Cover image for The New York Public Library desk reference.
The New York Public Library desk reference.
New York Public Library.
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, [2002]

Physical Description:
xvi, 999 pages : illustrations (some color), color maps ; 25 cm
General Note:
"A Stonesong Press book."
Physical world -- World of ideas -- Way we communicate -- Daily life -- Recreation -- Political world -- Atlas.
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
AG6 .N49 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
AG6 .N49 2002 Adult Non-Fiction E-Branch
AG6 .N49 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
AG6 .N49 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
AG6 .N49 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



Curious to know about the wind chill factor, or how to make a Rob Roy, or locate the time in China? Why not peruse a list of common crossword-puzzle words, catch up on the latest computer terms, learn how to carve a turkey the right way, or find out who invented what and when?

The most reliable, useful, and entertaining information is once again just a page-turn away in the fourth edition of The New York Public Library Desk Reference. This timeless resource originates from one of the world's great storehouses of knowledge. With collections totaling over 50 million items, The New York Public Library's vast collections continue to expand at a rate of approximately 10,000 items per week. Fully updated with more than 1,000 pages, The New York Public Library Desk Reference is packed with answers to the most frequently asked questions, as well as easy-to-read charts, graphs, and tables, insightful sidebars, full-color maps, and illustrations, plus cross-references and web addresses to aid more in-depth research. From the serious to the trivial, the most frequently sought information from more than 50 reference books is readily at hand in this one comprehensive and accessible guide.

Author Notes

Kiki Thorpe was born in Agaña, Guam and grew up in Boise, Idaho. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona.

She has written or adapted over fifty books for children. A former children's book editor, she now writes full time and her works include: Ah-Choo!, A Comfy Cozy Thanksgiving, and Bear in the Big Blue House. She is the author of The Never Girls series, and has written some of the Disney Fairies chapter books series including: The Trouble with Tink, Tink North of Never Land, and Tink in a Fairy Fix.

Kiki also writes the Candy Apple, and Poison Apple books under the name Mimi Mccoy.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

A new reference tool put together by Stonesong Press, a packager, with a staff of freelancers. The project bears the imprimatur of the New York Public Library, and former President Gregorian has written a brief introduction. More like an almanac than anything else, this includes much information found in standard yearly almanacs. Its strength is that it concentrates on information most frequently sought and picks out bits and pieces found in familiar reference sources, such as Chase's Annual Events, Bullfinch's Mythology , the Abbreviations Dictionary , and many more to intersperse among the almanac-type information. Symbols, orders of animals, brief surveys of major writers, etiquette, forms of address, and stain removal are just a few of the topics covered. Although the book won't replace anything already owned, the language is clearer and simpler than that found in most almanacs, making it an easier first choice to search for information. Some areas are glossed over, such as math formulas, some are extraneous, such as giving ``representative'' zip codes for cities, and some appear arbitrary, such as including Ethical Culture as a major world religion. The book's biggest drawback, though, seems to be currency. Publication dates of suggested readings at the end of chapters are generally old. And since a large part of the book is devoted to addresses and phone numbers, currency is extremely important here. In spite of these few limitations, this appears (galley was seen without charts, maps, illustrations, or index) to be a useful new compendium. Good for libraries and as a home desk reference.-- Marguerite Mroz, Baltimore Cty. P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Like its predecessor, this second edition aims to present basic factual information for general readers. It follows the design of the first edition, with broad topical chapters gathered from other reference books (e.g., "Weights and Measures," "Legal Information," "Sports and Games," etc.). The content is similar to that found in annual almanacs; literary, art, and biographical dictionaries; directories; style manuals; etiquette handbooks; etc. The editors, most of whom worked on the previous edition, determined the subject coverage in consultation with reference librarians, booksellers, and researchers. Approximately 59 new sections are indicated by italics in the table of contents, and by a double black bar in the margin next to the added section. The CHOICE review of the first edition (Jan'90) pointed out several inaccuracies, many of which have been corrected, though some remain; for example, the measurements of a volleyball court are incorrect. In addition, some omissions noted in the first edition were not remedied; e.g., photosynthesis is not defined in the list of science and engineering terms. The illustrations and graphics remain crude and unsophisticated. Most tables and charts show sources of information, and each chapter has a list of sources for additional information. Appropriate for home or school use when searching for factual information. Libraries that own the first edition will want the second if only for the corrections and revisions. K. Sendi; University of Toledo

Table of Contents

Prefacep. XV
I The Physical Worldp. 1
1 Times and Datesp. 3
Reckoning Days and Hoursp. 4
Universal and Standard Timep. 6
Time Adjustmentsp. 9
Calendarsp. 10
Words Describing Periods of Timep. 18
Major Holidaysp. 18
Additional Sources of Informationp. 21
2 Weights and Measuresp. 23
U.S. Customary System of Weights and Measuresp. 24
Metric System of Measurementp. 26
Common Conversion Factorsp. 28
Temperature Conversionsp. 29
Special Weights and Measuresp. 30
Additional Sources of Informationp. 32
3 The Biological Woredp. 33
Anatomical Drawings of the Human bodyp. 34
The Science of Taxonomyp. 36
The Animal Kingdomp. 37
Petsp. 44
Animal First Aidp. 47
The Plant Kingdomp. 51
Plant Cultivationp. 60
Germination Tablesp. 63
Common Biological Termsp. 64
Additional Sources of Informationp. 67
4 The Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Technologyp. 69
Astronomyp. 70
Chemistryp. 83
Geology and Geophysicsp. 87
Meteorologyp. 99
Physicsp. 102
Mathematicsp. 105
Computersp. 110
Space Explorationp. 119
Common Engineering Termsp. 121
Additional Sources of Informationp. 123
5 Inventions and Scientists Discoveriesp. 125
Significant Inventions, Technological Advances, and Discoveriesp. 126
Major Scientists and Engineersp. 146
Additional Sources of Informationp. 158
II The World of Ideasp. 159
6 Performance and Entertainment Artsp. 161
Illustrated List of Musical Instrumentsp. 162
Major Composers of Classical Musicp. 168
Major Jazz Composers and Performersp. 179
Common Music Termsp. 182
Basic Positions for Balletp. 192
Major Dancers and Choreographersp. 194
Common Dance Termsp. 199
Major Playwrightsp. 202
Major Film Directorsp. 208
The Academy Awardsp. 213
Additional Sources of Informationp. 220
7 The Visual Artsp. 221
Major Painters and Sculptorsp. 222
Art Movements and Stylesp. 234
Common Art Termsp. 237
Major Architectsp. 239
Architectural Movements and Stylesp. 244
Common Architectural Termsp. 245
Illustrations of Architectural Elementsp. 246
Additional Sources of Informationp. 250
8 Literaturep. 251
Important Authorsp. 252
Literary Movements, Periods, and Stylesp. 264
Pseudonyms of Famous Authorsp. 267
Poet Laureatesp. 268
Book Awards and Their Recipientsp. 269
The Great Books: A Reading Listp. 274
The New York Public Library's Books of the Centuryp. 276
Common Literary Termsp. 280
Additional Sources of Informationp. 283
9 Religionsp. 285
The Greek and Roman Deitiesp. 286
The World's Major Religionsp. 287
Significant Dates in the History of Religionp. 296
Holy Books of the Worldp. 298
Roman Catholic Patron Saintsp. 300
The Roman Catholic Popesp. 301
Major Religious Holidays in the United Statesp. 308
Additional Sources of Informationp. 311
10 Philosophyp. 313
Major World Philosophersp. 314
Philosophical Movements and Schools of Thoughtp. 321
Common Philosophical Termsp. 326
Additional Sources of Informationp. 337
11 Libraries and museumsp. 339
Major Libraries and Their Specialp. 340
The Dewey Decimal System and How to use Itp. 349
The Library of Congress Subject Headingsp. 350
Libraries Onlinep. 351
Data Banks Available for Computer Researchp. 351
Information Centersp. 353
Reference Works for General Informationp. 355
Major Art Museums and Their Special Collectionsp. 366
Major Science and Technology Museums and Their Special Collectionsp. 375
Children's Museumsp. 375
Major Zoos and Aquariumsp. 377
Major Botanical Gardens and Arboretumsp. 383
III The Way We Communicatep. 389
12 Symbols and Signsp. 391
Symbols Used in Science, Mathematics, and Technologyp. 392
Cultural Symbolsp. 397
Symbols to Guide the Travelerp. 400
Symbolic Alphabetsp. 403
Business and Monetary Symbolsp. 405
Proofreaders' Marksp. 406
Smileysp. 406
Additional Sources of Informationp. 406
13 Alphabets and Wordsp. 407
Alphabetizationp. 408
Acronymsp. 408
Common Abbreviationsp. 411
Commonly Misused Wordsp. 416
Spelling Guidelinesp. 417
Commonly Misspelled Wordsp. 417
Phonetic Symbolsp. 419
American English and British English: Spelling and Name Differencesp. 419
Diacritical Marksp. 419
The Indo-European Family of Languagesp. 420
Frequently Used Foreign Words and Phrasesp. 421
Greek Prefixes and Suffixesp. 426
Latin Prefixes and Suffixesp. 428
Common Crossword-Puzzle Wordsp. 429
Foreign Alphabetsp. 436
Additional Sources of Informationp. 437
14 Grammar and Punctuationp. 439
The Parts of Speechp. 440
Modifiersp. 441
Sentence Structurep. 441
Punctuationp. 445
American English and British English: Punctuation Differencesp. 447
Additional Sources of Informationp. 448
15 Letters and Forms of Addressp. 449
Personal Lettersp. 450
Business Protocol and Forms of Addressp. 450
Additional Sources of Informationp. 459
IV Daily Lifep. 456
16 Etiquettep. 463
Wedding Etiquettep. 464
Business Etiquettep. 470
Network Etiquette (Netiquette)p. 472
Partiesp. 472
Deaths and Funeralsp. 475
Additional Sources of Informationp. 476
17 First Aidp. 477
Lifesaving Proceduresp. 478
Treatment for Health Emergenciesp. 484
Directory of Poison Control Centersp. 492
Additional Sources of Informationp. 497
18 Health and Nutritionp. 499
Questions to Ask Your Doctorp. 500
The Patient's Bill of Rightsp. 502
Approximate Dates of Childbirthp. 504
Precautions During Pregnancyp. 504
Immunization Schedule for Infants, Children, and Adultsp. 506
Expected Number of Deaths at Given Periods of Life per 100,000 Infants Born Alivep. 507
Life Expectancy by Race, Sex, and Agep. 508
Recommended Weightsp. 508
Home Remediesp. 510
Looking for Signs of Breast Cancerp. 515
Infectious Diseases and How They Are Spreadp. 517
Dental Carep. 518
Living Willsp. 519
Ten Leading Causes of Deathp. 520
Combining Forms of Medical Termsp. 522
Recommended Daily (or Dietary) Allowancesp. 523
Activities and the Calories They Consumep. 525
Vitamin/Mineral Food Chartp. 526
Alcohol Consumptionp. 534
Additional Sources of Informationp. 535
19 Household Tipsp. 539
Foodp. 540
Chemical Additivesp. 551
Beveragesp. 557
Clothingp. 561
Standard Sizes of Materials and Toolsp. 570
Disposal of Hazardous Household Chemicalsp. 572
Recyclingp. 573
Compostingp. 573
How to Build a Firep. 574
Baby-Sitter Checklistp. 574
Car-Maintenance Checklistp. 575
Additional Sources of Informationp. 575
20 Personal Financesp. 577
Tables of Common Interestp. 578
Making a Budgetp. 579
How Much Can You Spend on Housing?p. 580
Average Cost of Raising a Childp. 580
Calculating Your Net Worthp. 581
Insurancep. 582
Credit and Loansp. 586
Real Estate and Mortgagesp. 588
Investments and Retirementp. 592
Common Investment Termsp. 599
Tippingp. 601
Additional Sources of Informationp. 602
21 Legal Informationp. 603
Forms and Contractsp. 604
Statute of Limitationsp. 624
Copyrightsp. 624
Patentsp. 626
Federal Judicial Systemp. 628
Supreme Court Justicesp. 628
Supreme Court Decisionsp. 629
Common Legal Termsp. 631
Additional Sources of Informationp. 640
22 Useful Addresses and Phone Numbersp. 643
Agingp. 644
Alcoholism and Drug Abusep. 649
Childrenp. 650
Consumer Information and Protectionp. 651
Disabilitiesp. 669
Domestic Violence Resourcesp. 670
Family Planningp. 673
Federal Government Agencies and Bureausp. 674
Federal Information Centersp. 677
Parentingp. 677
Radio and Television Networksp. 678
United States Service Academiesp. 682
Additional Sources of Informationp. 682
V Recreationp. 687
23 Sports and Gamesp. 689
Auto Racingp. 690
Baseballp. 692
Basketballp. 696
Bicycle Racingp. 699
Bowlingp. 700
Footballp. 700
Golfp. 705
Horse Racingp. 706
Ice Hockeyp. 708
Soccerp. 711
Tennisp. 713
Volleyballp. 715
Olympic Gamesp. 716
Major Sports Figuresp. 719
Board Gamesp. 726
Card Gamesp. 730
Additional Sources of Informationp. 733
24 Travelp. 739
Basic Informationp. 740
Domestic Travelp. 753
International Travelp. 776
International Currenciesp. 784
Additional Sources of Informationp. 813
VI The Political Worldp. 815
25 The United Statesp. 817
Important Dates in American Historyp. 818
Federal Governmentp. 852
States and Territoriesp. 861
U.S. Postal Servicep. 868
Major Daily Newspapersp. 876
Additional Sources of Informationp. 881
26 The Worldp. 883
Countries of the Worldp. 884
Great Events in World Historyp. 901
Major Wars, Battles, and Other Armed Conflictsp. 910
World Exploration and Discoveryp. 917
Population of Major World Citiesp. 924
The United Nationsp. 928
International Organizationsp. 931
Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worldp. 932
Royal Rulers of Europe and Asiap. 933
Order of British Peeragep. 936
Genealogy Charts of the British Monarchyp. 936
Connections Between Royal Familiesp. 939
Prime Ministersp. 940
Foreign Dialing Codesp. 942
Additional Sources of Informationp. 943
Atlasp. 945
Indexp. 953