A compendium (plural: compendia) is a collection of information on a particular topic. The amount of information is usually short but detailed. A compendium will often summarize a larger work, putting it into fewer words. It is usually not intended to be read from beginning to end. Instead a compendium is used to look up facts. It is very often called a reference work
The word compendium comes from the Latin word "compenso". It means "to weigh together or balance". The Internet has large numbers of compendia in the form of databases. Searching a database make it very easy to find facts and information. This is causing concern that print compendia (in the form of books) may eventually go away.
- Willis Goth Regier, Quotology (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010), pp. 95–96
- Catholic Church; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006), pp. xi–xii
- Reading the Hebrew Bible for a New Millennium, Volume 1, ed. Wonil Kim (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2000), p. 24
- Gary Saul Morson, The Words of Others: From Quotations to Culture (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011), p. 28