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Reference Book of the Week: International Encyclopedia of Women and Sports

A big thanks to librarian Angel Rivera for a surprise review of a favorite reference work from 2002 that I was reminded of this morning as we were working on a brochure showing all Berkshire’s big sports titles. I was the senior editor on this one, but it’s the hundreds of real experts who deserve the credit — and I’m hoping to work with them again soon as we prepare for a new round of sports publishing in 2010.

The Patriot Spot: News and information about The UT Tyler Robert R. Muntz Library, and a few other things.

Reference Book of the Week: International Encyclopedia of Women and Sports
March 25, 2009

Welcome to another edition of Reference Book of the Week here at The Patriot Spot. We continue our selections for Women’s History for the month of March. This week we are featuring the three volume set of the International Encyclopedia of Women and Sports (REF GV 709 .I58 2000).

This comprehensive source aims to cover women in sports on a global level. The editors present not only the positive aspects but also topics on criticism and controversies from sexual harassment to Title IX in the United States. The work’s entries are arranged alphabetically and fall in one of seven categories:

* sports and athletic activities
* women’s sports in society and the culture of women’s sports
* health issues
* organizations
* events
* national programs
* people

The volumes also include good illustrations and sidebars. These enhance the work. In addition, these can give readers a sense of women’s bodies, strengths and weaknesses, and notions of beauty over time.

So, what sort of questions could you answer with this resource?

* You can learn about individuals like Betty Cuthbert (Australian track athlete, vol. 1) and Katarina Witt (German figure skater, vol. 3).
* You can find out about women in sports around the world by looking for specific nation entries. For example, Belgium is found in volume 1.
* Look up rules and concepts of specific sports and how women participate, like the biathlon (vol. 1).
* And you can learn about issues like eating disorders (vol. 1), magazines (vol. 2), and technology (vol.3).

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