The second edition of The Encyclopaedia of Islam (EI/2), published since 1954 by E.J. Brill in Leiden, is well known as an unparalleled scholarly reference for the history and culture of the Islamic lands. By late summer 1994, the Encyclopaedia had reached the entry Riḍā Shāh in the middle of the eighth volume. The volumes, each approximately 1000 pages long, are lodes of information about the people, places, events and ideas of Islamic history and thought; but simply by handling the volumes, a reader would never realize that the visual arts were an important component of Islamic culture. There are very few illustrations, none of them in color. Even to the most unsophisticated eye, EI/2 is a dense, ponderous, and user-antagonistic reference tool. Nevertheless, it is a useful resource for the history of art and architecture in the Islamic lands, particularly to those who already know something about Islamic civilization, although the reader must be an experienced miner to discover the ore-bearing strata.