The _ENCYCLOPæDIA BRITANNICA_ (
The _Britannica_ is the oldest
English-language encyclopaedia still
in production. It was first published between 1768 and 1771 in the
Scottish capital of
The 15th edition has a three-part structure: a 12-volume _Micropædia
_ of short articles (generally fewer than 750 words), a 17-volume
* 1 Present status
* 1.1 Print version * 1.2 Related printed material * 1.3 Optical disc, online, and mobile versions
* 2 Personnel and management
* 2.1 Contributors * 2.2 Staff * 2.3 Editorial advisors * 2.4 Corporate structure
* 3 Competition
* 3.1 Print encyclopaedias * 3.2 Digital encyclopaedias on optical media * 3.3 Internet encyclopedias
* 4 Critical and popular assessments
* 4.1 Reputation * 4.2 Awards * 4.3 Coverage of topics * 4.4 Criticism of editorial decisions * 4.5 Other criticisms
* 5 History
* 5.1 Editions
* 5.1.1 1768–1826 * 5.1.2 1827–1901 * 5.1.3 1901–1973 * 5.1.4 1974–1994 * 5.1.5 1994–present
* 5.2 Dedications
* 6 Edition summary * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 Further reading * 10 External links
_ 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 _
Since 1985, the _Britannica_ has had four parts: the _
Information can be found in the _Britannica_ by following the cross-references in the _Micropædia_ and _Macropædia_; however, these are sparse, averaging one cross-reference per page. Hence, readers are recommended to consult instead the alphabetical index or the _Propædia_, which organises the _Britannica'_s contents by topic.
The core of the _Propædia_ is its "Outline of Knowledge", which aims to provide a logical framework for all human knowledge. Accordingly, the Outline is consulted by the _Britannica'_s editors to decide which articles should be included in the _Micro-_ and _Macropædia_. The Outline is also intended to be a study guide, to put subjects in their proper perspective, and to suggest a series of _Britannica_ articles for the student wishing to learn a topic in depth. However, libraries have found that it is scarcely used, and reviewers have recommended that it be dropped from the encyclopaedia. The _Propædia_ also has color transparencies of human anatomy and several appendices listing the staff members, advisors, and contributors to all three parts of the Britannica.
Taken together, the _Micropædia_ and _Macropædia_ comprise roughly 40 million words and 24,000 images. The two-volume index has 2,350 pages, listing the 228,274 topics covered in the _Britannica_, together with 474,675 subentries under those topics. The _Britannica_ generally prefers British spelling over American ; for example, it uses _colour_ (not _color_), _centre_ (not _center_), and _encyclopaedia_ (not _encyclopedia_). However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as _defense_ rather than _defence_. Common alternative spellings are provided with cross-references such as "Color: _see_ Colour."
Since 1936, the articles of the _Britannica_ have been revised on a regular schedule, with at least 10% of them considered for revision each year. According to one Britannica website, 46% of its articles were revised over the past three years; however, according to another Britannica web-site, only 35% of the articles were revised.
The alphabetisation of articles in the _Micropædia_ and _Macropædia_ follows strict rules. Diacritical marks and non-English letters are ignored, while numerical entries such as "1812, War of " are alphabetised as if the number had been written out ("Eighteen-twelve, War of"). Articles with identical names are ordered first by persons, then by places, then by things. Rulers with identical names are organised first alphabetically by country and then by chronology; thus, Charles III of France precedes Charles I of England , listed in _Britannica_ as the ruler of Great Britain and Ireland. (That is, they are alphabetised as if their titles were "Charles, France, 3" and "Charles, Great Britain and Ireland, 1".) Similarly, places that share names are organised alphabetically by country, then by ever-smaller political divisions.
In March 2012, the company announced that the 2010 edition would be the last printed version. This was announced as a move by the company to adapt to the times and focus on its future using digital distribution. The peak year for the printed encyclopaedia was 1990 when 120,000 sets were sold, but it dropped to 40,000 in 1996. 12,000 sets of the 2010 edition were printed, of which 8,000 had been sold as of 2012 . By late April 2012, the remaining copies of the 2010 edition had sold out at Britannica's online store. As of 2016, a replica of Britannica's 1768 first edition is sold on the online store.
RELATED PRINTED MATERIAL
_Britannica Junior_ was first published in 1934 as 12 volumes. It was expanded to 15 volumes in 1947, and renamed _Britannica Junior Encyclopædia_ in 1963. It was taken off the market after the 1984 printing. Children's Britannica
A British _Children's Britannica_ edited by John Armitage was issued in London in 1960. Its contents were determined largely by the eleven-plus standardised tests given in Britain. Britannica introduced the _Children's Britannica_ to the U.S. market in 1988, aimed at ages 7 to 14.
In 1961 a 16 volume _Young Children's Encyclopaedia_ was issued for children just learning to read.
_My First Britannica_ is aimed at children ages six to twelve, and the _Britannica Discovery Library_ is for children aged three to six (issued 1974 to 1991).
There have been and are several abridged _Britannica_ encyclopaedias. The single-volume _Britannica Concise Encyclopædia_ has 28,000 short articles condensing the larger 32-volume _Britannica_; there are authorized translations in languages such as Chinese and Vietnamese . _Compton's by Britannica_, first published in 2007, incorporating the former _Compton\'s Encyclopedia _, is aimed at 10- to 17-year-olds and consists of 26 volumes and 11,000 pages.
Since 1938, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. has published annually a _Book of the Year_ covering the past year's events. A given edition of the _Book of the Year_ is named in terms of the year of its publication, though the edition actually covers the events of the previous year. Articles dating back to the 1994 edition are included online. The company also publishes several specialised reference works, such as _Shakespeare: The Essential Guide to the Life and Works of the Bard_ (Wiley, 2006).
OPTICAL DISC, ONLINE, AND MOBILE VERSIONS
The _ Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite 2012 DVD_ contains over 100,000 articles. This includes regular _Britannica_ articles, as well as others drawn from the _Britannica Student Encyclopædia_, and the _Britannica Elementary Encyclopædia._ The package 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 .
_Britannica_ Online is a website with more than 120,000 articles and
is updated regularly. It has daily features, updates and links to
news reports from _The New York Times_ and the BBC . As of 2009 ,
roughly 60% of Encyclopædia Britannica's revenue came from online
operations, of which around 15% came from subscriptions to the
consumer version of the websites. As of 2006 , subscriptions were
available on a yearly, monthly or weekly basis.
On 20 February 2007, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. announced that it was working with mobile phone search company AskMeNow to launch a mobile encyclopaedia. Users will be able to send a question via text message , and AskMeNow will search _Britannica'_s 28,000-article concise encyclopaedia to return an answer to the query. Daily topical features sent directly to users' mobile phones are also planned. On 3 June 2008, an initiative to facilitate collaboration between online expert and amateur scholarly contributors for Britannica's online content (in the spirit of a wiki ), with editorial oversight from Britannica staff, was announced. Approved contributions would be credited, though contributing automatically grants Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. perpetual, irrevocable license to those contributions.
On 22 January 2009, Britannica's president, Jorge Cauz , announced that the company would be accepting edits and additions to the online _Britannica_ website from the public. The published edition of the encyclopaedia will not be affected by the changes. Individuals wishing to edit the _Britannica_ website will have to register under their real name and address prior to editing or submitting their content. All edits submitted will be reviewed and checked and will have to be approved by the encyclopaedia's professional staff. Contributions from non-academic users will sit in a separate section from the expert-generated _Britannica_ content, as will content submitted by non-_Britannica_ scholars. Articles written by users, if vetted and approved, will also only be available in a special section of the website, separate from the professional articles. Official _Britannica_ material would carry a "Britannica Checked" stamp, to distinguish it from the user-generated content.
On 14 September 2010, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. announced a partnership with mobile phone development company Concentric Sky to launch a series of iPhone products aimed at the K-12 market. On 20 July 2011, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. announced that Concentric Sky had ported the Britannica Kids product line to Intel's Intel Atom -based Netbooks and on 26 October 2011 that it had launched its encyclopedia as an iPad app . In 2010, Brittannica released Brittanica ImageQuest, a database of images.
In March 2012, it was announced that the company would cease printing the encyclopaedia set, and that it would focus more on its online version.
PERSONNEL AND MANAGEMENT
The 2007 print version of the _Britannica_ has 4,411 contributors,
many eminent in their fields, such as Nobel laureate economist Milton
Friedman , astronomer
Carl Sagan , and surgeon
While _Britannica'_s authors have included writers such as Albert
With a temerity almost appalling, ranges over nearly the whole field of European history, political, social, ecclesiastical... The grievance is that lacks authority. This, too—this reliance on editorial energy instead of on ripe special learning—may, alas, be also counted an "Americanizing": for certainly nothing has so cheapened the scholarship of our American encyclopaedias. — Prof. George L. Burr , in the _American Historical Review_ (1911)
Thomas Spencer Baynes
As of 2007 in the fifteenth edition of _Britannica_, Dale Hoiberg , a sinologist , was listed as _Britannica's_ Senior Vice President and editor-in-chief. Among his predecessors as editors-in-chief were Hugh Chisholm (1902–1924), James Louis Garvin (1926–1932), Franklin Henry Hooper (1932–1938), Walter Yust (1938–1960), Harry Ashmore (1960–1963), Warren E. Preece (1964–1968, 1969–1975), Sir William Haley (1968–1969), Philip W. Goetz (1979–1991), and Robert McHenry (1992–1997). As of 2007 Anita Wolff was listed as the Deputy Editor and Theodore Pappas as Executive Editor. Prior Executive Editors include John V. Dodge (1950–1964) and Philip W. Goetz.
Paul T. Armstrong remains the longest working employee of Encyclopædia Britannica. He began his career there in 1934, eventually earning the positions of Treasurer, Vice President, and Chief Financial Officer in his 58 years with the company, before retiring in 1992.
The 2007 editorial staff of the _Britannica_ included five Senior
Editors and nine Associate Editors, supervised by
Dale Hoiberg and
four others. The editorial staff helped to write the articles of the
Micropædia _ and some sections of the _
* Editorial staff (19 editors and 1 executive assistant) * Art and Cartography (9 employees) * Compositional Technology and Design (4 employees) * Copy Department (12 employees) * Editorial and Publishing Technologies (5 employees) * Information Management (9 employees) * Media Asset Management and Production Control (4 employees) * Reference Librarians (3 employees) * World Data (5 employees) * Manufacturing (1 employee)
Some of these departments were organised hierarchically . For example, the copy editors were divided into 4 copy editors, 2 senior copy editors, 4 supervisors, plus a coordinator and a director. Similarly, the Editorial department was headed by Dale Hoiberg and assisted by four others; they oversaw the work of five senior editors, nine associate editors, and one executive assistant.
The _Britannica_ has an Editorial Board of Advisors, which includes
12 distinguished scholars: non-fiction author Nicholas Carr ,
Wendy Doniger , political economist Benjamin M.
Council on Foreign Relations President
Propædia _ and its _Outline of Knowledge_ were produced by
dozens of editorial advisors under the direction of Mortimer J. Adler
. Roughly half of these advisors have since died, including some of
the Outline's chief architects —
Rene Dubos (d. 1982), Loren Eiseley
Harold D. Lasswell (d. 1978),
Mark Van Doren
In January 1996, the _Britannica_ was purchased from the Benton Foundation by billionaire Swiss financier Jacqui Safra , who serves as its current Chair 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, Britannica.com Inc. , was created to develop digital versions of the _Britannica_; Yannias assumed the role of CEO in the new company, while his former position at the parent company remained vacant for two years. Yannias' tenure at Britannica.com Inc. was marked by missteps, considerable lay-offs, and financial losses. In 2001, Yannias was replaced by Ilan Yeshua , who reunited the leadership of the two companies. Yannias later returned to investment management, but remains on the _Britannica_′s Board of Directors.
In 2003, 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. Cauz has been pursuing alliances with other companies and extending the _Britannica_ brand to new educational and reference products, continuing the strategy pioneered by former CEO Elkan Harrison Powell in the mid-1930s.
Under Safra's ownership, the company has experienced financial difficulties, and has responded by reducing the price of its products and implementing drastic cost cuts. According to a 2003 report in the _ New York Post _, the _Britannica_ management has eliminated employee 401(k) accounts and encouraged the use of free images. These changes have had negative impacts, as freelance contributors have waited up to six months for checks and the _Britannica_ staff have gone years without pay rises.
As the _Britannica_ is a general encyclopaedia, it does not seek to compete with specialised encyclopaedias such as the _ Encyclopaedia of Mathematics _ or the _ Dictionary of the Middle Ages _, which can devote much more space to their chosen topics. In its first years, the _Britannica'_s main competitor was the general encyclopaedia of Ephraim Chambers and, soon thereafter, _Rees\'s Cyclopædia _ and Coleridge\'s _ Encyclopædia Metropolitana _. In the 20th century, successful competitors included _Collier\'s Encyclopedia _, the _ Encyclopedia Americana _, and the _ World Book Encyclopedia _. Nevertheless, from the 9th edition onwards, the _Britannica_ was widely considered to have the greatest authority of any general English language encyclopaedia, especially because of its broad coverage and eminent authors. The print version of the _Britannica_ was significantly more expensive than its competitors.
Since the early 1990s, the _Britannica_ has faced new challenges from digital information sources. The Internet, facilitated by the development of search engines , has grown into a common source of information for many people, and provides easy access to reliable original sources and expert opinions, thanks in part to initiatives such as 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 more current coverage than print media, due to the ease with which material on the Internet can be updated. In rapidly changing fields such as science, technology, politics, culture and modern history, the _Britannica_ has struggled to stay up-to-date, a problem first analysed systematically by its former editor Walter Yust . Eventually, the Britannica turned to focus more on its online edition.
The _Encyclopædia Britannica_ has been compared with other print
encyclopaedias, both qualitatively and quantitatively. A well-known
comparison is that of
Kenneth Kister , who gave a qualitative and
quantitative comparison of the _Britannica_ with two comparable
encyclopaedias, _Collier\'s Encyclopedia _ and the _Encyclopedia
Americana _. For the quantitative analysis, ten articles were
selected at random—circumcision ,
Charles Drew ,
DIGITAL ENCYCLOPAEDIAS ON OPTICAL MEDIA
The most notable competitor of the _Britannica_ among CD/DVD-ROM
digital encyclopaedias was _
Encarta _, now discontinued, a modern,
multimedia encyclopaedia that incorporated three print encyclopaedias:
_Funk the United Kingdom-related articles are updated less often, maps
The dominant internet encyclopaedia and main alternative to _Britannica_ is the multilingual, Web -based, free-content encyclopaedia, . The key differences between the two lie in accessibility; the model of participation they bring to an encyclopedic project ; their respective style sheets and editorial policies; relative ages; the number of subjects treated; the number of languages in which articles are written and made available; and their underlying economic models: unlike Britannica, is a not-for-profit and is not connected with traditional profit- and contract-based publishing distribution networks.
The 699 printed _
In 2005, the journal _Nature_ chose articles from both websites in a wide range of science topics and sent them to what it called "relevant" field experts for peer review. The experts then compared the competing articles—one from each site on a given topic—side by side, but were not told which article came from which site. _Nature_ got back 42 usable reviews.
In the end, the journal found just eight serious errors, such as general misunderstandings of vital concepts: four from each site. It also discovered many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 in and 123 in _Britannica_, an average of 3.86 mistakes per article for and 2.92 for _Britannica_. Although _Britannica_ was revealed as the more accurate encyclopedia, with lesser errors, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. in its detailed 20-page rebuttal called _Nature'_s study flawed and misleading and called for a "prompt" retraction. It noted that two of the articles in the study were taken from a _Britannica_ yearbook and not the encyclopaedia, and another two were from _Compton's Encyclopedia_ (called the _Britannica Student Encyclopedia_ on the company's website). The rebuttal went on to mention that some of the articles presented to reviewers were combinations of several articles, and that other articles were merely excerpts but were penalised for factual omissions. The company also noted that several of what _Nature_ called errors were minor spelling variations, and that others were matters of interpretation. _Nature_ defended its story and declined to retract, stating that, as it was comparing with the web version of _Britannica_, it used whatever relevant material was available on _Britannica_'s website.
Interviewed in February 2009, the managing director of _Britannica UK_ said:
is a fun site to use and has a lot of interesting entries on there, but their approach wouldn't work for _Encyclopædia Britannica_. My job is to create more awareness of our very different approaches to publishing in the public mind. They're a chisel, we're a drill, and you need to have the correct tool for the job.
CRITICAL AND POPULAR ASSESSMENTS
A copperplate by Andrew Bell from the 1st edition .
Since the 3rd edition, the _Britannica_ has enjoyed a popular and
critical reputation for general excellence. The 3rd and the 9th
editions were pirated for sale in the United States, beginning with
Encyclopaedia _. On the release of the 14th edition, _Time
_ magazine dubbed the _Britannica_ the "Patriarch of the Library". In
a related advertisement, naturalist
William Beebe was quoted as saying
that the _Britannica_ was "beyond comparison because there is no
competitor." References to the _Britannica_ can be found throughout
English literature , most notably in one of Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle 's
The _Britannica_ has a reputation for summarising knowledge. To
further their education, some people have devoted themselves to
reading the entire _Britannica_, taking anywhere from three to 22
years to do so. When Fat\'h Ali became the Shah of Persia in 1797, he
was given a set of the _Britannica's_ 3rd edition, which he read
completely; after this feat, he extended his royal title to include
"Most Formidable Lord and Master of the _Encyclopædia Britannica_".
George Bernard Shaw
The CD/DVD-ROM version of the _Britannica_, _Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite _, received the 2004 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers . On 15 July 2009, _Encyclopædia Britannica_ was awarded a spot as one of "Top Ten Superbrands in the UK" by a panel of more than 2,000 independent reviewers, as reported by the BBC.
COVERAGE OF TOPICS
Topics are chosen in part by reference to the _
Propædia _ "Outline
of Knowledge". The bulk of the _Britannica_ is devoted to geography
(26% of the _
The _Britannica_ does not cover topics in equivalent detail; for
example, the whole of
It can be stated without fear of contradiction that the 15th edition of the _Britannica_ accords non-Western cultural, social, and scientific developments more notice than any general English-language encyclopedia currently on the market. — Kenneth Kister , in _Kister's Best Encyclopedias_ (1994)
CRITICISM OF EDITORIAL DECISIONS
On rare occasions, the _Britannica_ was criticised for its editorial
choices. Given its roughly constant size, the encyclopaedia has needed
to reduce or eliminate some topics to accommodate others, resulting in
controversial decisions. The initial 15th edition (1974–1985) was
faulted for having reduced or eliminated coverage of children's
literature, military decorations , and the French poet Joachim du
Bellay ; editorial mistakes were also alleged, such as inconsistent
sorting of Japanese biographies. Its elimination of the index was
condemned, as was the apparently arbitrary division of articles into
Micropædia _ and _
Some very few _Britannica_-appointed contributors are mistaken. A notorious instance from the _Britannica's_ early years is the rejection of Newtonian gravity by George Gleig , the chief editor of the 3rd edition (1788–1797), who wrote that gravity was caused by the classical element of fire . The _Britannica_ has also staunchly defended a scientific approach to cultural topics, as it did with William Robertson Smith 's articles on religion in the 9th edition, particularly his article stating that the Bible was not historically accurate (1875).
See also: Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition § Notable commentaries on the Eleventh Edition
The _Britannica_ has received criticism, especially as editions become outdated. It is expensive to produce a completely new edition of the _Britannica,_ and its editors delay for as long as fiscally sensible (usually about 25 years). For example, despite continuous revision, the 14th edition became outdated after 35 years (1929–1964). When American physicist Harvey Einbinder detailed its failings in his 1964 book, _The Myth of the Britannica_, the encyclopaedia was provoked to produce the 15th edition, which required 10 years of work. It is still difficult to keep the _Britannica_ current; one recent critic writes, "it is not difficult to find articles that are out-of-date or in need of revision", noting that the longer _Macropædia_ articles are more likely to be outdated than the shorter _Micropædia_ articles. Information in the _Micropædia_ is sometimes inconsistent with the corresponding _Macropædia_ article(s), mainly because of the failure to update one or the other. The bibliographies of the _Macropædia_ articles have been criticised for being more out-of-date than the articles themselves.
In 2010 an inaccurate entry about the Irish civil war was discussed in the Irish press following a decision of the Department of Education and Science to pay for online access.
Speaking of the 3rd edition (1788–1797), _Britannica_'s chief editor George Gleig wrote that "perfection seems to be incompatible with the nature of works constructed on such a plan, and embracing such a variety of subjects." In March 2006, the _Britannica_ wrote, "we in no way mean to imply that _Britannica_ is error-free; we have never made such a claim." The sentiment is expressed by its original editor, William Smellie :
With regard to errors in general, whether falling under the
denomination of mental, typographical or accidental, we are conscious
of being able to point out a greater number than any critic whatever.
Men who are acquainted with the innumerable difficulties of attending
the execution of a work of such an extensive nature will make proper
allowances. To these we appeal, and shall rest satisfied with the
judgment they pronounce. — William Smellie, in the Preface to the
1st edition of the
_ Title page of the first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica_ Main article: History of the Encyclopædia Britannica
Past owners have included, in chronological order, the Edinburgh,
In the first era (1st–6th editions, 1768–1826), the _Britannica_
was managed and published by its founders,
Colin Macfarquhar and
Andrew Bell , by
Archibald Constable , and by others. The _Britannica_
was first published between 1768 and 1771 in
The _Britannica_ of this period was primarily a Scottish enterprise, and it is one of the most enduring legacies of the Scottish Enlightenment . In this era, the _Britannica_ moved from being a three-volume set (1st edition) compiled by one young editor—William Smellie —to a 20-volume set written by numerous authorities. Several other encyclopaedias competed throughout this period, among them editions of Abraham Rees 's _Cyclopædia_ and Coleridge\'s _ Encyclopædia Metropolitana _ and David Brewster 's _Edinburgh Encyclopædia _.
During the second era (7th–9th editions, 1827–1901), the
_Britannica_ was managed by the
In the third era (10th–14th editions, 1901–73), the _Britannica_ was managed by American businessmen who introduced direct marketing and door-to-door sales. The American owners gradually simplified articles, making them less scholarly for a mass market. The 10th edition was a nine-volume supplement to the 9th, but the 11th edition was a completely new work, and is still praised for excellence; its owner, Horace Hooper , lavished enormous effort on its perfection.
When Hooper fell into financial difficulties, the _Britannica_ was managed by Sears Roebuck for 18 years (1920–23, 1928–43). In 1932, the vice-president of Sears, Elkan Harrison Powell , assumed presidency of the _Britannica_; in 1936, he began the policy of continuous revision. This was a departure from earlier practice, in which the articles were not changed until a new edition was produced, at roughly 25-year intervals, some articles unchanged from earlier editions. Powell developed new educational products that built upon the _Britannica's_ reputation. _ A wooden shipping crate for the 14th edition of the Britannica_
In the fourth era (1974–94), the _Britannica_ introduced its 15th
edition, which was re-organised into three parts: the _
On 9 March 1976 the U.S. Federal Trade Commission entered an opinion and order enjoining Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. from using: a) deceptive advertising practices in recruiting sales agents and obtaining sales leads, and b) deceptive sales practices in the door-to-door presentations of its sales agents.
Advertisement for the 9th edition (1898)
In the fifth era (1994–present), digital versions have been developed and released on optical media and online. In 1996, the _Britannica_ was bought by Jacqui Safra at well below its estimated value, owing to the company's financial difficulties. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. split in 1999. One part retained the company name and developed the print version, and the other, Britannica.com Inc. , developed digital versions. Since 2001, the two companies have shared a CEO, Ilan Yeshua , who has continued Powell's strategy of introducing new products with the _Britannica_ name. In March 2012, Britannica's president, Jorge Cauz , announced that it would not produce any new print editions of the encyclopaedia, with the 2010 15th edition being the last. The company will focus only on the online edition and other educational tools.
_Britannica_'s final print edition was in 2010, a 32-volume set. _Britannica Global Edition_ was also printed in 2010. It contained 30 volumes and 18,251 pages, with 8,500 photographs, maps, flags, and illustrations in smaller "compact" volumes. It contained over 40,000 articles written by scholars from across the world, including Nobel Prize winners. Unlike the 15th edition, it did not contain Macro- and Micropædia sections, but ran A through Z as all editions up to the 14th had. The following is _Britannica_'s description of the work:
The editors of _Encyclopædia Britannica_, the world standard in reference since 1768, present the _Britannica Global Edition_. Developed specifically to provide comprehensive and global coverage of the world around us, this unique product contains thousands of timely, relevant, and essential articles drawn from the _Encyclopædia Britannica_ itself, as well as from the _Britannica Concise Encyclopedia_, the _Britannica Encyclopedia of World Religions_, and Compton's by Britannica. Written by international experts and scholars, the articles in this collection reflect the standards that have been the hallmark of the leading English-language encyclopedia for over 240 years.
The _Britannica_ was dedicated to the reigning British monarch from
1788 to 1901 and then, upon its sale to an American partnership, to
the British monarch and the President of the United States. Thus, the
11th edition is "dedicated by Permission to His Majesty George the
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
Main article: History of the Encyclopædia Britannica
EDITION/SUPPLEMENT PUBLICATION YEARS SIZE SALES CHIEF EDITOR(S) NOTES
1ST 1768–1771 3 volumes, 2,391 pages. The numbers were bound in three equally sized volumes covering Aa–Bzo, Caaba–Lythrum, and Macao–Zyglophyllum; an estimated 3,000 sets were eventually sold, priced at 12 pounds sterling apiece. pages, 160 plates 3,000 William Smellie Largely the work of one editor, Smellie; 3,000 sets sold; 30 articles longer than three pages
2ND 1777–1784 10 volumes, 8,595 pages, 340 plates 1,500 James Tytler Largely the work of one editor, Tytler; 150 long articles; pagination errors; all maps under "Geography" article; 1,500 sets sold
3RD 1788–1797 18 volumes, 14,579 pages, 542 plates 10,000 or 13,000 Colin Macfarquhar and George Gleig £ 42,000 profit on 10,000 copies sold; first dedication to monarch; pirated by Moore in Dublin and Thomas Dobson in Philadelphia
SUPPLEMENT TO 3RD 1801, revised in 1803 2 volumes, 1,624 pages, 50 plates
George Gleig Copyright owned by Thomas Bonar
4TH 1801–1810 20 volumes, 16,033 pages, 581 plates 4,000 James Millar Authors first allowed to retain copyright. Material in the supplement to 3rd not incorporated due to copyright issues.
5TH 1815–1817 20 volumes, 16,017 pages, 582 plates
James Millar Reprint of the 4th edition. Financial losses by Millar and Andrew Bell's heirs; EB rights sold to Archibald Constable
6TH 1820–1823 20 volumes
Charles Maclaren Reprint of the 4th and 5th editions with modern font. Constable went bankrupt on 19 January 1826; EB rights eventually secured by Adam Black
21 volumes, 17,101 pages, 506 plates, plus a 187-page index volume
Macvey Napier , assisted by James Browne , LLD
Widening network of famous contributors, such as Sir David Brewster
Thomas de Quincey
8TH 1853–1860 21 volumes, 17,957 pages, 402 plates; plus a 239-page index volume, published 18612 8,000 Thomas Stewart Traill Many long articles were copied from the 7th edition; 344 contributors including William Thomson ; authorized American sets printed by Little, Brown in Boston; 8,000 sets sold altogether
24 volumes, plus a 499-page index volume labeled Volume 25
55,000 authorized plus 500,000 pirated sets
Thomas Spencer Baynes
10th, supplement to 9th 1902–1903 11 volumes, plus the 24 volumes of the 9th. Volume 34 containing 124 detailed country maps with index of 250,000 names 4 70,000 Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace and Hugh Chisholm in London; Arthur T. Hadley high-pressure sales methods
11TH 1910–1911 28 volumes, plus volume 29 index 1,000,000 Hugh Chisholm in London, Franklin Henry Hooper in New York City Another high point of scholarship and writing; more articles than the 9th, but shorter and simpler; financial difficulties for owner, Horace Everett Hooper ; EB rights sold to Sears Roebuck in 1920
12th, supplement to 11th 1921–1922 3 volumes with own index, plus the 29 volumes of the 11th5
13th, supplement to 11th 1926 3 volumes with own index, plus the 29 volumes of the 11th6
14TH 1929–1933 24 volumes 7
REVISED 14TH 1933–1973 24 volumes 7
15TH 1974–1984 30 volumes 8
Warren E. Preece, then Philip W. Goetz
Introduced three-part structure; division of articles into
Micropædia _ and _
1985–2010 32 volumes 9
Philip W. Goetz, then Robert McHenry , currently Dale Hoiberg Restored two-volume index; some _Micropædia_ and _Macropædia_ articles merged; slightly longer overall; new versions were issued every few years. Last printed edition.
1_Supplement to the fourth, fifth, and sixth editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica. With preliminary dissertations on the history of the sciences._
2 The 7th to 14th editions included a separate index volume.
3 The 9th edition featured articles by notables of the day, such as James Maxwell on electricity and magnetism, and William Thomson (who became Lord Kelvin) on heat.
4 The 10th edition included a maps volume and a cumulative index volume for the 9th and 10th edition volumes: _the new volumes, constituting, in combination with the existing volumes of the 9th ed., the 10th ed. ... and also supplying a new, distinctive, and independent library of reference dealing with recent events and developments_
5 _Vols. 30–32 ... the New volumes constituting, in combination with the twenty-nine volumes of the eleventh edition, the twelfth edition_
6 This supplement replaced the previous supplement: _The three new supplementary volumes constituting, with the volumes of the latest standard edition, the thirteenth edition._
7 At this point
8 Annual revisions were published every year between 1974 and 2007 with the exceptions of 1996, 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2006. The 15th edition (introduced as "Britannica 3") was published in three parts: a 10-volume _Micropædia_ (which contained short articles and served as an index), a 19-volume _Macropædia_, plus the _Propædia_ (see text).
9 In 1985, the system was modified by adding a separate two-volume
index; the _Macropædia_ articles were further consolidated into
fewer, larger ones (for example, the previously separate articles
about the 50 U.S. states were all included into the "
The first CD-ROM edition was issued in 1994. At that time also an online version was offered for paid subscription. In 1999 this was offered free, and no revised print versions appeared. The experiment was ended in 2001 and a new printed set was issued in 2001.
* Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. * Great Books of the Western World (first published by the company in 1952) * Encyclopædia Britannica Films * Encyclopædia Britannica_ Eleventh Edition (1910–11) * List of encyclopedias by branch of knowledge * List of encyclopedias by language#English * List of historical encyclopedias * List of online encyclopedias
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ Bosman, Julie (13 March 2012). "After 244
* ^ _A_ _B_ Baker, John F. (14 January 1974). "A New Britannica Is
Publishers Weekly _. pp. 64–65.
* Wolff, Geoffrey (June 1974). "Britannica 3, History of". _The
Atlantic_ . pp. 37–47.
* Cole, Dorothy Ethlyn (June 1974). "Britannica 3 as a Reference
Tool: A Review". Wilson Library Bulletin. pp. 821–825. _Britannica
3_ is difficult to use ... the division of content between
_Micropædia_ and _Macropædia_ makes it necessary to consult another
volume in the majority of cases; indeed, it was our experience that
even simple searches might involve eight or nine volumes.
* Davi s, Robert Gorham (1 December 1974). "Subject: The Universe".
The New York Times Book Review _. pp. 98–100.
* Hazo, Robert G. (9 March 1975). "The Guest Word". _The New York
Times Book Review _. p. 31.
* McCracken, Samuel (February 1976). "The Scandal of 'Britannica 3'".
Commentary . pp. 63–68. This arrangement has nothing to recommend it
except commercial novelty.
* Waite, Dennis V. (21 June 1976). "Encyclopædia Britannica: EB 3,
Two Years Later". _
Publishers Weekly _. pp. 44–45.
* Wolff, Geoffrey (November 1976). "Britannica 3, Failures of". _The
Atlantic _. pp. 107–110. It is called the _Micropædia_, for 'little
knowledge', and little knowledge is what it provides. It has proved to
be grotesquely inadequate as an index, radically constricting the
utility of the _Macropædia_. * ^ According to Kister (1994), the
initial 15th edition (1974) required over $32 million to produce.
* ^ Einbinder, Harvey (1964). _The Myth of the Britannica_. New
York: Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-384-14050-9 .
* ^ Cunningham, Grainne (3 February 2010). "Britannica errors spark
unholy row". _
Irish Independent _. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
* ^ Sheehy, Clodagh (4 February 2010). "Are they taking the Mick?
It\'s the encyclopedia that thinks the Civil War was between the north
and south". _Evening Herald_ (Dublin).
* ^ _Supplement to the Encyclopædia or Dictionary of Arts,
Sciences and Miscellaneous Literature_. 1803. pp. iv.
* ^ Day, Peter (17 December 1997). "
changes to survive". _BBC News_. Retrieved 27 March 2007. Sales
plummeted from 100,000 a year to just 20,000.
* ^ "Encyclopedias and Dictionaries". _Encyclopædia Britannica_.
18 (15th ed.).
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. pp. 257–286.
* ^ Herman, Arthur (2002). _How the Scots Invented the Modern World
_. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-609-80999-0 .
* ^ Krapp, Philip; Balou, Patricia K. (1992). _Collier's
Encyclopedia_. 9. New York: Macmillan Educational Company. p. 135.
LCCN 91061165 . The _Britannica's_ 1st edition is described as
"deplorably inaccurate and unscientific" in places.
* ^ On editions of the _Britannica_ through 1803 see Kafker and
Loveland, eds, _Early Britannica_,
* ^ Cousin, John William (1910). "_ Baynes, Thomas Spencer". A
Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature _. London: J. M.
Dent & Sons.
* ^ _ Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878). "Editor\'s Advertisement".
Encyclopædia Britannica_. 1 (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's
* ^ _ Baynes, T.S., ed. (1875–1889). "Prefatory Notice".
Encyclopædia Britannica_ (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's
* ^ Chicago Tribune, 22 February 1945
* ^ Chicago Tribune, 28 January 1943
* ^ Mortimer J. Adler, _A Guidebook to Learning: for the lifelong
pursuit of wisdom_. MacMillan Publishing Company, New York, 1986. p.88
* ^ "In the Matter of Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. et al.,
* ^ Pepitone, Julianne (13 March 2012). "Encyclopedia Britannica to
stop printing books". CNN. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
* ^ _Encyclopædia Britannica_ (11th ed.). 1910. p. 3.
* ^ _The New Encyclopædia Britannica_ (15th edition, _Propædia_
ed.). p. 3.
* ^ _The New Encyclopædia Britannica_, _Propædia: Outline of
Knowledge and Guide to the Britannica_, 15th edition, 2010.
* ^ Vol. I has viii, 697, (i) pages, but 10 unpaginated pages are
added between p. 586 and 587. Vol. II has (iii), 1009, (ii) pages, but
page numbers 175-176 as well as page numbers 425-426 were used twice;
additionally page numbers 311-410 were not used. Vol. III has (iii),
953, (i) pages, but page numbers 679-878 were not used. See: Frank A.
Kafker and Jeff Loveland, _The Early Britannica: the growth of an
outstanding encyclopedia_, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, 2009, p. 22
* ^ Writings of Archibald Constable, as quoted on p. 58 of Frank
Kafker and Jeff Loveland (eds), _The Early Britannica_, Oxford
University Press, 2009. Constable estimated in 1812 that there had
been 3,500 copies printed, but revised his estimate to 3,000 in 1821.
* ^ According to Smellie, it was 10,000, as quoted by Robert Kerr
in his "Memoirs of William Smellie."
Archibald Constable was quoted as
saying the production started at 5,000 and concluded at 13,000. All
this information is found in the 14th edition of _Britannica_, Volume
8, in the article "Encyclopedia" on page 374.
* ^ This is stated in the 9th edition of _Britannica_ in Volume
VIII in the article "Encyclopedia".
* ^ in the 14th edition of _Britannica_, Volume 8, in the article
"Encyclopedia" on page 376, it gives the numbers of 10,000 sets sold
by Britannica plus 45,000 genuine American reprints by Scribner's
Sons, and "several hundred thousand sets of mutilated and fraudulent
9th editions were sold..." Most sources estimate there were 500,000
* ^ _A_ _B_ _Encyclopædia Britannica_ 15 ed. Chicago :
* Boyles, Denis. (2016) _Everything Explained That Is Explainable:
On the Creation of the_ Encyclopædia Britannica_'s Celebrated
Eleventh Edition, 1910-1911_ (2016) online review
* Einbinder, Harvey (1964). _The Myth of the Britannica_. New York:
Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-384-14050-9 .
* Jacobs, Arnold Stephen, Jr. (2004). _The Know-It-All: One Man's
Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World_. New York:
Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-5062-7 .
* Kister, Kenneth F. (1994). _Kister's Best Encyclopedias: A
Comparative Guide to General and Specialized Encyclopedias_ (2nd ed.).
Phoenix, Arizona: Oryx Press. ISBN 978-0-89774-744-8 .
* Kogan, Herman (1958). _The Great EB: The Story of the
Encyclopædia Britannica_. Chicago:
University of Chicago Press. LCCN
* Lee, Timothy. _Techdirt Interviews Britannica President Jorge
Cauz_, Techdirt.com, 2 June 2008
* Greenstein, Shane, and Michelle Devereux (2006). "The Crisis at
Encyclopædia Britannica" case history,
Kellogg School of Management
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