have studied and contributed to the field of folklore and literature. The work concentrates on European and Western themes, including classical Greek and Roman. The introduction discusses the interest and connections between folklore and literature and ends with a bibliography.

Encyclopedia of Housing, edited by William Van Vliet. 712p. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998 (0-7619-1332-7), $169.95.
Need to know how housing is financed? What is Situ construction? Need to define home matching? This encyclopedia provides access to a wealth of information drawn from many disciplines. With more than 500 entries, from abandonment to zoning, these capsules go beyond merely providing definitions of housing topics: they describe, elaborate, and critically assess issues of relevance to a wide variety of readers. Appendixes that cover major federal legislation and list major organizations and journals accompany the entries.

Encyclopedia of Mental Health, edited by Howard S. Friedman. 3 vols. 2,398p. San Diego: Academic, 1998 (0-12-226675-7), $550.
Edited by Howard S. Friedman of the University of California/Riverside (called "the most cited psychologist" by the Social Science Citation Index), this work will be informative and accessible to college students and interested adults. In addition to discussing mental disorders, treatments, and personality attributes, articles focus on such subjects as burnout ,caffeine, and commuting and mental health. Each article is formatted clearly with an outline describing its content and a short glossary to explain terminology. A complete table of contents for all volumes in the front of each, bibliographies for further reading at the end of every article, and an extensive index aid use.

Encyclopedia of the Essay, edited by Tracy Chevalier. 1002p. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997 (1-884964-30-3), $125.
This groundbreaking new source of international scope defines the essay as nonfictional prose texts of between one and 50 pages in length. The more than 500 entries by 275 contributors include entries on nationalities, various categories of essays such as generic (such as sermons, aphorisms), individual major works, notable writers, and periodicals that created a market for essays, and particularly famous or significant essays. The preface details the historical development of the essay, and the alphabetically arranged entries usually include biographical sketch, nationality, era, selected writings list, additional readings, and anthologies.

Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social and Military History, edited by Spencer C. Tucker. 3 vols. 1,196p. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, (0-87436-983-5), $275.
This encyclopedia is unique for its comprehensive coverage of the military, social, and political aspects of the Vietnam War. There are clear articles on military tactics and weapon systems, detailed biographies-with particularly thorough coverage of the Communist leaders-analytical articles describing the contributions of various nations, the antiwar movement, and military strategy. Each entry has a substantial bibliography, as well as see-also references. Volume three consists of a documentary history of the war, including government memos, military telegrams, speeches, policy statements, and the logs of phone conversations. The comprehensive scope and depth of this encyclopedia make it a valuable addition to any academic or public library.

Encyclopedia of Urban America: The Cities and Suburbs, edited by Neil Larry Shumsky. 2 vols. 1,000p. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1998 (0-87436-846-4), $175.
This unique work analyzes urban America in a series of 547 signed articles. Biographical articles include Jane Addams, Marion Barry, Al Capone, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lewis Mumford, and Lincoln Steffens, while topical entries cover mass transit, social welfare, residential construction, mill towns, and boom towns. Others deal with religious, racial, and ethnic topics such as Shaker villages, Native Americans, African-American towns, and African Americans in cities. A bibliography follows each article, and the book concludes with an extensive 9-page selected bibliography on urban America. This work provides a comprehensive view of the colorful past of American cities and discusses current problems faced by modern cities and suburbs. Large public, college, and university libraries will find this a very useful tool.

Encyclopedia of Women and World Religion, edited by Serenity Young. 2 vols. 1,040p. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1998 (0-0286-4608-8), $195.
In spite of the sexism that has denied women full active status in their religions, the editor calls this title a "celebration" of the scholarship of recent years. In order to offer a global perspective, contributions were sought from non-Western as well as Western scholars for the 600 signed articles. Entries encompass individual religions and their variations, biographies, movements, issues, and the relationship of religion to the study of art, literature, and science. While broadest coverage is given to the major religions of the world, information is also provided on Sikhism, African religions, Santería, and Native American religions and many others. An added feature is the synoptic outline, which provides conceptual themes to the reader. This valuable resource is accessible to the high school and college student, to the researcher and the general reader.

The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide, edited by Athan G. Theoharis et al. 464p. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1998 (0-89774-991-X), $85.
Since its inception in the early 20th century the Federal Bureau of Investigation has emerged as a dominant agency in the American judicial system. Within its 10 chapters, this source provides a comprehensive chronological history of and guide to the FBI that includes information about the facilities, the organizational structure, and biographies of key individuals. This reference source will not only please FBI enthusiasts, but it also serves as an excellent resource for those interested in U.S. history, criminal justice, and American culture. Also included is an extensive chronology of key events, a subject index, and an authoritative bibliography. Numerous photo- graphs throughout the book illustrate the essays, along with graphs and tables. An excellent reference source for all libraries.

Folklore: An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art, edited by Thomas Green. 2 vols. 892p. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1997 (0-87436-986-X), $150.
From anecdotes, boasts, and children's stories to urban tall tales, vampires, and Xerox-lore, this superb scholarly dictionary illuminates the historical and contemporary forms, figures, and fields of folklore. In over 240 in-depth articles by leading scholars, basic cultural concepts, academic theories and methodologies, supernatural creatures and stereotypical characters are discussed with regard to the field of folklore. This cross-cultural study encompasses literary and oral traditions as well as music, art, architecture, foodways, and other customs.

Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, edited by Sharon Malinowski and Anna Sheets. 4 vols. 2,604p. Detroit: Gale, 1998 (0-7876-1085-2), $349.
Although there have been a number of recent reference titles on the history and culture of Native Americans, Gale's encyclopedia offers exceptional scope, clarity, and content. Covering almost 400 North American tribes, each essay contains information on both the historical and contemporary issues for the tribe. All entries begin with an introduction about the tribal roots, historic and current location, population data, and language family. This is followed by segments covering the history, religious beliefs, language, buildings, means of subsistence, clothing, healing practices, customs, oral literature, and current tribal issues. Several black-and-white illustrations and bibliographies for further research are included. A cumulative index of tribes, relevant nonnative peoples, historic dates and battles, treaties, legislation, associations, and religious groups adds value.

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, edited by Bruno Nettl and Ruth M. Stone. New York: Garland, 1997–8. Volume 1: Africa. 851p. (0-8240-6035-0), $165; Volume 2: South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. 1,082p. (0-8240-4947-0), $165; Volume 4: Southeast Asia. 1,024p. (0-8240-6040-7), $165; Volume 9: Australia and the Pacific Islands. 1088p. (0-8240-6038-5), $165.
Garland's ambitious 10-volume series takes a cultural approach to its focus on the music of all the world's peoples. Each volume is arranged topically, regionally, or by ethnic group, and complemented by an extensive index. Although each volume will differ because of the nature of the material, the organization remains consistent throughout all: regional overviews first; music in the social context next; then finally, the musical traditions of individual countries or ethnic groups. Of exceptional value are the CDs that accompany each volume, often with previously unrecorded music, as well as the resource guides, extensive bibliographies, and photographs. Separate pricing makes it easy to buy just the volumes that your patrons need and will use.

Growing Up in America. Rickie Sanders & Mark T. Mattson. 291p. New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1998 (0-02-897262-7), $125.
Using nearly 300 maps, graphs, and tables, this excellent atlas profiles the state of America's children. Some 30 topics in demography, socioeconomic issues, health, crime, and education are highlighted, including poverty, runaways and homelessness, AIDS, lead poisoning, juvenile crimes, teenage sex, and student performance. Introductory essays to each section outline the issues and explain graphs and tables. Thorough documentation of the source data complements outstanding graphics, and appendixes provide additional information on minorities in the United States and children worldwide.

Handbook of North American Industry: NAFTA and the Economies of its Member Nations. John Cremeans. 593p. Lanham, Md.: Bernan, 1998 (0-89059-073-7), $89.
Since NAFTA took effect in January 1994, the trade agreement has touched the lives of most Americans in one way or another. This book provides a comprehensive overview of NAFTA by gathering together in one place scattered data and government statistics from Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The book is divided into two sections: The first uses both essays and statistical charts to explain NAFTA's policies, programs, and issues it faces, such as the Mexican peso crisis and the possible addition of new members to NAFTA; the second profiles agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, trade, and service industries with 11 standard tables using statistical data from the three member-countries. This book is a perfect starting place for everything you wanted to know about NAFTA, but didn't know where to start. It belongs in all types of libraries.

Instruments of Science: An Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Bud & Deborah Jean Warner. 725p. New York: Garland, 1998 (0-8153-1531-9), $138.
This fascinating encyclopedia presents 325 historically significant scientific instruments from antiquity to the present. Instruments used for testing and monitoring in addition to those used for research are studied, including laboratory organisms such as E. coli. Each of the signed entries explains how the instrument works and how it is used, as well as tracing its invention, development, and distribution. The instrument's effect on the scientific community and society is also explored. Beautiful illustrations accompany many of the entries. The editors from the Science Museum in London and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History have provided an excellent addition to the history of sciences.

International Encyclopedia of Dance, edited by Selma Jeanne Cohen. 6 vols. 4,000p. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998 (0-19-509462-X), $1,250.
Exciting and fascinating, this reference work succeeds in its goal of bringing "joy as well as enlightenment" about all forms of dance in all countries of the world. An extremely useful "synoptic outline of contents" with nine sections (including "Ritual and Religion" and "Popular Entertainment") enables the user to explore dance in its cultural and social aspects, while topical essays complement the 2,000-plus entries. Heavily illustrated with black-and-white photographs, the encyclopedia captures the fluid movement of dance; with its depth and scope, this outstanding work has carved a well-deserved niche.

International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration, edited by Jay M. Shafritz. 4 vols. 2,504. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1998 (0-8133-973-4), $495.
This invaluable source goes beyond any existing reference work regarding public policy and government affairs. It provides for the first time a comprehensive tool that covers the international integration of the literature on public policy and administration. The information found within includes concepts, practices, issues, and theories that inform and define contemporary public policy making, analysis, evaluation, management, and implementation. This source contains more than 850 articles from over 400 professionals covering topics from absenteeism to zoning. Each entry includes a thorough description of the topic, an explanation of its historical significance, and a bibliography.

Medieval England: An Encyclopedia, edited by Paul E. Szarmach. 882p. New York: Garland, 1998 (0-8240-5786-4), $135.
Medieval England is a topic that has perennial fascination: King Arthur, Robin Hood, chivalry, and Beowulf seem to have obtained a permanent place in high-school reading lists and the popular imagination. Spanning the 5th through the 15th century, this encyclopedia covers broad topics such as music, women, and language, as well as specific topics such as people, famous buildings, printing, monastic orders, prostitution, and stained glass. There are helpful charts of the kings and queens of England, archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the popes. Black-and-white illustrations abound, and each entry contains a bibliography for further research.

Natural Resources, edited by Mark S. Coyne and Craig W. Allin. 3 vols. 964p. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1998. (0-89356-912-7), $290.
This unique three-volume set brings together articles concerning natural resources and surrounding issues about their management. Written to provide traditional and more recent views on naturally occurring resources, their uses, economic benefits, and ecological ramifications of both use and retrieval in an easily understandable manner, it more than succeeds. Over 400 signed entries use charts, tables, and photographs to answer the basic what, when, where, why, and how questions. Specific minerals, organizations, historical events, and biographies are included as well as articles on energy and ecological resources. Appendixes include a timeline of events, mineral resource production by resource, state, and county.

Notable Mathematicians: From Ancient Times to the Present, edited by Robin V. Young and Zoran Minderovic. 612p. Detroit: Gale, 1998. (0-7876-1930-2), $85.
Timed to meet an increase in interest in the lives of mathematicians, this volume covers over 300 of them, from antiquity to the present. Many contemporary African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic-American women are included. The alphabetically arranged entries contain a heading with name, birth and death dates, field of specialization, nationality, and ethnicity when applicable, as well as a picture when possible. An accompanying essay describes the life and significant contribution of the person to the field of mathematics with suggestions for further information, which include books, periodicals, documentaries, and Web sites. The list of milestones in mathematics begins at 50,000 BC with evidence of primitive counting and continues until the present.

On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-time Radio. John Dunning. 822p. New York: Oxford, 1998 (0-19-507-678-8) $55.
Truly a labor of love, this enormous volume updates and greatly expands the author's earlier work, Tune in Yesterday, a Compendium of Information about Radio's Golden Years.When were various episodes of "Fibber McGee" broadcast? Who were the cast members in "The Shadow"? These questions and many, many more will be answered by this treasure-trove of information. Over 1,500 radio shows are covered, with complete indexing. It is unparalleled as a resource for understanding American life, culture, and history in the early decades of this century.

Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records, edited by Kory L. Meyerink. 840p. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1998 (0-91648970-1), $49.95.
While most genealogy books focus on original records and primary sources, this title focuses on secondary sources that have proliferated because of the growth of genealogy. It identifies and explains the vast number of published genealogical sources, acting both as a guidebook and a bibliography to the printed material in the field. The introduction alone is a treasure trove of information, and should be called Genealogy Sources 101. Coverage includes encyclopedias, gazetteers, indexes, abstracts, histories, biographies, military sources, periodicals, and much more. Appendixes include CD-ROMs for family historians, major genealogical libraries in the United States, and a list of genealogical publishers and booksellers. This monumental source is highly recommended in all libraries for the beginner or expert .

Reference Guide to Russian Literature, edited by Neil Cornwell. 972p. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn, 1998 (1-88496410-9), $135.
This guide provides informative essays and selective bibliographies on the main writers of Russian for students and general readers. Covering all of Russian literature, this handbook emphasizes 19th- and 20th-century authors. The guide uses the Western alphabet, so anonymous works appear under their English title and are interfiled in alphabetical order with author entries. Entries for writers include a brief biography, a list of the writer's primary works in chronological order, a selected list of bibliographies, and critical studies . The guide begins with 13 detailed essays that cover most periods, topics, and genres of Russian literature. This reference source belongs in all libraries with large literature collections.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward Craig. 10 vols. 8,680p. London; New York: Routledge, 1998, print only (0-415-07310-3), $2,995; CD-ROM only (0-415-16916-X), $2,995; print/CD-ROM combination (0-415-16917-8), $3,495.
Depth and breadth of coverage, clarity of presentation, impressive bibliographies, excellent use of cross references, and an extensive index combine to make this an impressive reference work. The contributors have addressed both current and past scholarship on world philosophy and religion and have produced a worthy successor to Macmillan's 1967 Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It will be read and understood by the educated public as well as scholars and will be a fine addition to academic and large public library reference collections.

St. James Gay and Lesbian Almanac, edited by Neil Schlager. 680p. Detroit: St. James Press, 1998 (1-55862-358-2), $100.
This important reference work is one of the first to devote equal attention to both gay men and lesbians. Its objective approach encourages in-depth study of gay and lesbian history, culture, and experience in 20th-century America. The book's 23 sections include a chronology, an annotated list of organizations, significant historical documents important to the gay and lesbian movement, and in-depth discussions of gay and lesbian involvement in such fields as politics, film, music, science, sports, travel, leisure, and visual and performing arts. Each section includes biographical profiles of prominent people in each field and extensive bibliographies of books, articles, and Web sites. The evenhanded approach to this subject makes this book an important purchase for all libraries.

Ultimate Visual Dictionary of Science. 448p. New York: DK Publishing, 1998 0-7894-3512-8), $29.95.
In the tradition of this publisher's other visual dictionaries, this volume is crammed full of clear, easily understandable, full-color illustrations and charts explaining various scientific concepts and phenomena. Brief textual descriptions of most concepts accompany the illustrations. The arrangement is by broad disciplines, and coverage includes chemistry, physics, medicine, the life sciences, astronomy, earth science, electronics, computer science, and much more. This wonderfully informative and inexpensive volume will be useful for all audiences from middle school to adult.

Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, edited by Timothy L. Gall. 4 vols. 2422p. Detroit: Gale, 1998 (0-7876-0552-2), $299.
These volumes will explain how Rwandans, Mayans, and Uzbeks live; and characteristics of Hmong Americans, Choctaws, Iroquois, and Ojibwas are described. The articles are written by over 150 contributors and are divided into four geographically arranged volumes: Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, and Europe. Instead of covering nation-states like its sister set, the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, this work focuses on the traditions, living conditions, food, language, religions, and recreation of over 500 of the world's major culture groups. Entries emphasize how people live today. The articles on a particular culture group follow a 20-heading outline and include a bibliography. Each volume contains a cumulative general index and a glossary of terms. This major new work is a must for all types of libraries.