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