Encyclopedia Britannica in public domain

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pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » January 24th, 2006, 1:42 pm

http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/

I can't believe I didn't realize that the classic 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica is in the public domain. This site lets you edit it!!!!

This is so exciting and amazing I can't stand it!!!!
Paula B
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vee
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Post by vee » January 24th, 2006, 2:06 pm

Wait we can edit the original? That seems kindof weird. Or are they intending to use this as a basis to build a new modern encyclopedia?
Chris Vee
"You never truly understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein

pberinstein
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Post by pberinstein » January 24th, 2006, 2:15 pm

This is the 1911 version, which is widely considered a classic. I guess this project is another sort of Wikipedia, but based on that almost-100-year-old version. Britannica has issued lots of versions since then, most of which are not in the public domain.

It's a lot like what we're doing with Librivox--using public domain texts in our own way.
Paula B
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tis
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Post by tis » January 24th, 2006, 3:59 pm

So, when are we going to read it.... :shock: ?
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kayray
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Post by kayray » January 24th, 2006, 5:33 pm

I'll take

Articles beginning with [ TOO-TUM ]

NO!! JUST KIDDING!
Kara
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--------
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Izze
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Post by Izze » January 24th, 2006, 9:17 pm

Why is the 1911 version a classic? Was it in a cooler type face than the 1910 or 1912 editions?

And do the editions even come out every year? Man, that would suck if they did, especially for the editors. O.o

ChipDoc
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Post by ChipDoc » January 24th, 2006, 11:48 pm

Izze wrote:Why is the 1911 version a classic? Was it in a cooler type face than the 1910 or 1912 editions?
No, it had cooler words. Here are a couple of paragraphs from Wikipedia which speak to this:

The encyclopedia'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, the paradigm of imperialism was unchallenged, and the horrors of the modern world wars were still in the future. As a literary text, the encyclopedia holds value as the epitome of early 20th century prose, much as the King James Version is often admired by non-Christians purely for the literary quality of certain passages. The encyclopedia abounds in the use of pathetic fallacy and other dated literary devices which often confounds the modern scientific reader yet stirs the heart of the modern literary reader.

The 11th edition was a notable reorganization and rewriting of the Encyclop?dia Britannica, which was first published in three volumes in 1768. The 11th edition formed the basis for every edition of the Encyclop?dia Britannica up until 1974, when the completely new 15th edition, based on modern information presentation, was published.


Read the entire article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop?dia_Britannica
-Chip
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Jon Ingram
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Post by Jon Ingram » January 25th, 2006, 12:07 am

The 11th edition was the basis for many Wikipedia articles, particularly those beginning with 'a' ;). It's slowly being worked on by Distributed Proofreaders -- we're currently up to volume 6.

Jrank's presentation of the Encyclopaedia is pretty, although it's fairly hard to make a correction to something without seeing the original scans -- particularly in an article like Mathematics, which has quite a lot that didn't OCR particularly well. I do like the way they do links between articles, though.

You'll find that quite a lot of sites use the EB11 content (here's another one), or Wikipedia content, to fill out what would otherwise be completely empty 'trap' sites. Some of them can make serious money off the advertising links they show. TheFreeEncyclopedia is one example of such a parasite site -- compare for example this with this.

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