Encyclopediaof Religion • Jones, Lindsay. Ed. Encyclopedia of Religion. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. Call No. 200.3 • Website http://moe.ic.highline.edu:2101/gvrl/. • By Carolyn LaGrone LIBR 150
Arrangement • The articles are arranged alphabetically in 15 volumes.
Scope • The Encyclopedia of Religion covers the religions of the world, focusing on their origin, development, leaders, and beliefs. • Patrons of HCC, UW, and King County Libraries can access these volumes from online using Gale Virtual Reference library. KCL also has the print version.
Indexingand Searching • Articles can be found in two main sections: “The Religions” and “History of Religion.” Using GVL, it is easy to use the index to locate articles. • Connectors or specific phrases can be used to narrow down searches. • It is simple to limit your search using title, author, subject, or date.
Currency and Intended Purpose • This 2005 2nd edition has been updated and expanded since the 1st edition publication in 1987. • These volumes are used mainly as a reference source in public, academic, and theological libraries.
Additional Purposes • The Encyclopedia of Religion provides useful information about how aspects of religion have impacted culture. This connection would be interesting to someone studying the development of religious art and how or why specific symbols were chosen. Several articles focus on how religion has affected the works of fiction in specific cultures. • According to the reviews, this 2nd edition “will indeed provide a generation of users with valuable summaries and analyses of the best of current scholarship in the field of religion.” (Booklist, Christopher McConnell).
Format and Special Features • It is available online or in paper form. • The 2nd edition features “visual essays” which present a variety of themes and numerous photos, illustrations, and figures.
Authority/Credentials Gale Virtual Reference Library, part of the Cengage Learning Group, has over 600 databases which include topics in the arts, sciences, biography and general reference works. Articles can be accessed and printed using HTML or PDF formats. According to Choice Review, GVL is most appropriate for graduate students, but easy enough for patrons of undergraduate, public, and school libraries.
Personal Impression • I was definitely impressed that this entire set is available on Gale Virtual Library. I was able to access the entire index, easily. There is so much information about various religions and how they affect culture. I could definitely learn a lot about religion around the world.
Reference Uses • Sean , a reference librarian at the KCL-Bellevue Regional Library, told me of his experience with two patrons. • One patron wanted information on Islam. The Encyclopedia of Religion has over 200 pages covering Islam. • He also recommended it to a patron looking up Old Testament figures like Aaron and Isaiah. • Sean recommends this encyclopedia because: • The 15 volumes contain extensive information. • Articles cover each religion and how it is practiced differently in different parts of the world. • Macmillan is a trusted publisher that produces quality reference books.
Noss, S. David and Blake R. Grangaard. History of the World’s Religions. 12th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2007. Novak, Philip. The World's Wisdom: Sacred Texts of the World's Religions. New York: Harper One, 1995. Complimentary Sources
Jones, Lindsay, ed. Encyclopedia of Religion. 2005. Online. Highline Community College Lib. Internet. 30. Mar. 2009. Available: http://moe.ic.highline.edu:2101/gvrl/ . McConnell, Christopher. “Editorial Review.” Booklist. Online. Internet. 1 Apr. 2009. Available: www.amazon.com/Encyclopeida-Religion-Set-Lindsay-Jones. Sean. Email Interview. 3. Apr. 2009. Stoffel, B. “Gale Virtual Reference Library 2.0.” Choice (2005) : Online. Highline Community College Lib. Internet. 1 Apr. 2009. Available: http://moe.ic.highline.edu/. Sources