Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia '95

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia '95

Article excerpt

Grolier Electronic Publishing, 800/-285-4584, 203/797-3210, fax 203/797-3835, Windows, Macintosh, $99

The undisputed granddaddy of electronic encyclopedias, Grolier started online in the early '80s when many of us thought online meant the washing was still out, later becoming the first to make the move to CD-ROM in 1985. And Grolier has managed to remain in the top three ever since that time, with a combination of thoroughly authoritative text backed by multimedia just as solid, although perhaps not as engaging, as that in either Encarta or Compton's. Grolier has always had a simple, slightly starched overall appearance. Although Grolier could well be right, today that electronic restraint, almost austerity, seems a drawback rather than a benefit. Where Grolier once stood aloof, now it merely stands apart, almost uncomfortable in dealing with the myriad possibilities that present information technology gives it, although the addition of associative searching to its full Boolean variety is welcome.

The encyclopedia suggests topics that might be of interest as well as those that are asked for. Both Compton's and Encarta went through fairly extensive facelifts for the 1995 editions, and Grolier may follow. …

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