Kister's Best Encyclopedias : a Comparative Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias / Kenneth F. Kister. - 2nd ed. - Phoenix, Ariz. : Oryx Press, 1994. - XIV, 506 p. ; 26 cm. - ISBN 0-89774-744-5 : $ 42.50

This second edition of the guide to general and specialized encyclopedias is greatly expanded and updated from the first edition of 1981. In the section for general encyclopedias, 77 titles from North America in print during the years 1992-93 are compared within 5 size classes and target groups (from large-for-adults to small-for-children). A new subsection discusses 20 general encyclopedias available on CD-ROM or in online versions. Approximately 800 specialized English-language encyclopedias are then given short overviews. Finally, there is a compilation of the more important general encyclopedias published in nine foreign languages, though the list is oriented toward the standardly known titles. Kister's "Questions and Answers about Encyclopedias" could also be of interest for librarians attempting to answer the not-so-infrequent demand for the "best encyclopedia." [sh/rdh]


Multimedia-Enzyklopädien auf CD-ROM [Multimedia Encyclopedias on CD-ROM] : eine vergleichende Analyse von Allgemeinenzyklopädien / Winfried Gödert. - Berlin : Deutsches Bibliotheksinstitut, 1994. - 125 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. - (Informationsmittel für Bibliotheken : Beiheft ; 1). - ISBN 3-87068-541-7 : DM 26.00, DM 18.00 (for subscribers to IFB)

Kister's guide [see 95-2-181 above] is much less informative for the electronic encyclopedias than for their printed counterparts--on whose data they usually rely. Therefore this guide can offer more critical comparisons than Kister on questions of currency, content, display options, technical demands, installation, breadth of multimedia coverage, finding and navigating options, possibilities for export to files and printers, etc. The criteria for evaluation will presumably be less volatile than the products themselves, which may well be in newer versions even as we discuss their older incarnations. These criteria are discussed for four American and two German products: Compton's Multimedia Encyclopedia, New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia, Software Toolworks Multimedia Encyclopedia, Microsoft Encarta, Bertelsmann LexikoDisc (in two versions), and Bertelsmann Universallexikon. There are numerous illustrations. [sh/rdh]


L' enciclopedismo medievale [Medieval Encyclopedism] : [atti del convegno "L'Enciclopedismo Medievale", San Gimignano 8-10 ottobre 1992] / a cura di Michelangelo Picone. - Ravenna : Longo, 1994. - 422 p. ; 23 cm. - (Memoria del tempo ; 1). - ISBN 88-8063-003-2 : Lit 65,000

This volume of proceedings gathers together 20 presentations--10 in French, 10 in Italian--given at a conference for the historical study of the Medieval "encyclopedia" held at San Gimignano in 1992. Two main sections deal with the Latin "encyclopedias" of the Middle Ages and those in (Romance language) vernacular. A pair of contributions in the latter category explore encylopedism in the work of Dante. One index is to manuscripts cited, another to authors discussed and cited. [sh/rdh]


Brockhaus-Enzyklopadie . - 19th fully rev. ed. - Mannheim : Brockhaus. - 25 cm. - ISBN 3-7653-1100-6 : DM 4752.00

Bd. 24. Wek-Zz and 4th update. - 1994. - 752 p. - ISBN 3-7653-1124-3

Bd. 25. Name index. - 1994. - 1048 p. - ISBN 3-7653-1125-1 : DM 216.00 (individually ordered after 1/1/95), DM 1188.00 (collective price for vols. 25 - 30)


Brockhaus-Enzyklopädie . - 19th, fully rev. ed. - Mannheim : Brockhaus. - 25 cm

Jahrbuch [Yearbook]
1993 (1994). - 383 p. - ISBN 3-7653-1903-1 : DM 98.00
1994 (1995). - 384 p. - ISBN 3-7653-1904-X : DM 98.00

The Brockhaus-Enzyklopädie, a truly large lexicon, represents on publication of vol. 24 the culmination of an eight-year process. Volume 24, as volumes 6, 12, and 18 before it, includes supplementary information on changes up to the date of its publication. That has the advantage of currency but the disadvantage of information forking to as many as five separate locations. Volume 30, due out in June of 1996, should combine the updates in one spot. Volume 25, due to the care with which it imitates and even trumps the name-indexing capabilities of its former competitor and current cohort, Meyer, can serve by itself as a reference work for a large number of personal names (over 50,000 individuals). The yearbooks--expensive and generally unlinked to articles in the parent work--can easily be dispensed with in favor of specialized handbooks for current information, such as the Fischer-Weltalmanach for much less money. [sh/rdh]


Magyar nagylexikon [Hungarian Encyclopedia]. Budapest : Akadémiai Kiadó. - 27 cm. - ISBN 963-05-6611-7 (Entire work). - (Kubon & Sagner, München).

1. A - Anc. - 1993. - XXXI, 831 p. - ISBN 963-05-6612-5 : Ft. 3800.00, DM 190.00 (Kubon & Sagner).

Exactly 100 years after the appearance of the Pallas nagy Lexikon (Great Hungarian Pallas Lexikon) in 1883, the first volume of this new Magyar nagylexikon appeared under the auspices of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Other encyclopedias also have been published during this 100 year period, for instance the Uj magyar lexikon, a Marxist-Leninist work issued from 1959-1962. The new Magyar nagylexikon, in contrast, lays claim to a universal reflection of knowledge, with emphasis on the course of Hungarian history and the present national character of the country. Herein lies its special value for academic libraries of today. Good documentation is a feature of this work. For instance, articles are followed by bibliographies, and in the case of artists, the locations of their works are given. Good illustrations and maps run throughout the work, and German, Romanian, Slovakian, and Slovenian geographical place names are supplied together with references to their Hungarian-name counterparts. Apart from language difficulties in using it, it is recommended for any library desiring a good Hungarian encyclopedia. [et/tk]


Magyar Larousse [Hungarian Larousse] : enciklopédikus szótár / [foszerkesztok Bakos Ferenc...]. - Paris: Larousse ; Budapest : Akadémiai Kiadó. - 29 cm. - ISBN 963-05-5856-4. - (Kubon & Sagner, München).

1. [A - Gy]. - 1991. - 1065 p. : numerous ill. - ISBN 963-05-5857-2 : Ft. 2500.00, DM 175.00 (Kubon & Sagner) 2. [H - M]. 1992. - 1002 p. : numerous ill. - ISBN 963-05-4621 (incorrect): Ft. 2500.00 3. [N - Zs]. - 1994. - 1185 p. : numerous ill. - ISBN 963-5-6748-2 : Ft. 3500.00

This three-volume encyclopedia is by no means as ambitious as the Magyar nagylexikon (95-2-186). It amounts to a mixture of lexicon, encyclopedia, and dictionary. The fields of history, literature, and geography have been enlarged from corresponding sections from earlier Larousse editions. This work is adequate for reference purposes, but for foreign libraries it is not of great significance. [et/tk]

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