Guide to Reference Books


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This is a consolidated edition of the American Library Association's reference tool for librarians and researchers. The 11th edition of the "Guide to Reference Books" brings together most useful research sources from early printing to contemporary electronic publishing. With nearly 16,000 entries, this edition organises and describes important reference works for today's research and scholarship, including carefully selected items from every part of the world and imprints up to the start of 1994. Items from previous editions have been dropped if they failed to meet the general test of utility. Unlike earlier editions, the 11th includes an abundance of electronic resources - CD-ROM, online databases, and laser discs; it adds more extensive guidance on use of the reference works, with expert opinions on their merits and shortcomings. The "Guide" contains approximately 2000 pages of text. Its wealth of information has been prepared by more than 50 reference librarians practicing in research libaries from Harvard to the University of California. Contributors were encouraged to bring their experience to bear on the usefulness of selections. Each entry describes the work and its special features, often comparing similar or competing works. This index to the world of research is systematic in its vast coverage, organisation and indexing. Access is by the familiar topical arrangement and the huge single-alphabet index, in which authors, titles and subjects are distinguished typographically. More than 400 pages in length, the index also includes titles and authors appearing in the annotations. "GRB" coverage focuses on scholarly research; but, general reference needs that come up in research libraries - family health, for example - are also addressed. While concentrating on English-language sources, the "Guide" encompasses works in dozens of languages (with entries romanised). In general, works cited are of the type that endure in reference publishing and scholarly research.