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The evolution of the Encyclopaedia Britannica: from the Macropaedia to Britannica Online

The evolution of the Encyclopaedia Britannica: from the Macropaedia to Britannica Online For over 200 years the Encyclopaedia Britannica has been the standard against which all other English language encyclopedias are measured. Although universally acknowledged as an outstanding reference work, it has endured a series of financial crises, questionable editorial decisions, and a difficult transition into the computer age. This article will examine the most controversial of the Britannica’s moves, the decision to divide the encyclopedia into the Micropaedia and Macropaedia . The many intellectual improvements that were introduced into the Britannica at this time were overshadowed by attention given to the unusual, sometimes frustrating, new arrangement of the set. An even greater threat to the Britannica’s livelihood has come from the electronic age. Ironically, it was only after the Britannica came online that many of the problems that were inherent in the printed version have been resolved. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reference Services Review Emerald Publishing

The evolution of the Encyclopaedia Britannica: from the Macropaedia to Britannica Online

Reference Services Review , Volume 27 (3): 9 – Sep 1, 1999

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0090-7324
DOI
10.1108/00907329910275196
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For over 200 years the Encyclopaedia Britannica has been the standard against which all other English language encyclopedias are measured. Although universally acknowledged as an outstanding reference work, it has endured a series of financial crises, questionable editorial decisions, and a difficult transition into the computer age. This article will examine the most controversial of the Britannica’s moves, the decision to divide the encyclopedia into the Micropaedia and Macropaedia . The many intellectual improvements that were introduced into the Britannica at this time were overshadowed by attention given to the unusual, sometimes frustrating, new arrangement of the set. An even greater threat to the Britannica’s livelihood has come from the electronic age. Ironically, it was only after the Britannica came online that many of the problems that were inherent in the printed version have been resolved.

Journal

Reference Services ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 1999

Keywords: Electromic publishing; References; Resources; Technological change

References