Cover image for The Columbia gazetteer of North America
The Columbia gazetteer of North America
Cohen, Saul Bernard.
Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 1157 pages, 24 pages of plates : color maps ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E35 .C65 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Based on the celebrated three-volume Columbia Gazetteer of the World, this volume offers 50,000 entries on places in North America, arranged in alphabetical order. Designed for ease of use and maximum access to the widest amount of information, the Columbia Gazetteer of North America is a core reference work for any library, public or private, governmental or educational. Whether it is an entry of a few lines on China, Texas, or hundreds of lines on New York City, the entries are packed with information, such as:

* descriptions of physical geography

* political boundaries

* historical, political, cultural, and economic descriptions

* natural, agricultural, and other resources

* principal trade, business, and industrial activities

* highways, railroads, canals, and pipelines

* points of interest

* population from the most recent national censuses

* latitude, longitude, and elevation

* official place-names

* changed or variant names and spellings

* pronunciations

* and much more.

Author Notes

Saul B. Cohen is University Professor Emeritus at Hunter College of the City University of New York, President Emeritus of Queens College of the City University of New York, and former president of the Association of American Geographers. A nationally known leader in geographic education, he currently serves on the New York State Board of Regents.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The 50,000 entries in this volume were drawn from the Columbia Gazetteer of the World (1998).

Library Journal Review

For libraries lacking either the space or the funds to purchase its complete three-volume Columbia Gazetteer of the World, the publisher now offers a one-volume geographical resource covering the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean. Following the format of the parent publication, the 50,000 entries are alphabetized word by word (hyphenated names are treated as one word) and include historical, political, economic, and population information, as well as the latitude, longitude, and elevation of the countries, regions, mountains, rivers, states, provinces, and municipalities cited. Pronunciation is provided in parentheses for most place names, with a key provided using a "sound out" approach similar to that of newspapers. Some data have not been updated: the new Canadian territory of Nunavut is present but as not yet officially instituted, and Florida's Miami-Dade County is still listed as Dade County without cross reference despite a note regarding the 1997 name change in the main entry. The text is accompanied by 24 pages of color maps. Recommended for any reference collection unable to acquire the original complete set.DEdward K.Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Cohen (former president of the Association of American Geographers) presents the most comprehensive geographical encyclopedia of the region, surpassing even Cambridge Gazetteer of the United States and Canada, ed. by Archie Hobson (CH, Feb'96). Columbia features some 50,000 alphabetical entries as well as 20 colored maps of the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Many entries are excerpted from Columbia Gazetteer of the World, also ed. by Cohen (CH, Oct'98). The new gazetteer provides accurate coverage of place-names while recognizing major regional changes over the past half century (e.g., growth of high technology in Silicon Valley, decline of the sugar industry in Jamaica). Entries vary in length from a few lines ("Myrtle Grove," "Bell Island"), to several hundred ("Quebec," "Mexico"), and are classed as regions, states, provinces, cities, villages, etc. Topographical data (square miles/kilometers, location, elevation, longitude/latitude) are provided telegraphically. Names of significant places--landmarks, national parks, industries, dams, shopping malls, stadia, canals--are conveyed in straightforward, terse style, as are other relevant data such as demographics and cultural and historical events. Other noteworthy features include pronunciations of place-names in parentheses, ample cross-references and see also references in small capitals, keys to pronunciation and population estimates, and a list of abbreviations. This geographical reference source, unrivaled in scope, authoritativeness, and overall quality, should be attractive for the geographical reference holdings of municipal and college libraries. Highly recommended. S. M. Williams; Bossier Parish Community College