Sunday, August 17, 2003

Encyclopedias open a 'different world'

Prized possessions

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

[IMAGE] Donna McMillen and her 1928 encyclopedia.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
Who: Donna McMillen, 68, of Mount Healthy, a former office worker who "loves being retired."

On display: A mint condition, 10-volume set of The World Book Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture published in 1928.

Where: Lined up in a bookcase in the downstairs hallway of the home she shares with her husband "Mac."

(They have been married for 24 years and have 10 grown children, 17 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren between them.)

Time traveler: "I treasure these encyclopedias," McMillen says, "because reading them makes me feel as though I'm entering a different world."

Is that "Wright"? "At first I couldn't find a listing for airplanes," she recalls. "Then one day I was leafing through and found "Flying Machines." That was a surprise, although when I looked up World War I, I knew it wouldn't be World War I because World War II hadn't happened yet. It is listed as the "War of the Nations."

Another world: McMillen has also noticed that in her encyclopedias, the writers tend to editorialize, subjects are presented in plain, simple reading and many listings are not exactly "politically correct."

"For example," she says, "In an article on women's suffrage it says: "Women won the right to vote only 8 short years before these volumes were published." "Also, that some considered women "too ignorant to vote."

Share your prize possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold by mail: c/o The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202: e-mail: Please include a daytime, weekday phone number.

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