Cover image for Historical dictionary of world's fairs and expositions, 1851-1988
Historical dictionary of world's fairs and expositions, 1851-1988
Findling, John E.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
xix, 443 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
T395 .H57 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This reference book contains over 90 essays by more than 60 authors, each dealing with a world's fair or international exposition held between 1851 and 1988. Many of these authors have written monographs or dissertations on fairs, while other essays were prepared by scholars with expertise in the social and cultural milieu in which the fair was held. In addition to emphasizing the most significant features of a particular fair, each author provides basic statistical information and an annotated bibliography indicating, where possible, the location of primary sources and the quality of secondary sources about that fair. The book also contains several appendices dealing with the Bureau of International Expositions, the governing body of fairs, fair officials and statistics, fairs that could not be included, fairs that never were, and future expositions. An annotated bibliography provides additional information on general and thematic works and special archival collections.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This is the first reference work devoted to world's fairs and expositions. It contains over 90 essays by more than 60 authors, each dealing with a world's fair or exposition held between 1851 and 1988. Many of the authors have previously published work on a particular fair. They emphasize the features of the fairs they consider most significant and provide annotated bibliographies which indicate the location of primary sources and the quality of secondary sources for each fair. The editor has also added an extensive annotated general bibliography and appendixes on fairs planned but never held, future fairs, fairs not included here, and the Bureau of International Expositions, the body that governs fairs. A nice addition for any academic or public library reference collection, but not a first purchase.-- Jeffrey R. Herold, Bucyrus P.L., Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This compilation covering 96 world's fairs and expositions held throughout the world, 1851-1988, in no way duplicates The Books of the Fairs (1989-90), a massive microform collection of and printed guide to more than 2,000 publications on expositions from 1834 to 1915, drawn from the Smithsonian Institution libraries. Dictionary entries, written by expert contributors, begin with the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London and conclude with the Glasgow Garden Festival. Entries, in essay form, range from two to eight pages and provide valuable cultural and historic reviews of each fair, emphasizing the most significant features, events, or lasting influences. Some entries are clearly too brief, and one can occasionally quibble about emphasis; for example, the essay on the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo focuses heavily on the assassination of President William McKinley at the Exposition, but fails to mention the appearance of Thompson and Dundy's "Trip to the Moon," the forerunner of all "simulation rides." Each entry contains a bibliographic essay which in most cases provides excellent guidance to major publications and primary sources. A useful statistical appendix lists opening and closing dates, site size, attendance, and profit or loss (the regularity of losses is surprising). Other appendixes cover fair officials, fairs not included, "Fairs That Never Were," the Bureau of International Expositions, and a few expositions in planning. This volume updates existing bibliographies and John Allwood's similar work, The Great Exhibitions (CH, Mar'79). It also serves as a fine research companion for such cultural studies as Paul Greenhalgh's Ephemeral Vistas (CH, Feb'89) and Robert Rydell's All the World's a Fair (CH, Oct'85). Libraries at all levels. -J. A. Adams, SUNY at Buffalo

Table of Contents

The Fairs, 1851-1988
Appendix A Bureau of International Expositions
Appendix B Fair Statistics
Appendix C Fair Officials
Appendix D Fairs Not Included
Appendix E Fairs That Never Were
Appendix F Fairs Yet to Come General