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This article is from the Quotations FAQ, by Sir Hans dok@fwi.uva.nl Jason Newquist jrnewquist@ucdavis.edu with numerous contributions by others.

5.2 What Dictionaries of Quotations exist? DoQs p3

The Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
Published: 1949. Was still in print in 1989.
Publisher: Doubleday (1949), Dorsett Press (1989)
Editor: Evan Esar
Scope: Humorous quotations, chosen by author.
This is one of the many quotation dictionaries that are basically
the collected ``favorite quotes'' of the author. It is arranged by
author, and includes a subject index. [MM]

A Dictionary of Musical Quotations
Published: 1985
Publisher: Routledge
Editors: Ian Crofton and Donald Fraser
Scope: Music
Number of quotations: 3000
ISBN: 0-415-03136-2
If you like classical music and are interested in quotations, you
will not go wrong too far with this one. Lovers of other styles of
music are in for a disappointment--there are some entries on the
Beatles and reggae and such like, but that's about it, while on the
other hand some rather obscure classical composers do have their own
entry. [SH]

Good Advice by Safire and Safire
Published: 1982
Publisher: Times Books, division of Quadrangle/The New York Times
Book Co. Inc.
Editors: ?
Scope: Quotations of ``good advice''
Number of quotations: 2000
ISBN: 0-8129-1013-3
The Safire brothers have compiled a wonderful collection of quotes
alphabetized according to topic. The quotes are culled from ancient
and modern sources and provide diverse opinions on meaningful ways of
living. Unfortunately, only the author is listed, not dates or further
sources of the quotation. [PF]

The International Thesaurus of Quotations (1st edition)
Published: 1970
Publisher: Harper & Row
Editor: Rhoda Thomas Tripp
Scope: Subject-based quotations
Number of quotations: 16000
ISBN: 0-06-091382-7
If your aim is to find quotations on subjects, this it the one to
get. Very good indexes for authors, quotes, and keywords, surprisingly
good references for each quote (something one doesn't expect in a DoQ of
this type), though again no originals of foreign quotations. Reasonably
cheap and recommended. [NOTE: There is a second edition of this one,
but I do not have it; from what I have seen it is a sound and solid
sequel, with a more modern range of subjects.] [SH]

Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations
Published: 1988
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Editor: Isaac Asimov and Jason A. Shulman
Scope: Science and nature (are you surprised?)
Number of quotations: 2000
ISBN: 1-555-84111-2
No sources, no proper index, some incredibly debilitating
platitudes, many errors. I can't handle it. In short: No. [SH]

Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle
Published: 1992
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Editor: Anne Stibbs
Scope: By and about women
Number of quotations: 3000
ISBN: 0-7475-1173-X
Like the "Concise Dictionary of Quotations" by Bloomsbury,
quotations are organized by keywords and by author, the first all more
or less directly related to women, and from people of both sexes, the
second all from (and on those) women and on more diverse subjects. If
you're interested in the subject (and who isn't?) this isn't too bad.
[SH]

The New International Dictionary of Quotations (1st edition)
Published: 1986
Publisher: Signet
Editor: Hugh Rawson and Margaret Miner
Scope: ``a bias . . . towards the tried and true''
Number of quotations: 3700
ISBN: 0-451-16673-6
Subject based. Weakish sources. Weaker index. Some nice
``backtracking'' of a few quotations, though this has mainly been
borrowed from other DoQs. Nothing special really.
[NOTE: A second edition has recently come out, but I haven't as yet
taken a good look at it.] [SH]

The New Penguin Dictionary of Quotations
Published: 1992 (original 1960)
Publisher: Penguin
Editors: J. M. Cohen and M. J. Cohen
Scope: All, chosen on familiarity
Number of quotations: 14000
ISBN:0-670-82952-8
A sort of would-be "Oxford" this, but not quite as good. Almost
all of the references lack a date, which is common among the lesser
DoQs, but for something on this level of pretentiousness it is a weak
point. The index is good enough. Unfortunately, ``to save space lines
of verse are run on and the divisions between lines are indicated by
oblique strokes.'' This looks ugly. Bit of a bland one, overall, but
you should be able to find it quite a bit cheaper than others of this
size. [SH]

 

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