"Scribner's publishes a modernized continuation of the DAB supplements as The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives (SEAL; CHOICE Apr '99), two volumes of which have been published to date...Libraries holding the DAB should not discard it in favor of ANB; each presents dacts and offers entries the other does not...Differing views of the same subject can be very enlightening, and the DAB is undoubtedly a monument to its time and to earlier 20th-century historical perspectives. Libraries that own both will find that LC classes DAB in E176 and ANB in CT213, and may want to class them together so they can be found in close proximity...Most [libraries] will want all three: ANB, DAB, and, SEAL."
-- CHOICE (September 1999)
"SEAL continues the publication of biographies of notable Americans begun by Dictionary of American Biography and carried on with supplements...It follows in the tradition of the supplements in providing authoritative, signed biographies for 494 persons who died during the five years covered. Each essay ends with a note on sources that supplies information for further reading or research. SEAL is characterized by an enlarged format and photographs of each subject...The editors commendably include persons from a wide variety of backgrounds who made significant contributions in politics, business, scholarship, education, sports, popular culture, and the arts and entertainment...Libraries that own DAB and its supplements will want to add this volume."
-- CHOICE (April 1999)
"The editors and the 332 contributors of the signed biographies have created a worthy successor to the DAB. Many articles include a black-and-white photographic portrait and all include a brief bibliography... This, every bit as much as the fabled biographical dictionary that inspired it, belongs in American libraries' reference collections."
-- Rettig on Reference (February 1999)
"Not withstanding the lack of the DAB name, SEAL bears a great deal of resemblance to the work it continues to update - not surprising, since it retains the editorial hand of Kenneth T. Jackson, professor of history at Columbia University, as did supplements nine and ten of DAB. As the preface points out, there are several enhancements. SEAL has a photograph of most subjects, a subject listing by occupation in the back of the volume, and a brief opening description for each subject outlining key achievements. This is a particularly refreshing change. Whereas DAB would simply open with the subject's name, birth, and death dates, and a word or two summarizing his or her occupation or avocation, the present volume (SEAL) elaborates with a full paragraph highlighting claims to fame...
Libraries that have invested in DAB will clearly want to add this reasonably priced volume to their collections, and will likely want to continue to add future supplements. Volume 2, available in December 1988 but not received in time for this review, covers individuals who died between 1986 and 1990, among them Ted Bundy, Huey Newton, and Geraldine Page."
-- Booklist/Reference Books Bulletin (January 1999)
"This work is authoritative, well written, and attractively produced. The editors have deftly woven the contributions of many different authors into one seamless and captivating work. The result is a reference work that contains more than simply straightforward facts. After Volume 2 is published in December 1998, successive volumes are scheduled for publication every five to eight years. The economical price and the publication schedule should fit this reference tool into the budget of many different types of libraries."
-- ARBA (American Reference Books Annual) 1999