Outstanding Reference Sources

The Outstanding Reference Sources Committee was established in 1958 to recommend the most outstanding reference publications for small and medium-sized libraries.

Publishers are welcome to send books as they see fit if they believe they meet the selection criteria. For further information, please visit the committee roster page (login required) or the staff contact page.


We are aware that the winning lists for this award are not displaying properly and am working diligently to correct the problem.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Outstanding Reference Sources

"African American Activism and Political Engagement: An Encyclopedia of Empowerment” Editor Angela Jones .Bloomsbury Publishing

"The Encyclopedia of LGBTQIA+ Portrayals in American Film” Editors Erica Joan Dymond and Salvador Jiménez Murguía. Rowman & Littlefield.

"Executive Speech Doctor: Engaging with Community Audiences in Person and Online” by Robert J. Weis. McFarland.

"Forgotten African American Firsts: An Encyclopedia of Pioneering History” by Hans Ostrom and J. David Macey Jr. Greenwood.

" Global Dishes: Favorite Meals from around the World” by Caryn E. Neumann, Lori L. Parks and Joel G. Parks. ‎ Bloomsbury Academic

"Latino Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students” Edited by Christina Soto van der Plas and Lacie Rae Buckwalter Cunningham.

"Martin Luther King Jr.: A Reference Guide to His Life and Works (Significant Figures in World History)” by Peter J. Ling and David Deverick. Rowman & Littlefield.

"The New International Volunteer: A Hands-On Guide to Sustainable and Inclusive Development” by Elizabeth C. Medlin Toplight Books.

" The Scopes Trial: An Encyclopedic History” by Randy Moore and Susan E. Brooks. McFarland.

"Women in Popular Culture: The Evolution of Women's Roles in American Entertainment” by Laura L. Finley. Greenwood.

"Galapagos: An Encyclopedia of Geography, History, and Culture" Author/Publisher: Randy Moore/ABC-CLIO

"America's National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner in U. S. History, Culture, Law" Author/Publsher: John R. Vile/ABC-CLIO

"9/11 : The Essential Reference Guide" Author/Publisher: Stephen E. Atkins (Editor)/ ABC-CLIO

"Documents of Japanese American Internment" Author/Publisher: Linda L. Ivey & Kevin W. Kaatz (Editors)/ABC-CLIO

"Booker T. Washington: A Life in American History" Author/Publisher: Mark Christian/ABC-CLIO

"Science in the Ancient World: From Antiquity through the Middle Ages" Author/Publisher: Russell M. Laweson/ABC-CLIO

"Encyclopedia of Easter Celebrations Worldwide" Author/Publisher: William D. Crump/ McFarland & Co

"Cooking Through History: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Food with Menus and Recipes" Author/Publisher: Melanie Byrd and John P. Dunn (Editors)/ Greenwood

"Epidemics and Pandemics: From Ancient Plagues to Modern-Day Threats" Author/Publisher: Joseph P. Byrne & Jo N. Hays/ Greenwood

"The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering" Author/Publisher: Diane P. Michelfelder and Neelke Doorn/Routledge

"Voting and Political Representation in America: issues and trends" Author/Publisher: Mark P. Jones (editor)/ ABC-CLIO

"Darfur Genocide: the Essential Reference Guide" Author/Publisher: Alexis Herr (Editor) / ABC-CLIO

"Horror Fiction in the 20th Century: Exploring literature’s most chilling genre" Nevins / Praeger and imprint of ABC-CLIO

"Encyclopedia of the World’s Biomes" Author/Publisher: Michael Goldstein Dominick DellaSala / Elsevier

"2021 Night Sky Guide: A Month-by-Month Guide to North America’s Skies from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada" Author/Publisher: Nicole Mortillaro / Firefly Books

"Serving Teens and Adults on the Autism Spectrum: A Guide for Libraries" Author/Publisher: Carrie Rogers-Whitehead / Libraries Unlimited

"Racism in America: a reference handbook" Author/Publisher: Steven L. Foy

"Plagues, Pandemics and Viruses: From the Plague of Athens to Covid 19" Author/Publisher: Heather E Quinlan / Visible Ink Press

"The American Women’s Almanac: 500 Years of Making History" Author/Publisher: Deborah G Felder / Visible Ink Press

"From Silence to Sound: Beethoven’s Beginnings" Author/Publisher: Jeremy Yudkin / Boydell and Brewer Limited

“American Political Humor: Masters of Satire and Their Impact on U.S. Policy and Culture.” Jody C Baumgartner (ed). ABC-CLIO.

“Black Baseball, 1858-1900: A Comprehensive Record of the Teams, Players, Managers, Owners and Umpires.” James E. Brunson III. McFarland.

“Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories in American History.” Christopher R. Fee & Jeffrey B. Webb (eds). ABC-CLIO.

“Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture across History.” Susan de-Gaia (ed). ABC-CLIO.

“Health and Medicine through History: From Ancient Practices to 21st-Century Innovations.” Ruth Clifford Engs (ed). Greenwood.

“Infectious Diseases: In Context.” Thomas Riggs (ed). Gale.

“The Oxford Handbook of American Folklore and Folklife Studies.” Simon J. Bronner (ed). Oxford University Press.

“1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List.” James Mustich. Workman Publishing Co.

“American Revolution: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection.” Spencer C. Tucker (ed). ABC-CLIO.

“Americans at War: Eyewitness Accounts from the American Revolution to the 21st Century.” James R. Arnold (ed). ABC-CLIO.

“Black Power Encyclopedia: From ‘Black is Beautiful’ to Urban Uprisings.” Akinyele Umoja, Karin L. Stanford, and Jasmin A. Young (ed). Greenwood.

“The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Films.” Salvador Jimenez Murguia and Alex Pinar (eds). Rowman & Littlefield.

“The Encyclopedia of Racism in American Films.” Salvador Jimenez Murguia (ed). Rowman & Littlefield.

“The Kurds: An Encyclopedia of Life, Culture, and Society.” Sebastian Maisel (ed). ABC-CLIO.

“The Mythology Book.” DK.

“Plants of the World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants.” Maarten J.M. Christenhusz, Michael F. Fay and Mark W. Chase. Kew Publishing and The University of Chicago Press.

“Defining Documents in American History: Immigration and Immigrant Communities (1790-2016).” James S. Pula (ed). Salem Press.

“A Dictionary for the Modern Percussionist Drummer.” James A. Strain. Rowman & Littlefield.

“Encyclopedia of African Colonial Conflicts.” Timothy J. Stapleton (ed). ABC-CLIO.

“Encyclopedia of Black Comics.” Sheena C. Howard. Fulcrum Publishing.

“End of Days: An Encyclopedia of the Apocalypse in World Religions.” Wendell G. Johnson (ed). ABC-CLIO.

“The Holocaust: An Encyclopedia and Document Collection.” Paul R. Bartrop and Michael Dickerman (eds). ABC-CLIO.

“Horses of the World.” Elise Rousseau. Princeton University Press.

“The Last Superpower Summits: Reagan, Gorbachev, and Bush at the End of the Cold War.” Sventlana Savranskya and Thomas Blanton. Central University Press.

“Musicals in Film: A Guide to the Genre.” Thomas S. Hischak. Greenwood.

“War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict.” Jeffrey M. Shaw and Timothy J. Demy (eds). Greenwood (ABC-CLIO).

“Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection.” Peg A. Lamphier and Rosanne Welch. ABC-CLIO.

“The 21st-Century Voter: Who Votes, How They Vote, and Why They Vote.” Guido H. Stempel III and Thomas K. Hargrove, editors. ABC-CLIO.

“Gun Politics in America: Historical and Modern Documents in Context.” Harry L. Wilson. ABC-CLIO.

“Youth Cultures in America.” Simon J. Bronner and Cindy Dell Clark, editors. Greenwood.

“Miracles: An Encyclopedia of People, Places, and Supernatural Events from Antiquity to the Present.” Patrick J. Hayes, editor. ABC-CLIO.

“American Governance.” Stephen Schechter, Thomas S. Vontz, Thomas A. Birkland, Mark A. Graber, John J. Patrick, editors. Macmillan Reference USA.

“Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime Fiction: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967.” Mitzi M. Brunsdale. McFarland & Company, Inc.

“Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe.” Jose Blanco F., Mary D. Doering, Patricia Hunt-Hurst, and Heather Vaughan Lee, editors. ABC-CLIO.

“The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation.” Bryan A. Garner. The University of Chicago Press.

“Historical Dictionary of British Spy Fiction.” Alan Burton. Rowman & Littlefield.

“Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography.” Franklin W. Knight and Henry Louis Gates Jr., editors. Oxford University Press.

“Africa: An Encyclopedia of Culture and Society.” Toyin Falola and Daniel Jean-Jacques, editors. ABC-CLIO.

Black Stereotypes in Popular Series Fiction, 1851-1955: Jim Crow Era Authors and Their Characters by Bernard A. Drew. McFarland & Company, Inc.

Civil War Biographies from the Western Waters: 956 Confederate and Union Naval and Military Personnel, Contractors, Politicians, Officials, Steamboat Pilots and Others by Myron J. Smith, Jr. McFarland & Company, Inc.

The Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature Dino Franco Felluga, editor. Wiley Blackwell.

Modern Genocide: The Definitive Resource and Document Collection by Paul R. Bartrop and Steven Leonard Jacobs, editors. ABC-CLIO.

The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary by David and Ben Crystal. Oxford University Press.

The Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean by Scott Weidensaul. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives Scott C. Martin, editor. SAGE.

Weird Sports and Wacky Games Around the World: From Buzkashi to Zorbin by Victoria Williams. ABC-CLIO.

Women’s Rights in the United States: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Issues, Events, and People Tiffany K. Wayne, editor. ABC-CLIO.

Worldmark Global Business and Economy Issues Thomas Riggs, editor. Gale.

American Indians at Risk, Jeffrey Ian Ross, editor. Greenwood

Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century, by Monique W. Morris. The New Press.

Bumblebees of North America, by Paul Williams, Robin Thorp, Leif Richardson & Shelia Colla. Princeton University Press.

Consumer Healthcare, Brigham Narins, editor. Gale Cengage Learning.

Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon. Barbara Cassin, editor. Translation edited by Emily Apter, Jaques Lezra, and Michael Wood. Princeton University Press

The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Jay S. Albanese, editor. Wiley Blackwell.

The Encyclopedia of Deception. Timothy R. Levine, editor. Sage Publishing.

The Encyclopedia of Humor Studies. Salvatore Attardo, editor. Sage Publishing.

The Encyclopedia of the Wars of The Early American Republic, 1783-1812. Spencer C Tucker, editor. ABC-CLIO.

Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God. Coeli Fitzpatrick and Adam Hani Walker, editors. ABC-CLIO.

American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document collection, Spencer C Tucker, Editor; ABC-CLIO.

The Literature of Propaganda, Thomas Riggs, editor. St. James Press/Gale Cengage.

Music in American Life: An Encyclopedia of the Songs, Styles, Stars, and Stories That Shaped Our Culture. Jacqueline Edmondson, Editor. Greenwood.

Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency: A Historical Reference, Nancy Beck Young, editor. Facts on File.

A History of Jewish-Muslim Relations from the Origins to the Present Day. Abdelwahab Meddeb and Benjamin Stora, editors. Princeton University Press.

Frogs of the United States and Canada, C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. author. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Encyclopedia of the Mind, Harold Pashler, editor. Sage Reference, publisher.

Almanac of American Military History. Spencer C Tucker, editor. ABC-CLIO.

The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. Patrick Taylor and Frederick I. Case, editors. University of Illinois Press.

Biotechnology: In Context, edited by Brenda Wilmoth Lerner & K. Lee Lerner, Gale Cengage

Dictionary of African Biography, edited by Emmanuel K Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates Jr., Oxford University Press

Encyclopedia of Housing, Second Edition, edited by Andrew T. Carswell, Sage Publications

Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology, edited by Daniel J. Christie, Wiley-Blackwell

Encyclopedia of Trauma: An Interdisciplinary Guide, edited by Charles R. Figley, Sage Publications

Enslaved Women In America: An Encyclopedia, edited by Daina Ramey Berry and Deleso A. Alford, Greenwood

Japanese Philosophy: A Source Book, edited by James W. Heisig, et al, University of Hawaii Press

Literature of War, edited by Thomas Riggs, St. James Press/Gale Cengage

Presidents and Black America: A Documentary History, by Stephen A. Jones and Eric Freedman, Sage/CQ Press

Typography Referenced: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to the Language, History, and Practice of Typography, edited by Allan Haley et al, Rockport Publishers

Women in American Politics: History and Milestones, by Doris Weatherford, Sage/CQ Press

The Encyclopedia of Political Science, George T Kurian editor-in-chief, published by CQ Press

The Civil War Naval Encyclopedia, edited by Spencer Tucker, published by ABC-CLIO

Competing Voices from the Russian Revolution: Fighting Words, edited by Michael Hickey, published by Greenwood

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible, edited by Michael D. Coogan, published by Oxford University Press

Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites, by Donald B. Kraybill, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press

The Polish American Encyclopedia, edited by James S. Pula, published by McFarland & Company, Inc.

Green's Dictionary of Slang, by Jonathan Green, published by Oxford University Press

Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine, edited by Lyle J. Micheli, published by Sage Publications

The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, Michael Ryan, general editor, published by Wiley-Blackwell

The Homer Encyclopedia, edited by Margalit Finkelberg, published by Wiley-Blackwell

The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, edited by Joan D. Marter, published by Oxford University Press

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/customer/www/rusaupdate.org/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 315