Britannica Goes Concise – One-volume Encyclopedia, the Publisher’s First, Delivers Quick Facts

June 13, 2002

The new Britannica Concise Encyclopedia packs basic information from the 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica into two thousand pages that deliver facts quickly. The book’s 28,000 entries provide overviews, key dates, statistics and other essential facts on everything from art to zoology. A full complement of maps, flags and charts is also included, making it ideal for basic research at school, home or work.

“It’s the ultimate desk reference,” said Encyclopaedia Britannica CEO Ilan Yeshua. “For the first time, there’s an encyclopedia of Britannica’s quality in one handy volume. If you want to know the chemical composition of pitchblende, when Jane Austen was born, or who got what in the Peace of Westphalia, it’s all right here.”

The encyclopedia also covers many of the people and issues making news today: George W. Bush, J.K. Rowling, Osama bin Laden, Tiger Woods, cloning, terrorism, globalization, artificial intelligence and the women’s movement.

The compact encyclopedia, the first of several single-volume titles the company plans, marks a new direction for Britannica, whose name has been synonymous with large multivolume reference works since 1768. Former Vice President Al Gore, IBM and others have often used “a Britannica” as a unit of measurement to characterize large quantities of digital information, preferring the image of the massive books to abstract measures such as mega-, giga- and terabytes.

As Britannica develops one-volume titles it continues to move vigorously in the multivolume encyclopedia market. The company recently published a revised printing of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and reacquired the 26-volume Compton’s Encyclopedia, which it published in the past. Britannica is also expanding its offerings on the Internet, CD-ROM and DVD.

General reference encyclopedias, which have been around for centuries, serving as sources of information and summaries of human knowledge, have varied widely in size. One-volume works have long been part of the scene, while some encyclopedias have run to extreme lengths, such as the 167-volume German set published in the 19th century.

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, at 2,080 pages, contains more than 2,000 illustrations. Schools and libraries can purchase the product by calling 1-800-621-3900. Consumers can call 1-800-323-1229 or order from the Britannica online store at . The encyclopedia is also available at select Barnes and Noble bookstores.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. creates and markets products of the highest quality for reference, education and learning. The 32-volume Encyclopaedia Britannica, first published in 1768, is the oldest continuously published reference work in the English language. Since the 1980s Britannica has been a leader in electronic publishing and now publishes encyclopedias and other works in many forms on the Internet, CD-ROM, and DVD. The company makes its headquarters in Chicago and also maintains offices in London, New Delhi, Paris, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo. More information is available at