The 'Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism' wins Dartmouth Medal for excellence in reference sources

For Immediate Release
Sun, 02/01/2015


Leighann Wood

Membership and Awards Program Specialist

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

American Library Association

CHICAGO  The winner of the 2015 Dartmouth Medal for most outstanding reference work, an annual award presented by the expert reference and collection development librarians of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of ALA, is the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism  published by Princeton University Press.

As its description states, “With more than 5,000 entries totaling over a million words, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary of Buddhism ever produced in English. It is also the first to cover terms from all of the canonical Buddhist languages and traditions: Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.”  The members of the committee found the book to be a  true meisterwerk—scholarly yet accessible, exhaustive, yet usable."  As one member put it, "if you can apply the word ‘elegant’ to a reference work, this would be the book.”  We expect inquirers in religion and culture at all levels from the merely curious to the scholarly to benefit from this dictionary.

The Dartmouth Medal, established in 1974, honors the creation of a reference source of outstanding quality and significance. The award is given to the best new reference source published in 2014.

The Dartmouth Medal selection committee includes: Nicolette Warisse Sosulski (chair) Portage (Mich.) District Library; Angela Courtney, Indiana University; Patricia Gregory, Saint Louis University; Janet Elaine Pinkley, CSU Channel Islands; Lise Snyder, University of California, Los Angeles; Dave Tyckoson, California State University Fresno.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about the association at