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_ The_ Focal Encyclopedia of Photography has joined the 21st Century. With 846 pages and weighing nearly seven pounds, this new $100 tome is guaranteed to stop any door — and to answer any question whatsoever about the history or the craft of photography. It also brings to mind a host of clichés: “must-have for serious students of photography!,” “the definitive reference!,” “truly a Bible!” etc. etc.

First published in 1956, The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography has long been one of the most trusted and comprehensive reference books on all aspects of the medium, from historic developments to key biographies to descriptions of terms and techniques. (A 1973 companion volume, The Focal Dictionary of Photographic Techniques, specializes in the latter.) But the highly regarded Third Edition of the Encyclopedia came out in 1993 — when digital technology was just beginning to reshape the medium — so it’s high time for an update. The new Fourth Edition is heavily focused on digital developments, as well as contemporary issues, from the archiving qualities of digital media to the ethics of photojournalism to the future of publishing in the Web era. The book also comes with a keyword-searchable CD-ROM containing PDFs of its contents; to see more about this click here.