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When the quote on the opposite page was published in the first edition of Compton's Encyclopedia in 1922, Compton's was a unique eight-volume home and school reference work. It was the first pictured encyclopedia-that is, the first to use photographs and drawings on the same pages with the text they illustrated. Compton's also pioneered the Fact-Index, which contains short, complete articles in addition to page references to the text. Compton's was also one of the first encyclopedias to maintain a large, permanent editorial staff to ensure continuous growth and revision of the set each year. Since 1922 Compton's has never lost sight of its original purpose. It continues to be an innovative, forward-looking reference work that rewards curiosity, inviting students and family members to explore the world in its pages. By choosing not to limit the vocabulary of its articles to restrictive word lists, Compton's challenges and inspires readers of all ages. Furthermore, by helping to make reading pleasurable and exciting, we hope to spark independent study and the habit of lifelong learning. Although Compton's retains the unique features of earlier years, annual revision and expansion keep the encyclopedia up-to-date in coverage and in style. This is accomplished through the efforts of knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated editorial, art, and technical-support staffs, who work with with outstanding specialists, including expert advisers, authorities in special fields of knowledge, professional groups, photographers, and artists. A state-of-the-art computerized publishing system makes it possible to update, illustrate, and print Compton's Encyclopedia rapidly, accurately, and economically. Compton's has always used the most recent advances in the graphic arts, from papermaking to color printing. With each printing, Compton's preserves its preeminent place as an innovator in reference publishing, and the editors continue to fulfill the pledge to inspire, stimulate, inform, and lead. "This almost annual, general encyclopedia continues to strengthen as an authentic resource. Only subtly tweaked with selective revisions and updates since the 2005 and 2007 editions, the most significant differences can be observed between this edition and the 2004 edition - 800 new or revised articles and 900-plus new or revised illustrations. The articles fall into general categories: "Arts," "Physical Science," "Living Things," "Medicine," "Technology and Business," "Geography," "History," "Social and Political Science," and "Potpourri" (a catchall for topics such as sports, hobbies, and religion). Adhering to nearly the same volume divisions and pagination as its 2007 predecessor, the set contains nuanced changes including the addition of a photo of a surgical robot in "Surgery," acknowledgment of the death of Kurt Vonnegut in 2007, and an update of "Electronic Games" that offers a photo of a Nintendo Wii demonstration. Biographical profiles tend to be historical and international in scope, so readers looking for current pop-culture icons will find few, if any. Some articles remain untouched, retaining outdated bibliographies or photographs. However, fabulous gems are found in most every volume, such as lengthy (10- to 30-page) treatments on horses, airplanes, anatomy, and nuclear energy, neatly subdivided and filled with color and black-and-white photographs and drawings. Geographical entries also shine and contain the most-often requested information for reports, including famous people associated with each U.S. state. The last volume, "Fact Index," is a mini-encyclopedia of its own, integrating the set index with nearly 30,000 short articles and fact boxes". Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
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