Reviewers Praise Encyclopedia of Mormonism
May 1993

“Reviewers Praise Encyclopedia of Mormonism,” Ensign, May 1993, 110

Reviewers Praise Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, a four-volume, 1,848-page reference set, has been on the market for more than a year now—long enough for national experts on reference materials to evaluate the project, which took several years to complete and involved more than seven hundred authors.

In the Library Journal, reviewer Craig W. Beard of the University of Alabama at Birmingham rated the encyclopedia exceptional.

His review, in part, read: “Although the Church … is one of the largest indigenous religious groups in the United States, many people know little more of the Mormons than their family-oriented television commercials, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or Brigham Young University. … This work is, in part, an attempt to fill this knowledge gap. … The first four volumes contain about 1,500 articles on every aspect of Mormon history, doctrine, culture, lifestyle, and more. … [The encyclopedia] is outstanding in form and substance, and demands a place in public and academic collections.”

A review in the Wilson Library Bulletin states, in part, that the encyclopedia’s authors “consistently adopt a sympathetic, sometimes reverential, tone in their discussion of Mormon beliefs, practices, history, and leaders. … Whether or not one shares the authors’ collective sympathetic view of the Mormon church and its doctrines, one cannot deny that this is a rich source of information on a significant, enduring American religious body whose influence increasingly extends to other parts of the world.”

In Choice, J. R. Kennedy, Jr., of Earlham College writes that “this work is appropriate for theological libraries and others wanting a wide-ranging and readable treatment of Mormonism by Mormons.” And Davis Bitton, a history professor at the University of Utah, reviewed the books for BYU Studies. “The fact remains that the Encyclopedia of Mormonism is a genuine landmark in publication and scholarship about the Church. As a standard reference source for basic information, and a point of departure for further discussion and research, it will serve us well.”