TU Law Professor’s Encyclopedia Named to Four Lists of Top Reference Books

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Published on 4/17/02

The Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Paul Finkelman, Chapman Distinguished Professor at The University of Tulsa College of Law, has been designated one of the best reference books of 2001 by three library publications and one library organization.

Librarians, take note: The three-volume edition, published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, was named an outstanding reference source by Library Journal, Booklist and CHOICE, as well the American Library Association.

“The nineteenth century is where our world today was made,” Finkelman said, “We’ve just been refining since then. Look at transportation, energy, the growth of huge cities and the power of American agriculture.” He cites the Civil War, immigration, western migration and technology among the most significant movements of that era.

Chronicling the century was a start-from-scratch effort, not an update of an existing work. Selecting the editorial board was “a careful balancing test,” Finkelman said. “You want different thinkers.” The six editors narrowed the list of topics to roughly 600; the directory of contributors lists almost 500 experts in their fields.

Finkelman has written or edited more than a dozen books and 70 scholarly articles, and has lectured throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe and South America. He is an expert on such varied subjects as slavery, religious freedom, baseball and the law. The encyclopedia is geared to high school and college students and is available in the Tulsa Public Library main branch, TU’s McFarlin Library, and other local libraries.