Archive for Online City Encyclopedias

Handbook of Houston

Launched in 2017 and modeled after the well-received Handbook of Texas, this site contains more than 1200 entries on this city. The articles have bibliographies as well as embedded links to other parts of the Handbook. The articles are arranged by topic; there is a separate biography section included. Given the devastation visited upon this urban area, the fourth largest in the country, a review of its history is in order.

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Online City Encyclopedias – Detroit and Philadelphia

We have come across two more of these works. The Encyclopedia of Detroit (Detroit Historical Society) features articles arranged alphabetically or by broad topics; you can also search using full text. In addition, a timeline is included and a special feature entitled Arsenal of Democracy that singles out Detroit companies that played a significant part in the war effort during World War II. The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (based at Rutgers-Camden) provides linked writings by themes or full text search; it also has a timeline, maps, an informative blog, and a 300+ page bibliography.

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Online City Encyclopedias

We have in past entries highlighted online state encyclopedias that were products of scholarly organizations with articles written by academics and in many cases buttressed with bibliographies and links. Here are a few devoted to cities: the Encyclopedia of Chicago (from the Chicago History Museum, Newberry Library, and Northwestern University) is an enhanced digital version of the original printed volume, and it contains brief biographies, company histories, timeline, and hundreds of linked articles; the Encyclopedia of San Francisco (from the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society) features a timeline, biography of the week, and dozens of entries that have links to outside sources; and The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (from Case Western Reserve University and Western Reserve Historical Society) has an image collection, a map collection, a timeline, and a vast repository of linked articles. More cities will follow.

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