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Buddhism   Tags: asian, buddhism, china, india, japan, korea  

Last Updated: Apr 17, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Finding Information Quickly

Encyclopedias and dictionaries are geat sources of quick information. In addition, they will often list the more important works on the topic--the first works to consult if you want to know more. When the authors of an entry are identified, you can learn their academic credentials.

Call numbers listed are those at Andover-Harvard Library. Other copies in the Harvard Library are indicated with a link.

Note also that general encyclopedias and dictionaries of religions (Ref. BL31) and general works on religions (BL80, etc.) will also have entries on Buddhism.


Contact Andover-Harvard Research Librarians:

Cliff, Gloria, and Renata - Research Librarians at Andover-Harvard

On our Ask a Librarian page

Voice: 617.496.AHTL [2485]

Text: 617.858.6187

You can also visit the research librarians on the 2nd floor. Hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-9 pm; Friday, 8:30 am-6 pm (except University holidays) during term time.

Research librarians will work with you to:

• Locate information

• Develop a research strategy

• Find relevant e-resources, books, and articles on any topic

• Work on any research-related question, problem, or skill


Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of Buddhism - Edward A. Irons (Editor). New York: Facts on File, 2008.
Call Number: Ref. BQ128 .E66 2008
Basic coverage:

In approximately 800 A-to-Z entries, Encyclopedia of Buddhism provides easy access to the terms, concepts, personalities, historical events, institutions, and movements that helped shape the history of Buddhism and the way it is practiced today. A comprehensive introduction that provides an overview of the tradition, a chronology, cross-references, further readings, a bibliography, a thorough index, and about 60 black-and-white photographs complete this volume.

Cover Art
A Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. - Damien Keown (Author).
Call Number: Ref. BQ130 .K48 2003
ISBN: 9780198605607
Basic coverage and online (with updates):

This dictionary features broad-ranging entries on the history and doctrines of the major Buddhist schools, information on the spread of Buddhism in Asia and the West, and coverage of issues of contemporary concern such as human rights, abortion, euthanasia, ‘engaged Buddhism’, and the role of women in Buddhist teachings.

Harvard Library locations from HOLLIS+.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of Buddhism. London; New York: Routledge, 2007. - Charles S. Prebish & Damien Keown (Editors).
Call Number: Ref. BQ128 .E65 2007
ISBN: 9780415314145
Comprehensive coverage:

Reflects the current state of scholarship in Buddhist Studies, its entries being written by specialists in many areas, presenting an accurate overview of Buddhist history, thought and practices, most entries having cross-referencing to others and bibliographical references. Contain around 1000 pages and 500,000 words, totaling around 1200 entries. Authors of articles are identified.

Harvard Library locations from HOLLIS+.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of Buddhism. New York: Macmillan Reference USA/Thomson/Gale, 2004. - Robert E. Buswell (Editor-in-chief)
Call Number: Ref. BQ128 .E62 2004
Comprehensive coverage and online:

In addition to containing entries on Buddhist scriptures, art, architecture, saints, demons, monastic orders, festivals, rites and ceremonies, this two-volume set explores the history of Buddhism, the different forms it has taken in different parts of the world, and how Buddhism has blended with other religions. Authors of articles are identified.

Harvard Library locations from HOLLIS+.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of Religion. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. - Lindsay Jones (Editor-in-chief)
Call Number: Ref. BL31 .E46 2005
Comprehensive coverage and online:

This is widely regarded as the standard reference work in the field of religious studies. This second edition, which is intended to reflect both changes in academia and in the world since the first edition (1987), includes almost all of the 2,750 original entries - many heavily updated - as well as approximately 600 entirely new articles. researchers. Since this covers all religions, use the table of contents or the index to locate sections about Buddhism. Authors of articles are identified.

Harvard Library locations from HOLLIS.


More Sources of Information

Encyclopaedia of Buddhism edited by G.P. Malalasekera. Colombo: Govt. of Ceylon, 1961- [Ref. BQ2 .E5; Harvard Library locations from HOLLIS+].

The State of Buddhist Studies in the World: 1972-1997 edited by Donald K. Swearer, Somparn Promta. Bangkok, Thailand: Center for Buddhist Studies, Chulalongkorn University, 2000. [Ref. BQ120 .S73 2000; Harvard Library locations from HOLLIS+].


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