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Encyclopedia Year Books


Encyclopedia Year Books

Pictured above are a dozen encyclopedia year books published in 1982 and covering events that took place in 1981. I have 72 of these books in all for the years 1981 through 1986 which are being used to create the  20 Years Ago In CED History column that appears weekly in CED Digest.

These year books were all found in thrift stores for $1.99 or less per volume. It took several years to find them all, but I started collecting the books in 1998 after 20th anniversary re-releases of Star Wars and Grease gave me the idea to do this weekly column.

Most of the year books contain a chronology of events for the year, with each of these providing events for one or two days of any given week. But by combining all the books together, it is possible to get an event for every day of the week, which is a feature of the CED history column. The year book chronologies often have different emphasis, e.g.  Encyclopaedia Britannica emphasizes European events, while  The Americana emphasizes events in America. The science year books were sometimes used to include obscure science discoveries for days on which no other news events could be found. The 1982 series contains several VideoDisc articles, as 1981 was a big year for VideoDisc technology.

If you're looking for year books, they do regularly turn up in the book sections of thrift stores. Another place to search is eBay using the search terms "year book" or "yearbook". I've seen year books mainly for the 1960's through the early 1990's. The advent of CD-ROM and the WEB has largely made these yearly reference guides, and bound encyclopedias in general, a thing of the past.

Here are the titles of the year books shown left to right in the picture:

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