1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition

The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is a 29-volume reference work that marked the beginning of the Encyclopædia Britannica's transition from a British to an American publication. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the day. This edition of the encyclopedia is now in the public domain, but the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic. Some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Contents

Background

The 1911 eleventh edition was assembled under the leadership of American publisher Horace Everett Hooper, and edited by Hugh Chisholm. Originally, Hooper purchased the rights to the 25-volume ninth edition and persuaded the British newspaper The Times to issue its reprint, with eleven additional volumes (35 volumes total) as the tenth edition, which appeared in 1902. Hooper's association with The Times ceased in 1909, and he negotiated with the Cambridge University Press to publish the 29-volume eleventh edition. Though it is generally perceived as a quintessentially British work, the eleventh edition had substantial American influences, not only in the increased amount of American and Canadian content, but also in the efforts made to give it a more popular tone. American marketing methods also assisted sales. Some 11% of the contributors were American, and a New York office was established to run that side of the enterprise.

The initials of the encyclopedia's contributors appear at the end of each article (at the end of a section in the case of longer articles, such as that on China) and a key is given in each volume to these initials. Some articles were written by the best-known scholars of the day, such as Edmund Gosse, J. B. Bury, Algernon Charles Swinburne, John Muir, Peter Kropotkin, T. H. Huxley and William Michael Rossetti. Among the then lesser-known contributors were some who would later become distinguished, such as Ernest Rutherford and Bertrand Russell. Many articles were carried over from the ninth edition, some with minimal updating, some of the book-length articles divided into smaller parts for easier reference, yet others heavily abridged. The best-known authors generally contributed only a single article or part of an article. Most of the work was done by a mix of journalists, British Museum and other scholars. The 1911 edition for the first time included a number of female contributors, with 34 women contributing articles to the edition.[1]

The eleventh edition introduced a number of changes to the format of the Britannica. It was the first to be published complete, instead of the previous method of volumes being released as they were ready. The type was kept in galleys and subject to continual updating until publication. It was the first edition of Britannica to be issued with a comprehensive index volume in which was added a categorical index, where like topics were listed. It was the first to break away from the convention of long treatise-length articles. Even though the overall length of the work was roughly the same as its predecessor, the number of articles had increased from 17,000 to 40,000. It was also the first edition of Britannica to contain biographies of living people.

According to Coleman and Simmons, p 32[2] the content of the encyclopedia was made up as follows:

Subject Content
Geography 29%
Pure and applied science 17%
History 17%
Literature 11%
Fine art 9%
Social science 7%
Psychology 1.7%
Philosophy 0.8%

Hooper sold the rights to Sears Roebuck of Chicago in 1920, completing the Britannica's transition to becoming a substantially American venture.

In 1922, an additional three volumes were published, covering the events of the intervening years, including the First World War. These, together with a reprint of the eleventh edition, formed the twelfth edition of the work. A similar thirteenth edition, of three volumes plus a reprint of the twelfth edition, was published in 1926, so the twelfth and thirteenth editions were of course closely related to the eleventh edition and shared much of the same content. However, it became increasingly clear that a more thorough update of the work was required.

The fourteenth edition, published in 1929, was considerably revised, with much text dropped or shortened to make room for new topics. Nevertheless, the eleventh edition was the basis of every later version of the Encyclopædia Britannica until the completely new fifteenth edition was published in 1974, using modern information presentation.

The eleventh edition's articles are still of value and interest to modern readers and scholars, especially as a cultural artifact: the British Empire was at its very height, imperialism was largely unchallenged, much of the world was still ruled by monarchs, and the horrors of the modern world wars were still in the future. They are an invaluable resource for topics dropped from modern encyclopedias, particularly in biography and the history of science and technology. As a literary text, the encyclopedia holds value as a voice of early 20th-century prose. For example, it employs literary devices, such as the pathetic fallacy, which are not as common in modern texts.[2]

Notable commentaries on the Eleventh Edition

1913 advertisement for the eleventh edition

In 1917, under his pseudonym of S. S. Van Dine, the US art critic and author Willard Huntington Wright published Misinforming a Nation, a 200+ page criticism of inaccuracies and biases found in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition. Wright claimed that Britannica was "characterized by misstatement, inexcusable omissions, rabid and patriotic prejudices, personal animosities, blatant errors of fact, scholastic ignorance, gross neglect of non-British culture, an astounding egotism, and an undisguised contempt for American progress."[3]

Amos Urban Shirk, who read both the entire eleventh and fourteenth editions in the 1930s, said he found the fourteenth edition to be a "big improvement" over the eleventh, stating that "most of the material had been completely rewritten".

Robert Collison, in Encyclopaedias: Their History Throughout The Ages (1966), wrote of the eleventh edition that it "was probably the finest edition of the Britannica ever issued, and it ranks with the Italiana and the Espasa as one of the three greatest encyclopaedias in the world. It was the last edition to be produced almost in its entirety in Britain, and its position in time as a summary of the world's knowledge just before the outbreak of World War I is particularly valuable."

Sir Kenneth Clark, in Another Part of the Wood (1974), wrote of the eleventh edition, "One leaps from one subject to another, fascinated as much by the play of mind and the idiosyncrasies of their authors as by the facts and dates. It must be the last encyclopaedia in the tradition of Diderot which assumes that information can be made memorable only when it is slightly coloured by prejudice. When T. S. Eliot wrote 'Soul curled up on the window seat reading the Encyclopædia Britannica,' he was certainly thinking of the eleventh edition." (Clark refers to Eliot's 1929 poem "Animula".)

1911 Britannica in the 21st century

The 1911 edition is no longer restricted by copyright, and it is available in several more modern forms. While it may have been a reliable description of the general consensus of its time, for some modern readers, the Encyclopedia has several glaring errors, ethnocentric remarks, and other issues:

  • Contemporaneous beliefs about race and ethnicity are included in the Encyclopedia's articles. For example, the entry for "Negro" states, "Mentally the negro is inferior to the white... the arrest or even deterioration of mental development [after adolescence] is no doubt very largely due to the fact that after puberty sexual matters take the first place in the negro's life and thoughts."[4] The article about the American War of Independence attributes the success of the United States in part to "a population mainly of good English blood and instincts".[5]
  • Many articles are now factually outdated, in particular those on science, technology, international and municipal law, and medicine. For example, the article on the vitamin deficiency disease beriberi speculates that it is caused by a fungus, vitamins not having been discovered at the time. Articles about geographic places mention rail connections and ferry stops in towns that today no longer employ such transport.
  • Even where the facts might still be accurate, new information, theories and perspectives developed since 1911 have substantially changed the way the same facts might be interpreted. For example, the modern interpretation of the history of the Visigoths is very different from that reflected in the eleventh edition which used the now out-of-favor Great man theory, such that there are no entries for Visigoth or Goth; rather the history of the tribe is found under the entry for Alaric I.

The eleventh edition of Encyclopædia Britannica has become a commonly quoted source, both because of the reputation of the Britannica and because it is now in the public domain and has been made available on the Internet. It has been used as a source by many modern projects including Wikipedia and the Gutenberg Encyclopedia.

Gutenberg Encyclopedia

The Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia is the eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, renamed to address Britannica's trademark concerns. Project Gutenberg's offerings are summarized below in the External links section and include text and graphics. Distributed Proofreaders are currently working on producing a complete electronic edition of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

References

  1. ^ Gillian Thomas (1992). A Position to Command Respect: Women and the Eleventh Britannica New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, ISBN 0810825678.
  2. ^ a b *All There is to Know (1994), edited by Alexander Coleman and Charles Simmons. Subtitled: "Readings from the Illustrious Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica". ISBN 067176747X
  3. ^ Misinforming a Nation. 1917. Wikisource-logo.svg Chapter 1.
  4. ^ Willcox, Walter Francis (1911). "Negro". Encyclopædia Britannica. Volume XIX (11th ed.). New York: Encyclopædia Britannica. pp. 344. http://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=User:Tim_Starling/ScanSet_TIFF_demo&vol=19&page=EC9A362. Retrieved 2007-01-10.  
  5. ^ Hannay, David (1911). "American War of Independence". Encyclopædia Britannica. Volume I (11th ed.). New York: Encyclopædia Britannica. pp. 845. http://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=User:Tim_Starling/ScanSet_TIFF_demo&vol=01&page=EB1A895. Retrieved 2007-01-10.  

External links

Free, public-domain sources for 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica text

Internet Archive – Text Archives
Individual Volumes
Volume DjVu From To
Volume 1 DjVu 1 A Androphagi
Volume 2 DjVu 2 Andros, Sir Edmund Austria
Volume 3 DjVu 3 Austria, Lower Bisectrix
Volume 4 DjVu 4 Bisharin Calgary
Volume 5 DjVu 5 Calhoun, John Caldwell Chatelaine
Volume 6 DjVu 6 Châtelet Constantine
Volume 7 DjVu 7 Constantine Pavlovich Demidov
Volume 8 DjVu 8 Demijohn Edward the Black Prince
Volume 9 DjVu 9 Edwardes, Sir Herbert Benjamin Evangelical Association
Volume 10 DjVu 10 Evangelical Church Conference Francis Joseph I
Volume 11 DjVu 11 Franciscans Gibson, William Hamilton
Volume 12 DjVu 12 Gichtel, Johann Georg Harmonium
Volume 13 DjVu 13 Harmony Hurstmonceaux
Volume 14 DjVu 14 Husband Italic
Volume 15 DjVu 15 Italy Kyshtym
Volume 16 DjVu 16 L Lord Advocate
Volume 17 DjVu 17 Lord Chamberlain Mecklenburg
Volume 18 DjVu 18 Medal Mumps
Volume 19 DjVu 19 Mun, Adrien Albert Marie de Oddfellows, Order of
DjVu 20 Ode Payment of members
Volume 21 DjVu 21 Payn, James Polka
Volume 22 DjVu 22 Poll Reeves, John Sims
Volume 23 DjVu 23 Refectory Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin
Volume 24 DjVu 24 Sainte-Claire Deville, Étienne Henri Shuttle
Volume 25 DjVu 25 Shuválov, Peter Andreivich Subliminal self
Volume 26 DjVu 26 Submarine mines Tom-Tom
Volume 27 DjVu 27 Tonalite Vesuvius
Volume 28 DjVu 28 Vetch Zymotic diseases
Volume 29 DjVu 29 Index List of contributors
Volume 30
Volume 31
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Full-page scans in TIFF format.
Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia
As of 19 October 2009 (2009 -10-19)
Section From To
Volume 1:   A   –   Androphagi
Volume 2.1.1:   Andros, Sir Edmund   –   Anise
Volume 3.1.1:   Austria, Lower   –   Bacon
Volume 3.1.2:   Baconthorpe   –   Bankruptcy
Volume 3.1.3:   Banks   –   Bassoon
Volume 4.3:   Bréquigny   –   Bulgaria
Volume 4.4:   Bulgaria   –   Calgary
Volume 8.3:   Destructors   –   Diameter

Other sources for 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica text

  • The "LoveToKnow Classic Encyclopedia" is a wiki that is "based" on the original encyclopædia text, and claims copyright on the modified text.
  • The JRank "Online Encyclopedia" includes original and contributed articles; the originals may have been edited and the collection is subject to a claimed copyright.

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article)

From Wikisource

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
See also our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.

←Indexes: Reference Works

The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of its time. The articles are still of value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries; however, they contain a number of problematic areas for the modern scholar using them as a primary source.
— Excerpted from Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Shortcut:
EB1911

This edition of the Encyclopaedia was published in two forms — the regular quarto size, and a "Handy Volume" edition (pub 1915) in octavo, where the text was photo-reduced. The latter had different preliminaries, but the texts were otherwise identical. They are included here for completeness.

Information about this edition

Table of contents

List of volumes

  1. Vol 1 A to ANDROPHAGI
  2. Vol 2 ANDROS to AUSTRIA
  3. Vol 3 AUSTRIA to BISECTRIX
  4. Vol 4 BISHĀRĪN to CALGARY
  5. Vol 5 CALHOUN to CHATELAINE
  6. Vol 6 CHÂTELET to CONSTANTINE
  7. Vol 7 CONSTANTINE PAVLOVICH to DEMIDOV
  8. Vol 8 DEMIJOHN to EDWARD
  9. Vol 9 EDWARDES to EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION
  10. Vol 10 EVANGELICAL CHURCH to FRANCIS JOSEPH
  11. Vol 11 FRANCISCANS to GIBSON
  12. Vol 12 GICHTEL to HARMONIUM
  13. Vol 13 HARMONY to HURSTMONCEAUX
  14. Vol 14 HUSBAND to ITALIC
  15. Vol 15 ITALY to KYSHTYM
  16. Vol 16 L to LORD ADVOCATE
  17. Vol 17 LORD CHAMBERLAIN to MECKLENBURG
  18. Vol 18 MEDAL to MUMPS
  19. Vol 19 MUN to ODDFELLOWS
  20. Vol 20 ODE to PAYMENT OF MEMBERS
  21. Vol 21 PAYN to POLKA
  22. Vol 22 POLL to REEVES
  23. Vol 23 REFECTORY to SAINTE-BEUVE
  24. Vol 24 SAINTE-CLAIRE DEVILLE to SHUTTLE
  25. Vol 25 SHUVÂLOV to SUBLIMINAL SELF
  26. Vol 26 SUBMARINE MINES to TOM-TOM
  27. Vol 27 TONALITE to VESUVIUS
  28. Vol 28 VETCH to ZYMOTIC DISEASES
  29. Vol 29 INDEX
Advertisement for the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, from the May 1913 issue of National Geographic Magazine.







Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message