Page 52 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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YOHAI GOELL
Eretz-Israel Reference Tools:
A Bibliographic Survey
Y
a a k o v
S
h a v i t
h a s
recently presented a broad overview of
Eretz-Israel research.1 The expanding scholarly and popular
interest in this field, both in Israel and abroad, makes the use
of reference tools a necessity both for bibliographic control of
the growing quantity of publications and for the provision of
information to an increasing number of scholars, students and
laymen. The purpose of this article is to survey reference tools
having relevance to the study of Eretz-Israel and the State of
Israel. On the whole, it will be descriptive, though in some cases
a few evaluative comments will be offered.
Some definitions are in order before the survey is begun.
A reference tool is defined as a work encompassing many facts
of information arranged in a logical, systematical-technical or­
der to enable their simple retrieval by the user. Because of this
arrangement, it is not meant to be read cover to cover. Now,
any well-researched and exhaustive monographic work on a fac­
et of Eretz-Israel studies is a collection of detailed, logically a r­
ranged facts of information, and if provided with a good index
allows for their fairly simple retrieval. All reference librarians
know that
the
book on the subject is often more productive of
the information required than many reference tools. However,
important as they may be, these studies are not arranged in
a systematical-technical order (e.g.: alphabetical, chronological,
geographical, linguistical, etc.) and are outside the scope of this
survey.
A second definition is the accepted differentiation between
1. Yaakov Shavit, “Eretz-Israel Research — Development and Trends: Sacred
History, National History, History,”
Jewish Book Annual
44 (1986-1987):
18-32.
44