Loyola University Chicago Libraries

General Reference: Encyclopedias

General Reference

What is an encyclopedia? –  A work containing information on all subjects or limited to a special field or subject, arranged in systematic (usually alphabetical), order.  Encyclopedias may be in one volume, in which case very brief information will be given, or they may be in forty or more volumes in which the various matters will be comprehensive, usually written by experts, and sometimes containing bibliographies and illustrations.  Encyclopedias may be general (Encyclopedia Americana) or specialized, usually by subject (Encyclopedia of Population) or discipline (Encyclopedia of Social Work).