As we all know, information is a crucial factor in the present-day world. And the main concern of the Historical Dictionaries published by Scarecrow Press for 40 years already is to provide information. This is done in several ways, all of them important, and when combined in one book cumulatively quite unlike anything else available. The most important source is the dictionary section—the core and bulk of the volume—including hundreds and sometimes even a thousand or more entries in alphabetical order on significant persons, places, events, institutions, and major economic, social, and cultural features. These are cross-referenced so that one can trace the essential links. This is preceded by a substantial introduction, providing general coverage of major aspects. There is also a chronology, tracing the history from the earliest times to the present, and a list of acronyms of the main organizations, institutions, and political parties. Then there are assorted appendixes, tables, charts, and photos. Particularly useful is the bibliography, not just a few pages but dozens of pages long, and broken down by subject, and now including internet resources.
All of the Historical Dictionaries are quite substantial in size, running from at least 300 pages to well over 1,000, and as subsequent editions are published they keep getting bigger. The range of topics covered has also been growing and can most readily be summed up by the names of the existing series: country volumes on nearly all countries in the world; religions, philosophies and movements; literature and the arts (including music, cinema, and television); war, revolution, and civil unrest; international organizations; intelligence and counterintelligence; cities, states, and regions; U.S. politics and political eras; diplomacy and foreign relations; ancient civilizations and historical eras; peoples and cultures; sports; professions and industries; and women in the world. These books are written in fairly comprehensive and straightforward language, which means they can be consulted by university and even advanced high school students. But they convey information that is useful—and often hard to get—and thus should interest teachers, professors, and researchers. And they are particularly helpful for librarians, since the extensive bibliographies can direct all concerned to the best sources of literature.
Obviously, Historical Dictionaries cannot replace the web when it comes to the latest information and expediency. However, they do have definite advantages concerning the periods they cover, which frequently reach far back in history and contain information that is extremely hard and sometimes simply impossible to find on the web. Moreover, and this is particularly important as regards most other sources of “information,” they have been written by specialists, all of whom are well-known and highly recognized, the vast majority of them being professors, independent experts, or former government personnel. Indeed, in an amazing number of cases, the book is signed by top authorities with usually decades—and not just years—of experience in the related field. This level of expertise allows readers to feel secure in their knowledge that they are receiving the highest quality information currently available.
Below is a list of the collection:
Historical Dictionaries of Africa
Historical Dictionaries of the Americas
Historical Dictionaries of Ancient Civilizations and Historical Eras
Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East
Historical Dictionaries of Cities, States, and Regions
Historical Dictionaries of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations
Historical Dictionaries of Discovery and Exploration
Historical Dictionaries of Europe
Historical Dictionaries of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence
Historical Dictionaries of International Organizations Series
Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts
Historical Dictionaries of Peoples and Cultures
Historical Dictionaries of Professions and Industries
Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements Series
Historical Dictionaries of Sports
Historical Dictionaries of U.S. Politics and Political Eras
Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest
Historical Dictionaries of Women in the World
available in Paperback! Historical Dictionaries are now available in paperback through The A to Z Guide Series. Review the complete list here.