Thursday, November 7, 2013

Velveeta to Vertigo

If you’re a student, researcher, or a lifelong learner, we have great news! You don’t have to venture out into sideways-blowing rain to use our three new reference book collections: the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia: Extinction, and the Encyclopedia of World Biography. We’ve just added them to Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), which is available from our website, so you can sit in your cozy pajamas and drink chamomile tea while you peruse these encyclopedias.

The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture is a five-volume set that covers topics and people in major areas of popular culture: film; music; print culture; social life; sports; television and radio; and art and performance. Articles range from George Burns to Ken Burns, Little League to Little Richard, Velveeta to Vertigo.

Generations of Lassies. The family of collies that portrayed Lassie 
during the show's run included, from left, Pal (the original Lassie), 
young Laddie, Lassie, old Laddie, and Lassie Jr.

Reunion gallinule
Porphyrio coerulescens
Extinct since about 1730

Grzimek’s (pronounced “Chim-icks”) is a two-volume set that explores all aspects of extinctions and extinct life, with articles written by experts in zoology, paleontology, and environmental science. You can find information on ancient extinctions, as well as current concerns about endangered species.

One of Price's greatest triumphs was her 
creation of the role of Cleopatra in 
Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra.
The third title we added is the 33-volume Encyclopedia of World Biography. This set covers notable individuals from every part of the world and from all time periods who have made significant contributions to human culture. A search for ‘Cleopatra’ finds 43 biographies, including those for Marc Antony, William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Taylor, Leontyne Price, and Julius Caesar. Instead of by name, you may decide to search by location or occupation. A search for ‘Australia’ brings up 345 results, and a search for ‘inventors’ brings up 350 biographies. This is a great resource at report time, especially at night when the library is closed. Each article has a citation at the end, so you can include it in your bibliography.

To use GVRL, go to the library’s website, click on Databases, and click on the Gale Virtual Reference Library link. All you need is your Newport Library card to have hundreds of reference books at your fingertips!

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