Encyclopedias are secondary sources useful for introductory information on general and specific topics. For those states that have encyclopedias published by the two major law book companies, West's publications are STATE Law Encyclopedia and Lawyer's Co-op's are STATE Jurisprudence.
Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia.
This multivolume set of 51 volumes published by West is kept up to date with annual pocket parts and revised volumes as needed. There are only a few revised volumes since the initial publication over two decades ago. The encyclopedia is arranged by subject from Abatement and Revival to Workman's Compensation. At the beginning of each topic a statement is made concerning what is included and what is excluded from the chapter. A table of contents arranged by major headings is followed by a detailed breakdown of the chapter. Each chapter is arranged generally by substantive law first and then procedural law. The text provides references to court cases in all appellate and county jurisdictions as well as to C.J.S., West's digest system, and periodical literature. One can search P.L.E. using a three-volume subject index found at the end of the set.
For Pennsylvania, LEXIS Law Publishing Company publishes the Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia.2d series. twelve volumes have been published so far including equivalent complete volumes for automobile law, commercial transactions, constitutional law.
Standard Pennsylvania Practice 2d series
This is a Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company publication which is an encyclopedia on procedural law in Pennsylvania. It is a 39 volume work covering all topics on procedural law in Pennsylvania as well as specific volumes on practice in the Orphans' Courts (vols. 29-34) and workmen's compensation (vols. 35-36). Its value is also that it cross references other Lawyers Cooperative publications like American Jurisprudence 2d, Am Jur Legal Forms 2d, A.L.R., and Goodrich-Amram Pennsylvania Procedural Rules With Forms.
Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d
This is the Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company equivalent of P.L.E. It contains "bread and butter" subjects: torts, criminal law, family, business, estates probates and trusts, insurance, labor law, municipal law, environmental law. and taxation. There are 25 volumes and two volumes in tables and index.
This is published by George T. Bisel Co. This 8 volume set contains short pamphlets on over 100 different subjects and kept up to date by Prof. W. Edward Sell of the University of Pittsburgh. It contains useful information on a variety of subjects.