Reference Encyclopaedia Britannica

ISBN 13: 9780852295717

Encyclopaedia Britannica

 
9780852295717: Encyclopaedia Britannica

For this printing 8036 pages were revised. The 17 Macropaedia (knowledge in depth) volumes contain articles averaging 25 pages or 34,000 words in length. The 12 Micropaedia (ready reference) volumes contain 64,404 articles and 16,979 cross-reference entries. All Macropaedia articles and about 1500 Micropaedia articles carry bibliographies. All Macropaedia articles and about 1300 Micropaedia articles are signed. The 2-volume index contains 215,679 entries and over 666,000 references. The Propaedia volume serves as a guide to the Britannica, arranged by topic, enabling the reader to carry out a plan of reading in any field of knowledge. The price quoted is for the Classic Brown (pyroxylin) binding. Other bindings are the Heirloom (black fibred leather), Heritage (brown fibred leather), Full Leather (red, green or black goatskin) and the Connoisseur (red or blue morocco leather). A free copy of "Britannica World Data Annual 1993" is supplied in matching binding. Please send orders from North America to Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc, Britannica Centre, 310 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60604.

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From Booklist:

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in 1768^-71, is the oldest and largest encyclopedia in English. Published in the U.S. since 1900, the set adopted its three-part arrangement with the fifteenth edition in 1974: the Micropaedia with short articles for quick reference, the Macropaedia for in-depth treatment of broad topics, and the Propaedia for outline of knowledge. A two-volume index aids access.

History: Britannica is aimed at a more scholarly audience than any other general English-language encyclopedia. It is suitable for advanced high-school students, college students, and educated adults, although certain Micropaedia articles, particularly in the physical sciences, mathematics, and engineering, are highly technical and will not be accessible to those without college-level training in those areas. The 12-volume Micropaedia contains 64,257 articles. The 17-volume Macropaedia contains 675 articles ranging from two to more than 300 pages. Bibliographies follow all Macropaedia and some 2,000 Micropaedia articles. All Macropaedia and about 1,300 Micropaedia articles are signed. There are 24,139 illustrations, most of them black and white and quite small. The two-volume index contains 789,543 references. Because of Britannica's unique structure, it is with good reason that the reader is reminded frequently throughout the Micropaedia to consult the index first. Among the more than 47 new contributors are Manuel E. Duran, professor of Hispanic literature at Yale University (Neruda, Pablo), and Bruce Cole, Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University (Massacio).

Quality and Currency: The 1998 printing features 48 new and approximately 650 revised or updated articles. The 20 new biographical entries include those for Kofi Annan, Tony Blair, Steffi Graf, Thomas S. Kuhn, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Samuel Moore Walton; there are 193 rewritten, revised, or updated biographical articles. Diana, Princess of Wales is listed among the revised or updated biographical articles, but her death apparently occurred too late to be recorded. The eight new geographical entries include Ani, Damaturu, Flanders, and Wallonia; there are 225 rewritten, revised, or updated geographical articles. The seven new science and technology entries include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease), carpal tunnel syndrome, and Eupatorium; there are 60 rewritten, revised, or updated science and technology articles. The 12 new miscellaneous entries include Frankfurt School, Irish Potato Famine, Petronas Twin Towers, and Tuskegee syphilis study; there are 167 rewritten, revised, or updated miscellaneous articles. A total of 324 photographs, line drawings, and maps were added, replaced, or revised, for a net increase of 62 illustrations. Among the added illustrations are four color plates in the Macropaedia article mapping and surveying.

Results of the 1996 U.S. presidential election are noted in several articles. All Nobel Prize winners through 1996 are indicated in a Micropaedia table, as are winners of all Summer Olympics events through 1996 and Winter Olympics events through 1994 (the most recently held as of this writing). Boris Yeltsin's 1996 re-election and illness are noted. AIDS discusses recent treatments such as protease inhibitors. Among the 1997 events that are noted are the reversion of Hong Kong to Chinese rule, the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, the election of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the death of Deng Xiaoping.

Updating is still needed in some areas. None of the hundreds of tables in the otherwise impressive Micropaedia article sporting record covers winners more recent than 1993; nowhere in the set can more recent World Series winners be found. Chechnia reports events no more recent than March 1995. The article on Huntsville, Texas, cites as an annual event a prison rodeo which has not been held since 1986. The space exploration section of the article exploration in the Macropaedia contains little information from the 1990s.

The Britannica Book of the Year, considered by the publishers to be "an integral part" of the encyclopedia, is given to first-time buyers of the set; it includes an extensive statistical section.

Electronic Versions: Britannica is available in a CD-ROM version and by subscription as Britannica Online.

Conclusions: Britannica continues to offer the most in-depth coverage of any English-language encyclopedia. Following the publisher's repeated advice to "consult the index first" will help ensure that a desired topic is explored to the fullest. Recommended for academic, public, and high-school libraries.

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