The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 1,200,000 words long and referencing fourteen languages, has won the prestigious 2015 Dartmouth Medal. Presented annually by the expert librarians of the ALA, the award honors the creation of a reference work of “outstanding quality and significance.”
The committee hailed the Dictionary as “a true meisterwerk — scholarly yet accessible, exhaustive, yet usable.” As one member put it, “If you can apply the word ‘elegant’ to a reference work, this would be the book.”
The Dictionary is the product of more than a decade’s labor by Robert E. Buswell and Donald S. Lopez Jr, who wrote, compiled and edited over 5,000 entries.
In a review in Lion’s Roar, Rory Lindsay wrote that Dictionary “deepens our understanding” and offers “glimpses into the many Buddhisms and Buddhist belief systems that have developed over the past two and a half millennia.”
Buswell says that he and Lopez “wanted the user to be able to understand how Buddhist teachings and practices intersected with each other across time and space, so that by using the dictionary the reader could begin to understand both the continuities and differences in Buddhism in India, Tibet, China, etc.“
For more on the Dartmouth Medal, and its impressive list of past winners, click here.