630px-Encyclopaedia Britannica 15 with 2002

A modern set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The Encyclopædia Britannica (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general English-language encyclopedia published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., a privately held company. Articles are aimed at educated adults, and written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 expert contributors. It is regarded as the most scholarly of encyclopedias.

First published between 1768 and 1771, the Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopedia still being produced, though it was not printed after 2010, and print publication was discontinued in 2012.

Usage noteEdit

"Encyclopædia" is the spelling used in the title of the Britannica and the name of its publishing company.

Encyclopedia Britannica in 1632Edit


A set of the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica, in 2011.

The 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was perhaps the most prominent encyclopedia that had been brought to the 17th century by the Ring of Fire, and may have been the one that was most useful to down-timers. Grantville only had two original copies, which were not allowed to leave town, but it was copied by European publishers. Grantville also had the more modern 15th edition, which was also republished down-time.[n 1] There was also a nearly complete copy of the 9th edition.[1]

European governments and royalty, who were adamant about learning the future, paid high prices to buy the Encyclopedia and other modern-day books.

Philosopher Thomas Hobbes had read the Encyclopedia article about himself and discovered that he was recognized as one of England's greatest political thinkers. However, he was less happy to discover that he had antagonized both sides of the English constitutional struggles in the aftermath of the English Civil War.


  1. The 15th edition's print run lasted from 1974 to 2010, and it was edited every year.


  1. Grantville Gazette XIX, ch. 12. This does not appear to be mentioned in canon, and is presumably based on someone in Mannington having, or having had, it.