Britannica Encyclopedia


August 13, 2022

Encyclopædia Britannica - an English-language general encyclopedia, first published in Edinburgh in 1768–1771 by Colin Macfarquhar and William Smellie, and since 1901 published in the United States. Only online since 2012.

History of the encyclopedia

Published in Edinburgh from the 18th century onwards, unlike the French Encyclopédie (1751–1766) which it modeled on, the Encyclopædia Britannica was very conservative; later editions were usually dedicated to monarchs. In 1870 the publishing house was moved to London. The 11th edition of the encyclopedia, published in 1911 together with the University of Cambridge, is considered to be the classic edition of the Britannica Encyclopedia, representing the sum of knowledge available at the turn of the 20th century (it is in the public domain and is developed under the Gutenberg project as Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia). It consists of 29 volumes and 44 million words. Following its 11th edition, the trademark and publishing rights for the encyclopedia were sold to Chicago-based Sears Roebuck, which then transferred them to the University of Chicago in 1941. In January 1996, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. was bought by the Swiss millionaire Jacqui Safra.


The 2004 version of the Encyclopedia Britannica contains approximately 120,000 articles, totaling approximately 44 million words. It was published in book form, available on-line, on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. The articles for this issue were created by the efforts of more than four thousand contributors, and 35% of the content was rewritten or rewritten from 2002 to 2004. Since 2008, the editors of EB have been cooperating on the edition of Time Almanac.

Release history

The first edition of the CD-ROM was prepared in 1994. At that time, a paid option to use the encyclopedia on-line was also made available. In 1999, access was free. There were also no updated printed versions. This experiment ended in 2001, and a new print version was released in 2002. In 2012, the editors announced that the 2010 version would be the last printed version. The encyclopedia will only be available in an electronic version.

Polish edition

The encyclopedia Britannica in the Polish version was published by Wydawnictwo Kurpisz in the years 1997–2005 under the title "Britannica - Polish edition" and - together with the supplement - included 49 volumes.



External Links

Free Online Encyclopedia, entries from the Britannica Encyclopedia based on Issue 11 of 1911. [Pages Archived by WayBack Machine]