Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside Worlds of Reference

Worlds of Reference

$47.99 (C)

  • Date Published: April 1988
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521314039

$ 47.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Worlds of Reference is a history of dictionaries, encyclopedias and reference materials, but it is also far more than that, because it is concerned with the growth of civilisation, education and culture - and particularly how the human race learned to store information beyond the brain. It looks at how our species moved from being able to communicate only orally and to store information only in the head (rote memorisation) to the evolution of technologies for external reference: clay- and cunieform, reed-and-hieroglyph, bamboo-and-ideogram, parchment-and-alphabet, codices, books, pages, columns and so forth through the print revolution to the current electronic revolution. Along the way it looks at how this has affected languages like Latin, french, and English and people's attitudes to those languages - and to words and the listing of information about words. This intensely human subject is as compelling and important today as any account of kings, queens, wars and social upheaval.

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1988
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521314039
    • length: 244 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 156 x 5 mm
    • weight: 0.8kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Mind, word and world:
    1. Knowing, referring and recording: storing information beyond the brain
    2. Information and World 3: in the beginning was the Word
    Part II. The Ancient World:
    3. Containers of knowledge: the first reference technologies
    4. Systems for knowledge: school and letter, book and library
    5. The taxonomic urge: class, classic and classification
    6. Missionaries and monasteries: reference and reverence
    Part III. The Medieval World:
    7. Faith versus reason: summations of truth
    8. The elites of knowledge: universitas
    Part IV. The Early Modern World:
    9. All knowledge for all men: the omne scibile and the printing press
    10. Theme versus alphabet: the roots of lexicography
    11. A blurring of languages: Latin and the vernaculars
    Part V. The Modern World:
    12. The legislative urge: authoritative wordbooks
    13. Reference and revolution: the encyclopedia proper
    14. Thematic lexicography: word order and world order
    15. Alphabetic lexicography: the unendable dictionary
    16. Universal education: dictionaries for the people
    17. Semantic fields and conceptual universes: the unshapeable lexis
    18. Tensions and trends: overt alphabet, covert theme
    Part VI. Tomorrows World:
    19. Shaping things to come: the priests of High Technology
    20. Knowledge, knowledge everywhere: planetary network, global book.

  • Author

    Tom McArthur

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.