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Encyclopedia Britannica | Britannica | History, Editions, & Facts | Britannica

Encyclopædia Britannica Overview

  • Website:www.britannica.com
  • Headquarters:Chicago, IL
  • Size:201 to 500 Employees
  • Founded:1768
  • Type:Company – Private
  • Industry:Publishing
  • Revenue:Unknown / Non-Applicable

Competitors: UNKNOWNBritannica is a part of the Britannica Group (Encyclopaedia Britannica®, Britannica® Digital Learning, Britannica Knowledge Systems®, Merriam-Webster®, and Melingo®), a global knowledge leader whose flagship products inspire curiosity and the joy of learning on multiple … Read moreMission: To inspire curiosity and the joy of learning.

*Great Place to Work Certified, Great Place to Work Institute, 2018, 2019, 2020

Our mission is to inspire curiosity and the joy of learning.

Welcome to Britannica

For 250 years, Encyclopaedia Britannica has reimagined how the world discovers, learns, and shares. For the next 250 years, we will continue to create innovative learning experiences, underpinned by credible content, and put them in the hands of lifelong learners across the globe.

Who are we?

We transform. Centuries of innovation and trailblazing across knowledge industries make up the backbone of the curiosity and joy that we seek to inspire.

We engage. We nurture inquiry and ignite the desire to discover through exciting, personalized experiences that are meaningful and engaging for unique learners around the world.

We are rigorous. Everything we create is underpinned by an experienced, educated editorial staff, rigorous writing and review processes, and a community of experts at the forefront of new discoveries. Truth needs a champion, and we carry the torch of this responsibility because it is an honor.

We value community. Our communities are central to what we imagine, develop, and refine. We are committed to meeting learners where they are and empowering the way they ask questions, find answers, and interact with Britannica.

Since its founding, the Encyclopædia Britannica has relied upon both outside experts and its own editors with various subject-area proficiencies to write its entries. Those entries are then fact-checked, edited, and copyedited by Britannica editors, a process intended to ensure that the articles meet Britannica’s long-held standards for readability and accuracy. Moreover, that same team of editors regularly revise and update existing articles to reflect new developments in those realms of knowledge.

The following account sketches the development of the Encyclopædia Britannica from its Scottish beginnings to its established position as a major English-language work of reference with editorial offices in Chicago and thousands of contributors worldwide.

in chief, the company developed Britannica Online, an extended electronic reference service for delivery over the Internet. In 1994 Britannica debuted the first Internet-based encyclopaedia. Users paid a fee to access the information, which was located at http://www.eb.com. In 1994 Britannica Online was released for subscription over the Internet. In addition to the full text database and thousands of illustrations, Britannica Online served as a gateway to the World Wide Web by providing direct links to outside sources of information.

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4 marks the 245th anniversary of the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. Commemoration of this event has, almost from the start, been cause for an examination of the fundamental promise of the Declaration, namely that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

1. Encyclopedia Britannica Online

The online version of the Encyclopedia Britannica is a trusted source used by more than 4,755 universities worldwide, including Yale, Harvard and Oxford. The site includes access to all 32 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, a dictionary, a thesaurus, newspaper and magazine articles and a world atlas. You’ll have to work fast though. You can only use this source for free for seven days. After that, you’ll need to pay $69.95 a year for full access.

2. Encyclopedia.com

Encyclopedia.com is a free online encyclopedia that allows you to search more than 57,000 articles from the Columbia Encyclopedia. Each article contains links to images, as well as magazine and newspaper pieces. Encyclopedia.com also includes other reference works, such as the Oxford Dictionaries and the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia.

3. Bartleby

Bartleby.com has a great collection of free reference materials, books and verse. Searchable encyclopedias include the Columbia Encyclopedia, the Columbia Gazetteer of North America, the Encyclopedia of World History and the World Fact Book.

4. Infoplease

Pearson Education’s Infoplease provides free access to more than 57,000 articles from the Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition.) Other references, such as an almanac, dictionaries and a thesaurus make this site a good all around tool for research papers.

5. Questia

The free encyclopedia from Questia includes more than 52,000 entries from the Columbia Encyclopedia (Sixth Edition.) There are also loads of supplemental goodies in the reference library, such as full-text books and articles from journals, magazines and newspapers.

6. dkonline.encyclopedia

Select from nine subject areas, including science and technology, space, and history, type in a keyword, and let dkonline.encyclopedia link you to websites providing the information you need. Sites could utilize videos, virtual tours, timelines and more. You can also download and print free images.

7. Encyclopedia of Life

Encyclopedia of Life is a relatively new Internet venture. Launched in May of 2007, the site aims to document all species of life on Earth. The collaborative and constantly updated encyclopedia is free for everyone to use and perfect for students who are writing research papers on science or biology.

8. Scholarpedia

The Scholarpedia site is similar in format to Wikipedia, but it is a much better free resource for research papers. All of the entries have been written and approved by an actual scholar, which means you won’t have a problem when it comes time to cite sources. Featured encyclopedias cover topics like computational neuroscience, dynamical systems, computational intelligence and astrophysics.

9. Wikipedia

Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites in the world, but it is not without problems. Anybody can write and edit Wikipedia entries. This means that you can’t always count on the site for factual information. You also can’t cite Wikipedia as a source for most student research papers. Nevertheless, Wikipedia is worth visiting because it is free and it can lead you to more valuable and reliable sources of information.Next: View Schools

List of famous encyclopedia books, listed alphabetically with jacket cover images of the books when available. Information for these popular encyclopedia books is included as well, such as the author’s name and the book’s publication date. This list includes the best encyclopedia novels, textbooks, and stories, so use it to find books you haven’t already read and add them to your reading list.

This list contains books like The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings and The Penguin Guide to Jazz.

This list should answer the questions, “What are the best encyclopedia books?” and “What are the most famous encyclopedia books?”Note that some books on this list might be currently out of print, but you can purchase most of these notable encyclopedia titles on Amazon with just one click.

When many people think of slavery, they think of the translatlantic trade that took place between Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean. The legacy of enslavement in the Americas (particularly in the United States) is known globally through the cultural and political impact of African-American iconography, films, history and references in popular culture. For many people of African descent across the world, it is one of the clearest historical links that binds us together, even if we do not have west African or American ancestry.

But the slave trade across the Atlantic Ocean is not the only history of longstanding mass global enslavement. Less well-known is a system that went on for centuries longer, but which took place across its opposite oceanmass, the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean slave trade encompassed Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with people from these areas involved as both captors and captives.

The numbers of people enslaved and the exact length of the trans-Indian slave trade have not been definitively established, but historians believe that it preceded the transatlantic enslavement by centuries. Even though it is largely ignored as an international slave trade, examples of its impact abound. Writing on Indian Ocean slavery frequently mentions African people in China and Persia as well as in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina, which also served as central slave markets.

The longevity of the Indian Ocean slave trade is also evident in key historical moments. Long before the slave revolt of Haiti under Toussaint L’Overture, which istouted as the most successful slave revolt in modern history, established the first black republic in the western hemisphere, African slaves in the southern Iraqi city Basra established political power centres in Iraq and parts of present-day Iran for a period of fourteen years. The Zanj rebellion, and subsequent rule of East African slaves in parts of Iraq, took place between 869-883AD1. Centuries later, when American president Barack Obama was elected as the first African-American president in the United States, his election proved inspirational to their black descendants who continue to live in Basra.

But focussing solely on African people enslaved across Asia would be hiding the extent of Indian Ocean slavery: Asian people were enslaved for centuries as well, with Asian slaves who survived shipwrecks on European ships found living with the indigenous population on South Africa’s coast long before colonisation. There are also reports of Indian people enslaved and living in Kenya and Tanzania, and later, there was the large-scale movement of enslaved Asian people sent to work as slaves in colonial South Africa, starting from Dutch colonisation in 1652. Enslaved Asian people in South Africa came from as far afield as Japan and Timor, but the majority were from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and China.

In addition, men from Baluchistan in present-day Pakistan are regularly mentioned working as guards in relation to the slaving community based in Tanzania in the 1800s, overseen by the Omani sultanate who ruled Zanzibar, and Indian and Chinese slaves were to be found in South Africa, as well as in parts of the African eastern coast.

The Ottoman Empire enslaved non-Muslim populations in the Balkans, and women were often the target for sexual slavery, hence the Orientalist “allure” of the harem, and likely the source of the term “white slavery”. Afro-Turks also continue to live in Turkey. At its most pernicious, the effects of Asian enslavement is seen in contemporary racist European depictions of Asian women – which often have roots and metaphors in the sexual abuse inherent in the enslavement of Asian women and their status in the early days of colonialism.

There are other contemporary reverberations of the Indian Ocean slave trade – and continuing practices of enslavement in parts of north Africa, including in Mauritania. Enslavement of “African” populations by the “Arab” Sudanese ruling class in Sudan was one of the key reasons for the breakup of the Republic of Sudan and the secession of South Sudan. Even today, being darker-skinned African is synonymous with being called abd/abeed (slave) by Arabs. This includes Arab people who have been born and have lived all of their lives in western Europe and north America. (The Twitter hashtag #abeed will show you how prevalent and contemporary the epithet is.)

Words like “coolie” and “kaffir”, often associated with the Asian indentured labour system prevalent under later European colonialism, had roots and common usage in the periods of Indian Ocean slavery from the 1600s onwards.

Starting today, Media Diversified will be publishing an ongoing series on slavery across the Indian Ocean (#IndianOceanSlavery). The articles will have most of their starting points in South Africa, which was one of the epicentres of the Indian Ocean slave trade, with the country importing slaves as part of its colonisation process. This series will include articles looking at the history of Asian political prisoners in the country, the history of Chinese people in Africa which goes back for at least a millennium, and the wider resonances of both slavery and very specific under-reported histories in Australia, Ireland and India. Although the descendants of enslaved Africans and Asians continue to live in South Africa, outside of academic publications the country has very little knowledge about its own history of slavery.

What will become apparent is that slavery in Africa stretched much further than the west African coast where most of the transatlantic slave trade took place from. It also decimated the African interior for centuries longer than the period in which the transatlantic slave trade took place. Southern, central and east Africa were similarly affected, including by the large-scale movement of enslaved people within Africa, most notably in places like Mozambique and Madagascar. At the same time, there was extensive enslavement in Asia, in India as well as in Indonesia and other parts of south-east Asia, including Japan.

Publishing this series on Indian Ocean slavery is significant because it brings together key aspects of a largely underplayed history for general readers. When I started reading up on the topic, I was surprised at how many academic tracts had been published on the issue, and yet that knowledge had not in any significant way filtered through to the populations from whom the history was drawn. If anything, despite all of the extensive body of research on Indian Ocean slavery, the information remains “hidden within books”.

It challenges the history we tell ourselves in Africa, Asia and the Middle East about how we came to be, and it also challenges the history that we tell ourselves about other continents. It brings to light that what was perceived as anti-colonial solidarity in the 1950s and 1960s (often with India as its centre) was a continuation of a centuries-long historical twinning between what is collectively called the “Third World” or developing world.

Very often finding the information involved following whispers of conversation or remembering a fact that I had heard long ago and could not make historical sense of at the time. The internet made researching information easier at times, but I would not have been able to do concerted research without the extensive archives in Cape Town and the dedicated staff who manage them. I also would not have been able to find the background material without the well-stocked libraries in South Africa. In fact, if I attempted this project outside of South Africa, there would likely have been very little in terms of records and libraries to bolster my knowledge.

In a wider context, I also drew strength from the burgeoning interest in the history of slavery from the descendants of enslaved people in South Africa. At the moment it reaches a small group of people, but it is the start of reversing the trend of historians writing about history as if there are no contemporary resonances and impact, and as if there are no contemporary living descendants of slaves in South Africa, the wider African continent and Asia.

Outside of the formal research, finding the information has been an astonishing experience, which led me to retrace all of my life’s journey, especially the often disparate lives that I have led across Africa and Asia during the past two decades — stretching from Senegal to east Africa, across Turkey and Afghanistan to south-east Asia. What was previously incongruous to me made sense when I walked into the Slave Lodge in Cape Town and saw a map detailing the places where enslaved people in South Africa came from. The map of slaves’ origins was in fact a map of all of the places that I had lived in or had very significant contact with. And so, many of the gaps were things that only I could have known, having lived a very particular life: why in Turkey I encountered the exact same fig jam recipe as my grandmother’s in Cape Town, which is a traditional Cape Malay dish; the common words close to isiZulu that I would hear when I lived in northern Uganda; why – besides the common vocabularies of Persian, Kiswahili and isiZulu that I’d draw on in Kabul and Nairobi – Persians in Iran and Afghanistan as well as Zulus in South Africa both ate maas/maast/amasi (plain yoghurt/fermented milk) with their meals. These were small questions that I could not answer up to now, but the thread of what I have discovered is much bigger than I had anticipated.


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