Macmillan Publishing Company of New York has contracted with BYU to produce a 1-million-word, multi-volume encyclopedia of the Church.
With the approval of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, BYU has entered into an agreement with Macmillan to produce The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, which will contain about 1,500 articles on the history, people, institution, culture, scriptures and doctrines of the Church.Macmillan, one of the world's leading publishers of reference works, will publish and sell the work worldwide. Publication target date is 1991.
Because there has never been an encyclopedia of this scope written about the LDS Church, a board of editors has been working since late August to determine the topics to be included in such a publication and how long those articles should be, said Editor in Chief Daniel H. Ludlow, director of Correlation Review for the Church and former dean of Religious Education at BYU.
The project is being coordinated with Charles E. Smith, president of Macmillan's Reference Division, and Elly Dickason, senior project editor with the publishing firm.
Macmillan hopes to place the reference volumes in university, high school, municipal, church and personal libraries throughout the world. The work will have as its primary audience those who are interested in learning more about Mormonism from a Mormon perspective, Ludlow said.
The encyclopedia should be a special help to new members as they adopt the heritage and perspectives of the Church. It also will serve established members through concise presentations about the Church.
Ludlow is being assisted by a board of editors, including Senior Editor Robert K. Thomas and Associate Senior Editor Charles D. Tate Jr.