"Bartlett's Familiar Quotations has been a standard reference for writers, speakers, and word lovers for over a century (John Bartlett self-published the first edition of this compilation of pithy, amusing, and historically significant quotations in 1855). With the release of the Expanded Multimedia Edition, the usefulness of this popular tome has expanded in ways Mr. Bartlett never could have imagined. The CD-ROM features all 22,000 quotations from the current print version of Bartlett's-all completely searchable through a variety of strategies-plus hundreds of multimedia "quotations" (paintings, photos, music, video) that expand the editorial thrust of Bartlett's and make full use of the medium's generous palette.
Most useful to writers and all those interested in getting at the Bartlett's text in new ways are the flexible searching capabilities offered on the CD-ROM version. No longer are we limited to thumbing through the print index in search of the one entry that most nearly matches the subject we're after. A search for just the right quotation can begin in any number of ways. You can approach the data by topic, choosing from among nine broad subject categories, each with a handful of subcategories. You can, for example, drill in through "Emotions and Character" to "Friendship," to find a list of several dozen authors and what they had to say on the subject.
A keyword search lets you step outside the bounds of the broad topic categories provided and construct your own custom search. Pursuing the word shoes, for instance, turns up 13 entries from an interesting variety of writers, including Ann Sexton, William Shakespeare, and Carl Perkins. Browsing the keyword search is fun-sort of like reaching into the rushing stream of literature, philosophy, and history and pulling out all sorts of surprising fauna. In less then five minutes' time with the keyword search, I had netted such charming and unanticipatable exotica as dingledodies (Jack Kerouac), Sesquipedalia (Horace), and Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo (Edward Lear).
Searches can also be limited by author, by media (video, sound, pictures), by source (all the quotes, say, from Macbeth or Lolita), by date, nationality, and geography. These kinds of never-before-available search strategies are the very best reasons for adding Bartlett's Expanded Multimedia Edition to your collection, particularly if you're a writer. They open up the data in new and helpful ways-in ways limited only by the imagination of the user."