Encyclopaedia Britannica

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Encyclopaedia Britannica

 

the oldest and one of the most famous universal encyclopedias in the capitalist world.

The first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was published in three volumes in Edinburgh from 1768 to 1771. On the whole, the first eight editions were not of a very high standard. K. Marx, who used the eighth edition of the encyclopedia, remarked (based on his study of the articles on military and historical subjects) in a letter to F. Engels on July 16, 1857, that this encyclopedia was “copied almost verbatim from German and French publications” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 29, p. 123). The ninth edition (1875-89, in 25 volumes) of the Britannica showed considerable improvement, especially in the sections on the natural and exact sciences. The 11th edition (1910-11, in 29 volumes) is considered to be the best: the content was broadened, biographies of living figures were included for the first time, and the scientific content of a number of articles was highly esteemed by contemporaries. The extremely well-compiled index was also noteworthy. In 1929 the 14th edition of the Britannica was published in 24 volumes; it was the last edition to be numbered. Since that time the Britannica has been published using the so-called continuous revision system, according to which a small portion of the articles are revised at the time of each annual reprinting. Some American and British scholars, in analyzing the Encyclopaedia Britannica, have noted that most of the articles have been reprinted for many years without any changes although many of them contain outmoded, erroneous information.

The predominant type of article is an extended survey of a broad subject, as a result of which the number of entries is comparatively small (averaging 40,000 terms). The publishers of the Britannica draw upon scholars from approximately 50 countries to write the articles. Many questions of history, philosophy, politics, and economics are explained from anticommunist points of view.

At the beginning of the 20th century a joint Anglo-American venture was formed to work on the Britannica, a fact which has led to its transformation into a British-American encyclopedia both in content and in the basic staff of authors and editors. Since the early 1940’s the Britannica has been published in Chicago by Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., headed by W. Benton (died 1973). An editorial section of the Britannica has been retained in London. Since 1938 yearbooks entitled Britannica Book of the Year . . . have been brought out (in separate American and British editions).

In 1947, four supplementary volumes of the Britannica were published, reflecting the events of 1937-46 connected with World War II and its preparation and consequences. For the 200th anniversary of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in 1968, three volumes were issued containing major articles on various branches of knowledge. In 1969 announcements appeared in the press concerning the initial stage of preparing a new edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

I. V. GUDOVSHCHIKOVA

References in periodicals archive ?
A pioneer in electronic publishing since the early 1980s, the company also still publishes the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, along with services such as Britannica Online School Edition and new printed products such as Britannica Student Encyclopedia, which are available online at http://store.
A pioneer in electronic publishing since the early 1980s, the company still publishes the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, along with services such as Britannica Online School Edition and new printed products such as Britannica Student Encyclopedia, available for purchase at Britannica's online store (store.
The product has three encyclopedias: the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica Student Encyclopedia and Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia.
VitalSource customers will be able to choose between the Britannica Student Encyclopedia and the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia when they order IBM ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops preloaded with the VitalSource Library beginning in spring 2005.
The Ultimate Reference Suite has three encyclopedias: the entire 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica Student Encyclopedia and Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia.
The product, available on CD-ROM and DVD for Windows and Macintosh computers, has three encyclopedias: the entire 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica Student Encyclopedia and Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia.
The Web-based service features a suite of reference works -- including the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica Student Encyclopedia and Britannica Elementary Encyclopedia -- periodicals, an Internet guide and a variety of classroom learning materials.
a leading provider of high-quality educational products and services used in schools and homes to help increase academic achievement and enhance teacher professional development, announced today that it has teamed up with Encyclopedia Britannica to make the Britannica Student Encyclopedia available to subscribers of The Lightspan Network.