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Encyclopaedia Britannica prints new edition

Wednesday, 27 June 2001
By Print 21 Online Article

It will be the first printed version since 1994 and will include revisions of thousands of articles and hundreds of new ones.

Britannica’s CEO, Ilan Yeshua said the new printing reflects the company’s return to its core strengths. “My goal is to extend Britannica’s presence in every market and every medium where we can provide value to our customers,” he said. “While we will continue to work on the internet as we have in recent years, we will pursue opportunities in other media as well, using the internet, print, CD-ROM and DVD in combination.”

Printer Colin MacFarquhar and engraver Andrew Bell founded the Encyclopedia Britannica in1768 in Edinburgh Scotland. The two founded a “Society of Gentlemen” to publish the work and hired William Smellie to edit it. The first edition of the Britannica was published one section at a time over a three-year period. The three-volume set was completed in 1771 and quickly sold out.

Encouraged by the success of the first edition, the publishers issued the second edition in 10 volumes (1777-84). The third edition, completed in 1797 and the first to include articles by outside contributors, comprised 18 volumes; the fourth, completed in 1809, boasted 20.

The Britannica moved to Chicago in 1929 in time for the 14th edition.

Britannica was an early leader in electronic publishing and new media. In 1981, the first digital version of the Encyclopædia Britannica was created for the Lexis-Nexis service. Britannica also created the first multimedia CD-ROM encyclopedia, Compton’s MultiMedia Encyclopedia, in 1989.

In 1994 the company developed Britannica Online, the first encyclopedia for the internet, which made the entire text of the Encyclopædia Britannica available worldwide. That year the first version of the Britannica on CD-ROM was also published.

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