Cover image for Encyclopedia of children and childhood : in history and society
Encyclopedia of children and childhood : in history and society
Publication Information:
New York : Macmillan Reference USA, c2004.



Physical Description:
3 v. : ill. ; 29 cm.
v. 1. A - E -- v. 2. F - R -- v. 3. S - Z; Primary sources; Index.
Added Author:


Material Type
Shelf Number
Reference book HQ767.84.E53 2003 V.1 1
Reference book HQ767.84.E53 2003 V.2 1
Reference book HQ767.84.E53 2003 V.3 1

On Order



This three-volume set presents the social and cultural history of childhood from antiquity to the present. "Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society examines this history through articles on education, parenting, child labor, economics, images of childhood, children's literature, play, toys and games, health, physiology, law, the criminal justice system and social welfare. Comparative articles include information about childhood in cultures throughout the world. Features 250 photographs representing the visual images of childhood.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Intended to provide "the interested reader with a necessary introduction to the wide range of issues that define the field" of children's history, the volumes of this encyclopedia draw on the expertise of more than 300 scholars from around the world for 445 articles arranged in alphabetical order. Among the contributors are authors of several important books written about the history of children over the past two decades, including Paula Petrick, who wrote Small Worlds: Children and Adolescents in America, 1850-19500 (Univ. of Kansas, 1992), and Joseph E. Illick, author of American Childhoods 0 (Univ. of Pennsylvania, 2002). Articles vary in length from 500 to 5,000 words and cover topics in such broad areas as history, social sciences, literature, medicine, and law as they relate to the history of childhood and children. Bicycles and tricycles; Cassatt, Mary; Charter schools; Child pornography; Halloween; Infant rulers; Islam; Lindbergh kidnapping; Montessori, Maria; Multiple births; Orphanages0 ; Shyness; Teen drinking; Temple, Shirley0 ; and Theories of play0 are examples of entries that demonstrate the set's range. The encyclopedia has discussions of literature that has been an important ingredient in the lives of Western children, such as the Bible, ABC books, fairy tales, Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, and comic books. Each entry ends with see also0 references and a bibliography. A wide variety of black-and-white illustrations, many of them significant representations of children in art, illustrate the text. Volume 3 contains an annotated collection of 50 primary sources identified as essential documents in the field, reproduced in whole or in part. A topical outline appears in volume 1, and volume 3 has an excellent comprehensive index. Volumes in ABC-CLIO's the American Family series ( Adolescence in America, Boyhood in America, Girlhood in America0 , Infancy in America 0 all 2001) cover some of the same topics but are narrower in geographic scope. They are also more centered on the experience of children and youth rather than on childhood as an idea. The Gale Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence 0 (1997) is more concerned with child development. For its worldwide historical scope, Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society 0 is a recommended purchase for history collections as well as collections that focus on the study of children and children in families. It is also recommended in the broader sense as a great background tool for any public and academic library with patrons concerned with the study of topics relating to children. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

In this comprehensive, multidisciplinary encyclopedia Fass (history, Univ. of California, Berkeley) convincingly demonstrates her mastery of children in history. Her Childhood in America, ed. with Mary Ann Mason (2000), Outside In: Minorities and the Transformation of American Education (1989), The Damned and the Beautiful: American Youth in the 1920's (1979), and Kidnapped: Child Abduction in America (1997) were all well received. Her latest effort seals her place as scholar and editor. Of this "first encyclopedia of the history of childhood," Fass writes, "the set is designed to be accessible to a wide readership, providing essential information for the general reader, high school and college students, and scholars alike."Each volume is decorated with paintings of children at various periods in history. The alphabetical organization of entries allows the volumes to cover multiple topics--ancient to contemporary, Erasmus to Harry Potter. Volume 1 offers options for using the three volumes, a roster of 300 contributors, a list of illustrations, and a table of contents. Volume 3 includes a 35-page index. Entries vary in length from a single line or brief paragraphs to eight pages, are signed, and end with print and Web references. A long appendix lists primary sources.This work covers all facets of its subject, including religion, social sciences, literature, law, and medicine. Although it emphasizes canonical topics, it is committed to including contemporary and controversial issues, e.g., school violence, single parenthood, nontraditional families. Other strong features include the work's international focus, and inclusion of obscure facts and data that provide a solid basis for conclusions. There are two obvious shortcomings: the omission of Urie Bronfenbrenner (human development and family studies and psychology, Cornell), a founding father of Head Start and an internationally recognized and studied scholar; and see also references should have been used to link legal cases to other topics. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Academic, school, and public libraries. T. R. Mack University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Library Journal Review

Purporting to cover all aspects of children and childhood worldwide, from ancient through contemporary times, this set ranges from history and art history to religion, politics, literature, education, social sciences, law, and medicine. The 445 entries cover the likes of Erasmus, Piaget, John Locke, Lewis Carroll, and Benjamin Spock, as well as child rearing and parenting, conception and birth, school violence, single parenthood, and nontraditional families. Written by 300 subject specialists, the accurate and well-written, signed articles (500 to 5000 words apiece) include brief yet current bibliographies. Unfortunately, Internet resources are scant. One surprise is the omission of C.S. Lewis and his Narnia Chronicles, although J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter get one page, and J.R.R. Tolkien is covered in an article on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. With extensive cross references, content outline, and list of articles, the set is eminently accessible. A 94-page appendix provides primary source material in the areas of children's literature, law and politics, religion, education, and human rights. Useful for academic, special, and public libraries supporting early childhood, education, library science, social work, and other child/parent-related professions.-Laurie Selwyn, Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.