Encyclopedia Britannica pdf free. 21st Century. Britannica’s last printed edition, free online. Links to all 32 scanned volumes are here.
Encyclopaedia Britannica is organized differently from other encyclopedias. If you’re a first-time user, we recommend “The Unique 4-Part Structure” on this page beneath the list of volumes. Further down is a brief history of the encyclopaedia, with links of interest.
Micropaedia – Ready Reference – Encyclopedia Britannica PDF
Volume 1 (2007): 1st entry: a-ak — Last entry: Bayes, Thomas
Volume 2 (2007): Bayeu, Francisco — Ceanothus
Volume 3 (1997): Ceara — Deluc, Jean Andre
Volume 4 (2007): delusion — Frenssen, Gustav
Volume 5 (2007): Freon — Holderlin, Friedrich
Volume 6 (2005): Holderness — Krasnoje Selo
Volume 7 (2005): Krasnokamsk — Menadra
Volume 8 (2005): Menage, Gilles — Ottawa River
Volume 9 (2007): otter — Rethimnon
Volume 10 (2005): Reti, Richard — Solovets Islands
Volume 11 (2005): Solovyov, Sergey — truck
Volume 12 (2005): Trudeau, Pierre Elliott — Zywiec
Macropaedia – Knowledge in Depth – Encyclopedia Britannica PDF
Volume 13 (2003): 1st entry: Accounting — Last entry: The History of Western Architecture
Volume 14 (2005): The Arctic — The Biosphere and Concepts of Ecology
Volume 15 (2005): Birds — Chess
Volume 16 (2005): Chicago — Death
Volume 17 (2005): Decorative Arts and Furnishings — Edison
Volume 18 (2005): Education — The Theory of Evolution
Volume 19 (2007): Excretion and Excretory Systems — Geometry
Volume 20 (2005): Geomorphic Processes – Immunity
Volume 21 (2003): India — Ireland
Volume 22 (2005): Muhammad and the Religion of Islam — Life
Volume 23 (2003): Light — Metabolism
Volume 24 (2003): Metaphysics — Norway
Volume 25 (2003): Number Games and Other Mathematical Recreations — Prague
Volume 26 (2003): Pre-Columbian Civilizations — Saint Petersburg
Volume 27 (2005): San Francisco — Southern Africa
Volume 28 (2003): Spain — Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Volume 29 (2007): United Kingdom — Zoroastrianism and Parsiism
Propaedia – Outline of Knowledge and Guide to the Britannica
Volume 30 (2007): Outline of Knowledge and Guide to the Britannica
Index – Encyclopedia Britannica PDF
Volume 31 (2005): Index A-K
Volume 32 (2005): Index L-Z
The Unique 4-Part Structure of Encyclopedia Britannica Online
The Propaedia, or Outline of Knowledge (vol 30), “is intended to serve as a topical guide to the contents of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, enabling the reader to carry out an orderly plan of reading in any field of knowledge or learning chosen for study in some depth”. See the Propaedia’s introduction, “How to Use the Propaedia“.
Index (Vols 31-32). You’ll find the introduction “How to Use the Index” at the beginning of either volume. Among other things, it explains how to distinguish index references to Micropedia articles from references to the Macropedia. It is strongly recommended in that article that you begin any subject search in the Index, rather than going directly into the Macropedia or Micropedia, because there are likely to be several entries on your subject.
Micropedia : Ready Reference (vols 1-12). Micropedia volumes contain around 65,000 short articles on specific persons, places, things, and ideas, arranged in alphabetical order. You’ll find “How to Use the Micropaedia” at the beginning of each volume.
Macropedia : Knowledge in Depth (vols 13-29). The Macropedia contains around 700 articles, which are much more extensive than the thousands of articles in the Micropaedia. Each volume’s articles are listed at the front of that book. Britannica recommends you use the Index or the Propaedia to find Macropedia articles of interest.
Other free online encyclopedias and reference books at Century Past
History of The Britannica
The Britannica was the first English-language encyclopedia, published in Edinburgh, Scotland from 1768 to 1771 in three volumes. The 2nd edition (pub. 1778) filled ten volumes. You can read the 2nd edition online here. (Click the ‘stack of books’ icon in the top left corner to access all volumes).
The last printed edition of the Britannica was the 15th edition. It began as a major reorganization and rewrite in 1974, representing the largest single private investment in publishing history up to that time. More than 4,000 authors from more than 100 countries contributed entries. In 1985 there was a revision of the 15th edition that resulted in its final structure of a 12-volume Micropedia, 17-vol Macropedia, 1-vol Propaedia, and 2-vol Index.
The 2010 issue of the 15th edition was the last printed version of Britannica. Britannica continues today to offer its encyclopedia and other products online.