Reference Book of the Week: Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America
Welcome to another edition of Reference Book of the Week. We continue honoring LGBT Pride Month with another selection from our reference collection. This week we are featuring the three volume set Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America. This excellent work covers more than 500 entries and looks at more than 400 years of historical developments. LGBT history and culture are dynamic. The scholarship in this reference book reflects how thinking on LGBT issues, nature, identities, culture, and history has changed over time. The work focuses on the United States, including the colonial era. There are other works that focus on the rest of the world; this one provides more in-depth focus on the United States. Some of the subjects covered include people, politics, arts, academic disciplines, identities, communities and cultures, geography, law and public policy, civil rights, economics and labor, sex and sexuality, religion and spirituality. The encyclopedia is designed for the general reader as well as the scholar wishing to start research on LGBT topics in the U.S. You can find a list of entry terms in the first volume. The first volume also features a chronology of events with cross-references to entries in the work. Entries are organized alphabetically, and they include bibliographical references as well as suggested terms for further research. This is a useful feature for readers who wish to do further research on a particular topic. Bibliographical reference can give you other works to consider while the suggested terms (labeled as "see also") can give you terms you can use on a database as well as look up in the encyclopedia. At the end of the third volume, there is a directory of LGBT libraries and archives in the United States and Canada. There is also a comprehensive index at the end of the third volume and a directory of contributors. The reviews have been positive on this work. In 2004, Booklist said of this reference work that it is "an exceptional work that should be useful for academic and public libraries. General readers, students, researchers, and members of the LGBT communities alike will find this to be a most welcome resource." Library Journal said that "this invaluable work isn't just a fascinating read; it goes a long way toward alleviating the dearth of basic resources in the burgeoning field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender studies." Thus we have chosen the Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America as our Reference Book of the Week.