Book People Archive

Re: 11th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Boy, is this sour grapes or what? Why in the world would EB be ashamed to
have their name on a product from a bygone era?

This sounds like an incredibley useful reference to me. I have an old 1899
American encylopedia that I've used for years, it's a tremendous resource.
Sure you won't find Watson & Crick, but guess what, you won't find
anything on horse-drawn fire engines in the current EB.

The focus of the older encylopedias is a lesson in itself. My 1899 one
devotes many pages to the perfection of the "Safety Match", not to mention
light houses, monitors (ships), and much more detailed descriptions of
19th century events than you can find today.

The only drawback to my paper 1899 encyclopedia is it's peculiar
organization. For instance, there's a section on airplanes, but they
don't call them airplanes. (Can't remember how they listed them...)

I would gladly pay to buy an electronic copy I could search.

The idea of putting the 1911 EB seems pretty inspired to me.

C. Hall
Raleigh, NC

On Wed, 20 Oct 2004, Joseph Esposito wrote:

> The publication of a public domain edition of the 11th edition of
> Encyclopaedia Britannica is a milestone in book production, but, alas,
> it is not a milestone in publishing or indeed of the enrichment of the
> public domain.