AA -- Information Sources

Walford's Guide to Reference Material. 7th ed. London: Library Association Publishing. 26 cm. [99-1/4-001]

Vol. 3. Generalia, Language and Literature, the Arts. Ed. Anthony Chalcraft, Ray Prytherch and Stephen Williams. 1998. xii, 1,186 p. ISBN 1-85604-300-2: £135.00

Walford's Guide to Reference Material. 8th ed. London: Library Association Publishing. 31 cm. [99-1/4-002]

Vol. 1. Science and Technology. Ed. Marilyn Mullay and Priscilla Schlicke. 1999. xii, 687 p. ISBN 1-85604-341-X: £135.00

The British Walford's Guide to Reference Material is updated and published more regularly than its American counterpart Guide to Reference Books (published by the American Library Association). New editions of each of Walford's three volumes appear in a three-year cycle. The eighth edition has changed to a larger format and better typography. The total number of entries remains relatively constant from year to year, although each new edition contains a sizeable number of new entries. As previously, the new edition lists CD-ROMs and other electronic resources. The number of Internet addresses listed has increased significantly.

As to the drawbacks of this reference work, the more frequent publication pattern does not appear to ensure that the most recent titles are actually included. Not nearly every entry was checked and revised, and the latest titles within serial publications are often not listed. The bibliographic information continues to be riddled with errors. The American reference guide is much more reliable on that score.

In summary, both the British and the American guides to reference materials continue to be indispensable tools complementing each other. Nonetheless, particularly in the case of Walford, the listings of non-English titles are limited, and one cannot count on finding all truly important reference works in either guide. [sh/ba]

Reference Reviews Europe Annual. Based on reviews published in Informationsmittel für Bibliotheken, with original reviews. Ed. Jeffrey Garrett, Heidi Hutchinson, Jeffry Larson, and Stephen Lehmann. Fiesole: Casalini Libri. 21 cm. ISSN 1124-6332 [99-1/4-004]

4. 1998 (1999). 181 p. ISBN 88-85297-47-1: Lit. 45,000; $30.00

Compared to its previous edition, this annual has not changed much. The number of abstracts has decreased due to the lesser number of reviews contained in the German journal, IFB, on which RREA is based. The 1998 volume contains eleven original reviews, by North American librarians, of Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Russian titles, indicating that the scope of RREA has been broadened. These original reviews should be noted clearly as such in the abstractor and title indexes. Currently, they are only marked in the text itself as "RREA Original Review." The "Special Report: Recent Reference Literature in Classical Studies" is noteworthy, drawing together in one place abstracts of reviews on this topic published in 1998 in IFB. Regarding typography, decreasing the space between paragraphs, and increasing the space before each abstract would make the layout of the pages clearer.

The editor of IFB would like to thank his American colleagues and the publisher for promoting German- and European-language reference works in the United States. Thanks also especially to the current team of editors, as this is the last issue to appear under their aegis. A different team will work on the next volume of RREA. This will be an inducement for the editor of IFB to continue this publication in spite of impending changes. [sh/ba]

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