Collier's Encyclopedia (full title: Collier's Encyclopedia with Bibliography and Index) is a discontinued United States-based general encyclopedia published by Crowell, Collier and Macmillan. Self-described in its preface as "a scholarly, systematic, continuously revised summary of the knowledge that is most significant to mankind", it was long considered one of the three major contemporary English-language general encyclopedias, together with Encyclopedia Americana and Encyclopædia Britannica : the three were sometimes collectively called "the ABCs".
P.F. Collier & Son Company first published Chandler's Encyclopedia: An Epitome of Human Knowledge with chemist William Henry Chandler as editor-in-chief as early as 1898.The edition of this Encyclopedia was published in only three volumes. Chandler notes in the preface that the purpose of this encyclopedia was to be manageable in size and sold for an affordable price. The goal for the encyclopedia was to be brief and provide one paragraph per subject. An example given by the author was if one was looking for an English or Italian poet, you would find them under their name and not a large article on English or Italian literature.
P.F. Collier & Son Company published Collier's New Encyclopedia from 1902–1929, initially in 16 volumes and later in 10 volumes.
Collier's 11 volume National Encyclopedia (1932–1950) replaced Collier's New Encyclopedia.
In 1949 the entirely new 20 volume Collier's Encyclopedia replaced the National Encyclopedia.
After Robert Collier's death in 1918, P.F. Collier & Son Company was bought by Crowell Publishing Company (later the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company). In 1950 Collier Books published the 20-volume Collier's Encyclopedia (full title Collier's Encyclopedia with Bibliography and Index). It was expanded to 24 volumes in 1962. Until its print edition ceased in 1998, Collier's Encyclopedia was sold almost exclusively door-to-door, one of the last big-ticket items of that nature in the United States.In fact in the 1930-50s one of the qualifiers for the door to door salesman to determine if one could afford the books, was if there was a telephone present in the household..To make 24 volumes more affordable, they were purchased one or two volumes each month over one or two years. For many families they became a status symbol.
In 1993, Atlas Editions acquired Collier's Encyclopedia from Macmillan Inc.
The 1997 edition has 23,000 entries with few short entries, as related subjects are usually consolidated into longer articles. A high percentage of the illustrations are in color, and more full-color illustrations had been added in recent years resulting in pictorial matter accounting for about two-fifths of the pages. Bibliographies are found in the last volume which also contains the 450,000 entry essential index. An annual Collier's Year Book was also published.
In 1998 Microsoft bought the rights to Collier's electronic version and incorporated it into its Encarta electronic encyclopedia. Atlas Editions (formerly Collier Newfield) retained the rights to publish the encyclopedia in book form, though since then, Collier's has ceased to be in print.
A well-known comparison is that of Kenneth Kister, who gave a qualitative and quantitative comparison of Collier's Encyclopedia with the Encyclopædia Britannica and the Encyclopedia Americana. 's 95% and Britannica's 92%. In the timeliness category, Collier's averaged an 85% to Americana's 90% and Britannica's 86%. After a more thorough qualitative comparison of all three encyclopedias, Kister recommended Collier's Encyclopedia primarily on the strength of its writing, presentation and navigation.For the quantitative analysis, ten articles were selected at random (circumcision, Charles Drew, Galileo, Philip Glass, heart disease, IQ, panda bear, sexual harassment, Shroud of Turin and Uzbekistan) and letter grades (A–D, F) were awarded in four categories: coverage, accuracy, clarity, and recency. In all four categories and for all three encyclopaedias, the four average grades fell between B− and B+, chiefly because not one encyclopaedia had an article on sexual harassment in 1994. In the accuracy category, Collier's received one D and seven As. Encyclopedia Americana received eight As, and the Britannica received one D and eight As; thus, Collier's received an average score of 92% for accuracy to Americana
An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either from all branches or from a particular field or discipline. Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries that are often arranged alphabetically by article name and sometimes by thematic categories. Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, unlike dictionary entries—which focus on linguistic information about words, such as their etymology, meaning, pronunciation, use, and grammatical forms—encyclopedia articles focus on factual information concerning the subject named in the article's title.
The Encyclopædia Britannica is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., and other publishers. It was written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors. The 2010 version of the 15th edition, which spans 32 volumes and 32,640 pages, was the last printed edition.
The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1910–11), is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopaedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, and many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic. Some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Encyclopedia Americana is one of the largest general encyclopedias in American English language. Following the acquisition of Grolier in 2000, the encyclopedia has been produced by Scholastic.
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Kenneth F. Kister is an academic, professor of library science and authority in the field of reference and information sources.
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Dobson's Encyclopædia was the first encyclopedia issued in the newly independent United States of America, published by Thomas Dobson from 1789–1798. Encyclopædia was the full title of the work, with Dobson's name at the bottom of the title page.
Everyman's Encyclopaedia is an encyclopedia published by Joseph Dent from 1913 as part of the Everyman's Library.
The Lincoln Library of Essential Information was originally published as a one-volume general-reference work, in 1924. In later years, it was published in two- and three-volume editions, and the title was changed.
Crowell-Collier Publishing Company was an American publisher that owned the popular magazines Collier's, Woman's Home Companion and The American Magazine. Crowell also published general interest books and references such as Collier's Encyclopedia and the Harvard Classics series of books.
The New Standard Encyclopedia was the most common name for an encyclopedia that ran from 1910 to the mid-1960s.
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