The Encyclopaedia Britannica was the first English-language compendium to be called an encyclopaedia. It was compiled on a completely new plan, alphabetically arranged, combining easy reference to individual items, terms and minor topics, pioneering a new way to organize and disseminate learning. This milestone in the history of encyclopaedia-making was first issued in one hundred parts in less than three years.
'It is certainly fascinating and physically attractive … Britannica themselves have produced their own reprint of the same first edition … [but] their quality of reproduction is not quite as good as this one, and it was trimmed to a slightly smaller size; it also lacked Frank Kafker's introduction … this is a very desirable item to have in any major reference collection. A copy would be enlightening … not just for the history of reference books, but also for the history of eighteenth century philosophy and culture: it is a fascinating monument to its times, as well as the prototype of one of the world's most famous reference titles.' - Stuart James, Editor of Reference Reviews and Library Review