Information Update - Spring 2002

New Reference Books

British Philosophers, 1500-1799 Volume 252 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography edited by Philip B. Dematteis and Peter S. FoslDetro it: Gale Group, 2002. [REF PN451 .D5 vol. 252]
This recent addition to the DLB covers three centuries of British philosophy. It covers thirty-three notables, including six women philosophers. Entries include Sir Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes and Edmund Burke, as well as less-well known thinkers as Margaret Cavendish, John Norris and Catherine Trotter. While the entries provide only a brief outline of each person"s life, the DLB is an excellent place to start when searching for information on a philosopher. As with all the DLB volumes, this work includes a cumulative index to the entire DLB collection.
Each entry consists of a bibliography of works published, a short (4-6 page) biography and a list of additional works about that person. Every entry includes some illustrations, portraits of the writers and reproductions of book covers being the most common kind.
Frauds, Deceptions and Swindles by Carl Sifakis, New York: Checkmark Books, 2001. [REF HV6695 .S53 2001]
This book, both amusing and outrageous, lays out the plain truth about the inventive, unethical and sometimes absurd ways men have cheated their fellow men, and exposes some of the most infamous lies, cons and scams of all time. Entries are arranged in dictionary format, profiling notable practitioners of deceit like Charles Keating and Charles Ponzi, and explaining the "hook" in many commonly used scams such as "shell games" and "pyramid schemes". It also serves as a primer on how to not be taken in by the con men. Find out how to recognize a swindle before you lose your shirt. The book includes an index and some black & white illustrations.
Scientific Laws, Principles, and Theories: a Reference Guide by Robert E. Krebs; illustrations by Rae Déjur. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.[REF Q158.5 .K74 2001]
For anyone who has wondered what Einstein really said about relativity or what Heisenberg was uncertain about, this book provides answers in clear, concise, plain English. This makes it useful to non-science majors, while still including formulae and explanations technical enough to be useful to science students. It includes theories in astronomy (Ptolemy's Theory of a Geocentric Universe), biology (Darwin"s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection), chemistry (Gay-Lussac's Law of Combining Volumes), geology (Richter"s Theory of Earthquake Magnitude), mathematics (Turing"s Theory for Testing Computer Intelligence) and physics (Feynman"s Theory of Quantum Electrodynamics). The introduction to Scientific Laws explains exactly what constitutes a law, principle, theory and hypothesis. The entries are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the scientist associated with that idea. In case you don't know the scientist's name, an index is provided to locate theories or concepts. A twelve-page glossary of scientific terminology is included to help the non-scientist. There are numerous illustrations throughout the book.
A Dictionary of English Folklore by J. Simpson & S. Roud. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001 [GR141 .S59 2001]
If you are planning on visiting England, or have ever read an English novel and found yourself puzzled by a reference to Morris Dancing or Saint Catherine's Day, then this book can be of service. This compact volume defines and puts into historical context the local and national customs, superstitions, feasts, traditions and holidays of English common life, from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century. Extensively cross-referenced, it makes for entertaining reading and explains some of the customs that have migrated across the ocean to America, such as nursery rhymes and Halloween. There is also a bibliography of primary sources, which can be consulted for further reading on a topic.
Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature by Bernice E. Cullinan and Diane G. Person, editors. New York: Continuum, 2001 [PN1008.5 .C66 2001]
This work could be more accurately described as an encyclopedia of children"s authors, covering two hundred years of children's literature. It combines short biographical descriptions of the author with discussions of their works, including a "further works" section (books not written for children) and a bibliography of books about the author. This book also includes nearly one hundred topical articles ranging from Adventure Stories to Young Adult Literature. Most author entries run one to two columns; articles usually cover three to five columns. There are one hundred thirty illustrations, all of headshots of authors.
 Encyclopedia of Ephemera by Maurice Rickards. New York: Routledge, 2000 [REF NC1280 .R52 2000] Most encyclopedias focus on important and noteworthy persons, events or objects. In an engaging change of pace, this volume examines common, ordinary things in all their wonderfully mundane variety. Ephemera, according to the introduction, are "minor transient documents of everyday life", printed matter not intended for permanence or even long-term use. Have you ever heard of ice papers? Or Tramping Cards? Do you know where the expression "reading the riot act" came from? Trivia lovers and antique collectors will be impressed with the level of detail and obscurity. There are illustrations on almost every other page, as well as a section of color plates.
The College Blue Book, 29th Ed. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2002.[REF LA226.C685]
This six-volume set is a directory of thousands of colleges & universities across the United States and Canada. Each volume presents different kinds of information about the schools.Volume 1: Narrative Description. Organized by state/province. Each entry has a 1-paragraph description of the schools location and size, entrance requirements, costs, collegiate and community environment. The University of Scranton is noted for being ten minutes away from Montage.
Volume 2: Tabular Data. This volume presents facts and statistics on student bodies, faculties, costs and facilities. Organized by state/province.
Volume 3: Degrees offered by College and Subject. This volume is kept at the Reference Desk for quick consultation. Select a state or select a degree; this volume can tell you which colleges offer what degrees, whether Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's or Doctorate.
Volume 4: Occupational Education. Two lists, one by state and the other by curriculum, provide records for over 6000 vocational and technical schools. The information on location, enrollment, and tuition is in the state listings.
Volume 5: Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants and Loans. Arranged by academic subject. Explains who is offering the scholarship, how much is offered, the qualifications for receiving the award and the application date.
Volume 6:  Distance Education Programs. (new for this edition) Organized by academic subject. Includes both brief and d etailed descriptions of each school that offers distance education with details of their programs and requirements.

Robert Weaver