Classic Encyclopedia 1911:Explanation
From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
This free online 1911 Classic Encyclopedia is based on what many consider to be the best encyclopedia ever written: the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, first published in 1911. At a time when many encyclopedias have capsulated and condensed important knowledge, the 11th edition is generally much more in-depth and thorough on its topics.
It is not uncommon for its entries to be five to ten times the length of other encyclopedias. As a research tool, this 11th edition is unparalleled - even today. The 1911 Classic Encyclopedia is now giving you all these thousands of entries, preserving the treasured entries that make it so unique, and where necessary and possible adding the current point of view. We hope that you enjoy and learn from this free online encyclopedia and that it becomes one of your favorite places for reference information.
The Eleventh Edition filled 29 volumes and contains over 44 million words. It contains over 40,000 articles written by over 1,500 authors within their various fields of expertise. What was particularly remarkable was that many of the entries were written by the most famous people of the age. As such, it was considered to represent the sum of human knowledge at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Sir Kenneth Clark, in Another Part of the Wood, wrote of the Eleventh Edition:
- "One leaps from one subject to another, fascinated as much by the play of mind and idiosyncrasies of their authors as by the facts and dates. It must be the last encyclopedia in the tradition of Diderot which assumes that information can be made memorable only when it is slightly colored by prejudice. When T.S. Eliot wrote 'Soul curled up on the window seat reading the Encyclopedia' he was certainly thinking of the eleventh edition."
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You can help improving the quality of this site. To do so, you need to log in. You can get a login name by clicking on "Log in" at the upper right. Then you can go and edit the pages by clicking on the 'edit' tab which will appear on the top of (almost) each page.
On each subject there are in fact two pages. One is an article from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica or its 1922 additional material. This is found with the "article" tab at the top of the page. The other is for more modern additions, corrections and comments made by you and other readers. They are found with the "what's new" tab.
The article should be kept as it was in the original encyclopedia. Only few changes are to be made here, such as:
- Correcting scanning errors
- Adding or removing links
- Adding or removing categories
On the what's new page, you are free to write what you want, as long as it is related to the subject. Things to place here are for example:
- Additional information that has unearthed after 1911, or about that period
- Comments and corrections to the article
- Extra information that you have that was not available to the editors of the Encyclopedia Brittanica or that they chose not to include
- Your own opinions and ideas about the subject
As you can see, much is allowed on the what's new pages. Still, there are some things we do not want to see there:
- Material not related to the topic at hand
- Meaningless drivel
- Insulting, provocative, obscene or illegal material
- Long discussions
- Material covered by someone else's copyright
You can sign your contributions using "~~~", which will show your username or "~~~~" which also shows the date. However, someone may come along and edit the material to for example, combine the writings of two or more individuals into a single piece. We do intend to keep the names of the editors in those cases, but it will usually not be possible to specify who exactly wrote which part of the text.