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Encyclopædia Britannica

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general encyclopedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., a privately held company owned by Swiss billionaire and actor Jacqui Safra. The Britannica is the oldest continuously published English-language encyclopedia.[1] Its articles are written by a dedicated staff of 19 full-time editors and by over four thousand contributors, who typically contribute to a single subject in which they are recognized authorities. The articles are targeted at educated adult readers,[2] although simplified versions have been developed. Despite its name and preference for British spelling, the Britannica has been published in the United States since 1901.[2]

The Britannica was first published from 1768–71 in three volumes under the title Encyclopædia Britannica, or, A dictionary of arts and sciences, compiled upon a new plan, partly as a conservative reaction to the provocative French Encyclopédie of Diderot published 1751-66.[1] Although the Britannica was published in a market with established English-language encyclopedias,[1] it quickly grew in popularity and size, reaching 20 volumes by the publication of its third edition in 1801. Its rising stature allowed the Britannica to recruit eminent authorities for its articles, which has continued for the past two centuries. Up to the 11th edition, the Britannica published new research and scholarly theories; in particular, the 9th and 11th editions (published in 1875-1889 and in 1911, respectively) are regarded as landmark encyclopedias for scholarship. However, beginning with the 11th edition, the Britannica chose to simplify and shorten its articles, making them more accessible to lay-readers, with the goal of broadening its North American market. In 1933, the Britannica became the first encyclopedia to adopt a "continuous revision" policy in which the encyclopedia would be revised and reprinted every year, and every article checked at least twice per decade.

Beginning with the current 15th edition, the Britannica adopted a unique three-part structure: a Micropædia of roughly 65,000 short articles (typically with no references, no named authors and fewer than 750 words), a Macropædia of roughly 700 long articles (each article having 2-310 pages, references and named contributors), and a single Propædia volume that seeks to give a hierarchical outline of all human knowledge. The articles of the Micro- and Macropædia are both listed in alphabetical order, but it is intended[3] that readers interested in a given subject will study the Propædia first to grasp its context, then use Micropædia both as a tool to briefly introduce concepts and to find appropriate, more thorough information within the Macropædia articles. The Index was removed from the first 15th edition (1974) but was restored in the second (1985), in response to reader requests. The size of the Britannica has remained constant over the last 70 years, with roughly 40 million words addressing roughly half a million topics.[4]

An increasing number of alternative information sources have reduced the popular demand for print encyclopedias significantly. The Britannica has weathered this competition on the strength of its reputation, and by lowering its price point, reducing its costs drastically and developing electronic versions on CD-ROM, DVD and the World Wide Web. Although its reputation for excellence has been questioned recently by several respectable critics, such criticisms have been challenged vigorously by the Britannica's management.[5]


Main article: History of the Encyclopædia Britannica

History of editions

The Britannica has had 15 official editions, and numerous supplements and re-organizations. However, the history of the Britannica can be usefully divided into five main eras.

In the first era (1st-6th editions, 1768-1826), the Britannica was managed by its original founders, Colin Macfarquhar and Andrew Bell, and by their friends and relations, such as Thomas Bonar, George Gleig and Archibald Constable. In this era, the Britannica moved from being a 3-volume set of dubious scholarship (1st edition)[6] to a 20-volume set with excellent, but primarily Scottish, contributors.

During the second era (7th-9th editions, 1827-1901), the Britannica was managed by the Edinburgh publishing firm, A & C Black. The contributors of this era are perhaps the most eminent authorities ever assembled by the Britannica, and included many authorities outside of Scotland. The first English-born chief editor was Thomas Spencer Baynes, who oversaw the production of the justly famous 9th edition.

In the third era (10th-14th editions, 1901-1973), the Britannica was managed by American owners, who introduced aggressive marketing practices, such as direct marketing and door-to-door sales. The American owners also gradually simplified the Britannica's articles, making them less scholarly but more intelligible to the American mass market. The Britannica was owned by Sears Roebuck for roughly 18 years (1920-1923, 1928-1943) and then by Senator and advertising mogul William Benton (1943-1973). In 1932, the vice-president of Sears, Elkan Harrison Powell, assumed the presidency of the Britannica and introduced the policy of continuous revision (still practiced today), in which every article is checked and possibly revised at least twice a decade. Powell also began to aggressively develop new educational products that leveraged the Britannica's reputation. In 1968, near the end of this era, the Britannica celebrated its bicentennial.

In the fourth era (15th edition, 1974-1994), the Britannica introduced its 15th edition, which was radically re-organized into three parts. Under the influence of Mortimer J. Adler, the Britannica sought not only to be a good reference work and educational tool, but also to systematize all of human knowledge, striving to fulfil the dream of the Elizabethan philosopher, Francis Bacon. The unfamiliar organization and the absence of an Index led to universal critical condemnation of the 15th edition; therefore, it was completely re-organized and indexed for its re-release in 1984. This second version of the 15th edition continues to be published and revised; the latest version is the 2007 print version.

In the fifth era (1994-present), digital versions of the Britannica have been developed and released as CD/DVD-ROM and online. The Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. company split into two parts in 1999, with one part (responsible for the print version) retaining the company name and the other part (responsible for developing the digital versions) being called Inc.. Since 2001, these two companies share a single CEO, Ilan Yeshua.

History of dedications

The Britannica was dedicated to the reigning British monarch from 1788 to 1901 and then, upon its sale to the United States, to the current United States President and reigning British monarch.[2] For example, the 11th edition is dedicated "by Permission to His Majesty George the Fifth, King of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, and to William Howard Taft, President of the United States of America."[7] The order of the two dedications changed with the relative power of the United States and Great Britain, and with the relative sales of the Britannica in the two lands; thus, the 1954 version of the 14th edition is "Dedicated by Permission to the Heads of the Two English-Speaking Peoples, Dwight David Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second".[8] Consistent with this tradition, the 2007 version of the current 15th edition is "dedicated by permission to the current President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II".[9]

Perception of the Britannica

Since the 3rd edition, the Britannica has enjoyed a reputation for excellence and catholic coverage of all knowledge. Walter Yust, long the Chief Editor of the Britannica's 14th edition, prided himself on a job well done after seeing the newspaper advertisement:[10]

For Sale!
Complete Set of Encyclopaedia Britannica!
Never Used — My Wife Knows Everything!

References to the Britannica can be found throughout English literature, most notably in the Sherlock Holmes story, The Red-Headed League, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Over the years, many have read the entire Britannica, taking anywhere from 3 to 22 years to do so.[10] When Fath Ali became the Shah of Persia in 1797, he was given a complete set of the Britannica's 3rd edition, which he read completely; after this remarkable feat of scholarship, he extended his royal title to include "Most Formidable Lord and Master of the Encyclopædia Britannica".[11] In our own era, A.J. Jacobs, an editor at Esquire magazine, read the entire 2002 version of the 15th edition Britannica, describing his experiences in the well-received book, The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (published 2004). George Bernard Shaw claimed to have read the complete 9th edition — except for the scientific articles. Only two people are known to have read two independent editions: the author C. S. Forester and Amos Urban Shirk, an American businessman, who read the 11th edition over four years[10] and the 14th edition, reading roughly three hours per night (source: interview in The New Yorker, March 3, 1938). Richard E. Byrd took the Britannica as reading material for his five-month stay at the South Pole in 1934.

Status in 2007

15th edition of the Britannica. The initial volume with the green spine is the Propædia; the red-spined and black-spined volumes are the Micropædia and the Macropædia, respectively. The last three volumes are the 2002 Book of the Year (black spine) and the two-volume Index (cyan spine).
15th edition of the Britannica. The initial volume with the green spine is the Propædia; the red-spined and black-spined volumes are the Micropædia and the Macropædia, respectively. The last three volumes are the 2002 Book of the Year (black spine) and the two-volume Index (cyan spine).


2007 print version

Since 1974, the Britannica has four parts: the Micropædia, the Macropædia, the Propædia, and its two-volume Index. The Britannica's articles are found in the Micro- and Macropædia, which encompass 12 and 17 volumes, respectively, each volume having roughly 1,000 pages. The Macropædia has 699 in-depth articles, ranging in length from 2 to 310 pages and having references and named contributors. In contrast, the Micropædia has roughly 65,000 articles, the vast majority of which have fewer than 750 words, no references and no named contributors. Taken together, the Micropædia and Macropædia comprise ≈40 million words with ≈24,000 images.[4] The two-volume Index has 2,350 pages, listing the ≈700,000 topics mentioned in the Britannica.[4] Britannica uses a hybrid of British and American English, for example colour (not color), centre (not center), encyclopaedia (not encyclopedia), but defense (not defence).

Forty-six percent of the content of the encyclopedia was reportedly revised from 2003-2006.[12] However, these appear to be largely minor revisions, since fewer than 10% of the Macropædia articles have changed over the past twenty years (1988-2007).

Related printed material

There are several abbreviated Britannica encyclopedias. The single-volume Britannica Concise Encyclopædia has 28,000 articles; Compton's by Britannica, which incorporates the former Compton's Encyclopedia, consists of 26 volumes with a total of 11,000 pages,[13] and is aimed at secondary school age children; My First Britannica is aimed at 6 to 12 year olds; and the Britannica Discovery Library is targeted at pre-school children. Since 1938, the Britannica has published annually a Book of the Year covering the past year's events, which is available online back to the 1994 edition (covering the events of 1993). Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. also publishes several specialized reference works, such as Shakespeare: The Essential Guide to the Life and Works of the Bard (Wiley, 2006).

CD-ROM and online versions

The Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2006 DVD contains over 55 million words and just over 100,000 articles. This includes 73,645 regular Britannica articles, with the remainder drawn from the Britannica Student Encyclopædia, the Britannica Elementary Encyclopædia and the Britannica Book of the Year (1993–2004), plus a small number of "classic" articles from early editions of the encyclopaedia. The package also includes a range of supplementary content including maps, videos, sound clips, animations and web links. It also offers study tools and dictionary and thesaurus entries from Merriam-Webster.[14]

Encyclopædia Britannica 2005 Deluxe Edition CD-ROM
Encyclopædia Britannica 2005 Deluxe Edition CD-ROM

The online version has more than 120,000 articles and is updated daily.[15] It also has daily features, updates and links to news articles from The New York Times and the BBC. Subscriptions cost $69.95 per year in the United States, $81.70 per year in Canada (as of 2007), and £39.99 per year in the United Kingdom.[16] Weekly and monthly plans are also available. Special subscription plans are offered to schools, colleges and libraries and these institutional subscribers provide an important part of Britannica's business. Articles may be accessed online for free, but only a few opening lines of the article are displayed. However, beginning in early 2007, Britannica made articles fully and freely available if the article is linked to from an external site.[17]

Mobile Encyclopedia

On February 20, 2007, the Britannica announced it was working with AskMeNow to launch a mobile encyclopedia.[18] Users will be able to send a question via text message. AskMeNow will then search Britannica's 28,000-article concise encyclopedia to return an answer to the query. Britannica Mobile Dailies are also planned - daily topical features sent directly to users' mobile phones.

Coverage of topics and systemic bias

The current Britannica covers a wide range of topics, but devotes much of its coverage to geography (26%), biographies (14%), biology and medicine (11%), literature (7%), physics and astronomy (6%), religion (5%), art (4%), Western philosophies (4%), and law (3%).[2] However, the Britannica seems to suffer somewhat from systemic bias, albeit less so than several older encyclopedias.[2] Presumably, this bias reflects the interests and tastes of the principal readership to which the Britannica is marketed. For example, the whole of Buddhism and most other religions is covered in a single Macropædia article; by contrast, Christianity has fourteen (Biblical literature, Jesus, Christianity, the Apostle Paul, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Calvin and Calvinism, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Thomism, Joan of Arc, Crusades, Luther and Theology), nearly half of all the Macropædia religion articles. The Macropædia also tends to describe only the Western branch of a field, e.g., History of Western architecture, History of Western literature, History of Western mathematics, History of Western music, History of Western painting, History of Western philosophy, History of Western political philosophy, History of Western sculpture, History of Western theatre, Evolution of modern Western legal systems, Western philosophical schools and doctrines, and Western dance.


Britannica has won many awards of recognition over the years. Most recently, the online Britannica won the 2005 Codie award for excellence in reference software; the Codie awards are granted yearly by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) to honor the best products in various fields of software. In 2006, the Britannica was a finalist, but the award went to Similarly, the CD/DVD-ROM version of the Britannica was recognized with the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers, and with Codie Awards in 2001 and 2002.

Contributors, staff, and management


The 2007 print version of the Britannica boasts 4,411 contributors, many of whom are eminent in their fields such as Milton Friedman, Michael DeBakey and Carl Sagan. Roughly one-quarter of the contributors are deceased, some as long ago as 1947 (Alfred North Whitehead), while roughly another quarter are retired or emeritus. Most (≈98%) contribute to only a single article; however, there are 64 contributors of three articles, 23 contributors of four articles, 10 contributors of five articles, and 8 contributors of more than five articles. An exceptionally prolific contributor is Dr. Christine Sutton of the University of Oxford, who contributed 24 articles on particle physics. Dr. Sutton is exceptional in another way; traditionally, less than 10% of the Britannica's contributors are female.[19]


For more details on this topic, see Staff of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Dale Hoiberg, a sinologist, is the Britannica's Senior Vice President and editor-in-chief.[20] Among his predecessors as editors-in-chief were Hugh Chisholm (1903–13, 1920–24), James Louis Garvin (1926–32), Franklin Henry Hooper (1932–38), Walter Yust (1938–60), Harry Ashmore (1960–63), Warren E. Preece (1964–68, 1969-75), Sir William Haley (1968-69), Philip W. Goetz (1979-91),[2] and Robert McHenry (1992–97).[21] Anita Wolff and Theodore Pappas serve as the current Deputy Editor and Executive Editor, respectively.[20] Prior Executive Editors include John V. Dodge (1950–64) and Philip W. Goetz.

The Britannica maintains an editorial staff of five Senior Editors and nine Associate Editors, supervised by Dale Hoiberg and four others. Presumably, these editors are responsible for contributing the mostly anonymous, mostly unreferenced articles of the Micropædia.

Editorial advisors

The Britannica has an Editorial Board of Advisors, which currently includes 14 distinguished scholars: former Ecuadorian president Rosalía Arteaga, Physiology/Medicine Nobel laureate David Baltimore, religion scholar Wendy Doniger, political economist Benjamin M. Friedman, Council on Foreign Relations President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb, Physics Nobel laureate Murray Gell-Mann, Carnegie Corporation of New York President Vartan Gregorian, Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Zaha Hadid, American Civil War historian James M. McPherson, philosopher Thomas Nagel, cognitive scientist Donald Norman, musicologist Don Michael Randel, economist Amartya Sen, and Stewart Sutherland, Baron Sutherland of Houndwood and a Knight of the Thistle.[22][23] The median age of these advisors is around 70 years old.

The Propædia lists dozens of other editorial advisors, including many who have since died, the earliest in 1967 (Norwood Hanson).[24] For example, 74% of the advisors on "Part Six. Arts" are dead. Similarly, 60% of the Propædia contributors have been dead for 30 years on the average: Rene Dubos (d. 1982), Loren Eiseley (d. 1977), Harold D. Lasswell (d. 1978), Mark Van Doren (d. 1972), Peter Ritchie Calder (d. 1982) and Mortimer J. Adler (d. 2001).[25]

Corporate structure

Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. now owns registered trademarks on the words "Britannica", "Encyclopædia Britannica", "Macropædia", "Micropædia", and "Propædia", as well as its thistle logo.

In January 1996, the Britannica was purchased from the Benton Foundation by billionaire Swiss financier and actor Jacob Safra, who serves as its current Chairman of the Board. In 1997, Don Yannias, a long-time associate and investment advisor of Safra, became CEO of Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. In 1999, a new company, Inc. was spun off to develop the digital versions of the Britannica; Yannias assumed the CEO-ship of the new company, while that of Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. remained vacant for two years. However, Yannias' tenure at Inc. was marked by missteps, large lay-offs and failures to turn a profit.[26] In 2001, Yannias was replaced by Ilan Yeshua, who reunited the leadership of the two companies;[27] Yannias has returned to investment management, but remains on Britannica's Board of Directors.

In 2003, the former management consultant Jorge Aguilar-Cauz was appointed President of Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Cauz is the senior executive and reports directly to the Britannica's Board of Directors. Despite his subdued and scholarly manner, Cauz has been aggressively pursuing alliances with other companies and extending the Britannica's brand to new educational and reference products, continuing the strategy pioneered by former CEO Elkan Harrison Powell in the mid-1930s.[28]

Under Safra's ownership, the company has experienced financial woes, which the company has fought by lowering its price point and by drastic cost-cutting measures. According to a report in the New York Post, freelance contributors have waited up to six months for checks and its staff have gone years without raises. In December 2002, the Britannica management told employees it would raise the contribution paid into their 401(k) accounts — just before eliminating those accounts completely. Other cost-cutting measures have included mandates to use free photos. A company spokesperson said, "We've had some cost reductions and belt-tightening but we're not going into details...We're a privately held company."[29]


In the era of the first edition, the Britannica’s main competitors were the encyclopedias of Ephraim Chambers and Dennis de Coetlogon; in the twentieth century, its competitors included Collier's Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia Americana, and the World Book Encyclopedia. Each of these encyclopedias had its own strengths and found its own market; some were written with exceptional clarity, others with superb illustrations. Throughout its history, but especially after the 9th edition, the Britannica was considered to be the most magisterial encyclopedia, having the highest authority of any general encyclopedia.

Since the early 1990s, the Britannica has faced new challenges from digital information sources. The Internet has developed into a common source of information for many people, facilitated by the development of search engines. Online access to reliable original sources and informational/instructional materials has accelerated in recent years with, for example, Google Books, MIT's release of its educational materials and the open PubMed Central library of the National Library of Medicine. In general, the Internet tends to provide broader and more current coverage than does the Britannica, due to the Internet's lower barriers to entry to updating materials. In rapidly changing fields such as science, technology, politics, culture and modern history, the Britannica has struggled to keep up-to-date, a problem first analyzed systematically by its former editor Walter Yust.[8] The Britannica's pre-eminence has also been challenged by other online encyclopedias, such as Encarta and Wikipedia.

The Britannica's print version has remained relatively costly compared to most of its competitors, due to its high cost of production, staff and distribution. Given the absence of switching costs, a simple Porter 5 forces analysis suggests that the economic viability of Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. in the Internet era must rest on its brand equity and product differentiation, i.e., the public perception that the Britannica is simply the best encyclopedia available at any price.

Print encyclopedias

Comparisons of the Encyclopædia Britannica with other print encyclopedias have been published over the years. A well-known comparison is that of Kenneth Kister, who gave a qualitative and quantitative comparison of the Britannica with two comparable encyclopedias, Collier's Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Americana.[2] For the quantitative analysis, ten articles were selected at random (circumcision, Charles Drew, Galileo, Philip Glass, heart disease, IQ, panda bear, sexual harassment, shroud of Turin and Uzbekistan) and letter grades (A-D,F) were awarded in four categories: coverage, accuracy, clarity, and recency (i.e., timeliness, how up-to-date the article is). In all four categories and for all three encyclopedias, the four average grades fell between B- and B+, chiefly because not one encyclopedia had an article on sexual harassment in 1994. In the accuracy category, the Britannica received one D and eight As. Encyclopedia Americana received eight As, and Collier's received one D and seven As; thus, Britannica received an average score of 92% for accuracy to Americana's 95% and Collier's’ 92%. The 1994 Britannica was faulted for publishing an inflammatory story about Charles Drew that had long been discredited. In the timeliness category, Britannica averaged an 86% to Americana's 90% and Collier's’ 85%. A more thorough qualitative comparison of all three encyclopedias caused Dr. Kister to recommend Collier's Encyclopedia as the superior encyclopedia, primarily on the strength of its excellent writing, balanced presentation and easy navigation.

Digital encyclopedias on CD/DVD-ROM

In CD/DVD-ROM digital encyclopedias, the most notable competitor of the Britannica is Encarta, a modern, multimedia re-working of the Funk and Wagnalls' print encyclopedia. Both occupy the same price range, with the 2007 Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate CD or DVD costing US$50[30] and the Microsoft Encarta Premium 2007 DVD costing US$45.[31] Britannica contains 100,000 articles, Merriam-Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus (U.S. only), as well having Primary and Secondary School editions.[30] Encarta contains 64,000 articles, a U.S. and U.K. dictionary, and a youth edition.[31] Like Encarta, the Britannica has been criticised for being biased towards United States audiences; for example, the United Kingdom-related articles are updated less often, maps of the United States are more detailed than those of other countries, and it lacks a U.K. dictionary.[32] The Britannica's articles are generally regarded as more detailed than those of Encarta.[33]

Internet encyclopedias

Online alternatives to the Britannica include Wikipedia, a Web-based free-content encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia ever assembled, eclipsing even the Yongle Encyclopedia (1407) which had held the record for nearly 600 years. The 2007 print version of the Britannica does not mention Wikipedia, which is covered by other encyclopedias such as the 2006 World Book Encyclopedia; however, the online Britannica does include a 737-word article about Wikipedia.[34]

A qualitative comparison of the Britannica and Wikipedia has been published. On December 14, 2005, the scientific journal Nature reported that, within 42 randomly selected general science articles, there were 162 mistakes in Wikipedia versus 123 for Britannica, with the errors in Britannica being oriented towards omissions rather than factual errors.[35] In its detailed 20-page rebuttal, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. characterized Nature's study as flawed and misleading[5] and called for a "prompt" retraction. It noted that two of the articles in the study were taken from a Britannica year book, and not the encyclopedia; another two were from Compton's Encyclopedia (called the Britannica Student Encyclopedia on the company's web site) and yet another reviewer comment refers to an unknown publication. Encyclopædia Britannica went on to mention that some of the articles presented to reviewers were combinations of several articles. Other articles were merely excerpts, but were penalized for factual omissions. Britannica cited several facts that were classified as errors by Nature but were not incorrect (e.g., the spelling of Crotona as Crotone), and that several of its alleged "in-corrections" were merely a different interpretation. Nature defended its story and declined to retract, stating that as it was comparing Wikipedia with the web version of Britannica, it used whatever relevant material was available on Britannica's website.[36]

Web traffic is another quantitative metric for comparing the perceived value (also called the perceived level of product differentiation in Porter 5 forces analysis) of two online encyclopedias. Wikipedia receives roughly 400-fold more traffic than does the online version of the Britannica (, based on independent page-view statistics gathered by Alexa from 15 October 2006 through 15 January 2007.

Summary table of the editions

Main article: History of the Encyclopædia Britannica

See also

  • Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  • Encyclopædia Britannica Inc.
  • Images from Encyclopædia Britannica


  1. ^ a b c "Encyclopedias and Dictionaries". Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed. 18: 257–286. (2007). Encyclopædia Britannica Inc..
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kister, KF (1994). Kister's Best Encyclopedias: A Comparative Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias, 2nd ed., Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. ISBN 0-89774-744-5. 
  3. ^ (2007) The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, Propædia, 5–8. 
  4. ^ a b c (2007) The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, Index preface. 
  5. ^ a b Britannica: Fatally Flawed (PDF). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc (March 2006). Retrieved on October 21, 2006.
  6. ^ Krapp, Philip.; Balou, Patricia K. (1992). "Collier's Encyclopedia". 9: p. 135. New York: Macmillan Educational Company. Library of Congress catalog number 91-61165. The Britannica's 1st edition is described as "deplorably inaccurate and unscientific" in places.
  7. ^ (1910) Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th edition, p.3. 
  8. ^ a b (1954) Encyclopædia Britannica, 14th edition, p.3. 
  9. ^ The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, volume 30, Propædia, p.3. 
  10. ^ a b c Kogan, Herman (1958). The Great EB: The Story of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Library of Congress catalog number 58-8379. 
  11. ^ (1968) Banquet at Guildhall in the City of London, Tuesday 15 October 1968: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Encyclopædia Britannica and the 25th Anniversary of the Honorable William Benton as its Chairman and Publisher. United Kingdom: Encyclopædia Britannica International, Ltd.. 
  12. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica School & Library Site Accessed 09/27/2006
  13. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Shop - (SVOL_REF) 2003 Britannica Concise Encyclopedia
  14. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Shop Accessed 09/27/2006
  15. ^ Britannica Online Accessed 10/23/2006
  16. ^ Britannica Online Store - BT Click&Buy Accessed 09/27/2006
  17. ^
  18. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica Selects AskMeNow to Launch Mobile Encylopedia
  19. ^ Thomas, G (1992). A Position to Command Respect: Women and the Eleventh Britannica. Scarecrow Press. 
  20. ^ a b (2007) The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, Propædia, p.745. 
  21. ^ History of Encyclopædia Britannica and Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved on October 17, 2006.
  22. ^ (2007) The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, Propædia, p.5. 
  23. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Board of Editors Accessed 09/27/2006
  24. ^ (2007) The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition, Propædia, 524–530. 
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  31. ^ a b Microsoft Encarta Premium 2007: Software. Retrieved on November 21, 2006.
  32. ^ Seymour, Ursula (2006-11-09). Encyclopedia face-off: Encarta vs Britannica. PC Advisor. IDG. Retrieved on November 21, 2006.
  33. ^ Vaknin, Sam (2005-02-02). Battle of the Titans - Encarta vs. the Britannica. Retrieved on November 21, 2006.
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  35. ^ Giles, Jim (2005-12-15). Internet encyclopaedias go head to head. Nature. Retrieved on October 21, 2006.
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Further reading

  • H. Einbinder, The Myth of the Britannica (New York: Grove Press, 1964)
  • A.J. Jacobs, The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004)
  • Kenneth F. Kister, Kister's Best Encyclopedias: A Comparative Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias (Oryx Press, 1994)
  • Herman Kogan, The Great EB: The Story of the Encyclopædia Britannica (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958)

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Encyclopædia Britannica
  • Encyclopædia Britannica Online - Official website
Current events
  • Corporate statement by Britannica rebutting Wikipedia comparison study (PDF file)
  • Britannica disagrees with Wikipedia comparison study
Encyclopaedia history
  • "Encyclopaedia Britannica". In Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
  • The history of the encylopaedia on The Scotsman's Heritage and Culture pages
Earlier editions
  • The article History from the third edition.
  • Scanned version of Encyclopædia Britannica 1911, including the article Encyclopaedia
  • Another scanned version of Encyclopædia Britannica 1911
  • Slice of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, as public domain text on Project Gutenberg
  • James Mill's essay on government, 1820
  • Vintage Britannica or "Evolving Knowledge" — excerpts on a single topic selected from various Britannica editions since 1768
Modern editions
  • Official website for the current version of Encyclopædia Britannica
  • To wire or not to wire? Encyclopædia Britannica vs. Microsoft Encarta A comparison of the two encyclopedias, by Panagiota Alevizou, published by the Educational Technology & Society journal
  • Contemporary coverage of the unveiling of the 15th edition in TIME magazine (21 January 1974)
  • Technical aspects of the Britannica's online and CD/DVD-ROM editions
Business history
  • "Dusting off the Britannica" article from Business Week (1997)
  • "Death of a salesforce" from Salon (1996)
  • "The Work of the Encyclopedia in the Age of Electronic Reproduction" article by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang in "First Monday"
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