Meta-Index and Archive
of World Masterpieces
of Literature, Philosophy, Religion,
Formal and Empirical Sciences

edited by Andrew Chrucky


This site, like the Meta-Encyclopedia of Philosophy, brings together under one meta-index, the outstanding indexes to literature, philosophy, religion, and the sciences. The bulk of the present meta-index is taken from Frank Magill's series of "masterpieces." Also included are the tables of contents for Encyclopedia Britannica's 60 volume set of the Great Books of the Western World (1990 edition).

The full indexes for the following books are incorporated: (Take note of the symbols used for column headings.)

  • [S] The four volumes (series) of Masterpieces of World Literature in Digest Form
    • [1] First Series, 1949;
    • [2] Second Series, 1956;
    • [3] Third Series, 1960;
    • [4] Fourth Series, 1968.
  • [P: page numbers] "Masterpieces of World Philosophy in Summary Form" (1961); World Philosophy: Essay Reviews of 255 Major Works, 5 vols. (1982).
  • [C] Masterpieces of Christian Literature (1963).
  • [K] Masterpieces of Catholic Literature (1965).
  • [A] Masterpieces of African-American Literature (1992).
  • [U] Masterpieces of American Literature (1993).
  • [L] Masterpieces of Latino Literature (1994).
  • [W] Masterpieces of Women's Literature (1996).
  • [G: volume number] Great Books of the Western World (1990).

When the first volume of The Masterpieces of World Literature appeared in 1949, it was not intended to be part of a series at all -- so it is a logical assumption to make that for this first book the superlative books were selected. When, however, it was decided to come up with a second volume in this series, I surmise that the next best selections were made, and so on through the series; so that the four series can be taken as classifying the masterpieces of world literature -- more or less -- into four descending categories. An exception has to be made with poetry in the fourth volume, which is meant to offset its relative neglect in the previous volumes. In any case, all the volumes in the "Masterpieces" collection must be considered as selecting superlative literature of their kind.

What you have before you are separate and composite cumulative indexes from all these volumes, arranged alphabetically by authors and titles, and each entry has a link to the Google search engine, set to search for the author's surname and the title of the work. As time permits, I will expand these lists to link to notable internet editions, and, hopefully, to some in-house editions. My intention is minimally to make available the indexes of very ambitious efforts at selecting the masterpieces of literature, philosophy, religion, and science as a guide for readers.

The initial effort at reproducing the index on world literature was done by some of my students at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, as part of the Information Technologies course in the International Baccalaureate Program, in May 2001.

January 14, 2002