Field of Science

Do you remember Encyclopedia?

I grew up in rural Indiana and we did not get the internet until my late middle school / early high school years. Before then there were these fabulous items called Encyclopedia. Perhaps many of you remember them? They were a large hardbound set of books where you could answer all your burning knowledge questions, before Google. We had a set when I was growing up and I remember spending hours looking up countries, topics or animals that I was interested in reading about. Often I would have questions and my Dad would send me to the encyclopedia to look things up. It was so much more fulfilling than the internet.

So what stimulated this post? Recently Dr. Eric Karlin sent me an email letting me know about another article featuring his Sphagnum study in the encyclopedia Britannica blog. I thought it would be nice to link to this post and I thus had encyclopedia on my mind. Happy reading!


  1. I remember using The World Book encyclopedia in grade school. I suppose that it is sad that they have no place in today's instant update world.

  2. I think that reading real live books is a much more enjoyable and tactile experience compared to reading on the screen. Also I felt like I could have confidence that the information had been fact checked and was accurate. I do recall being aware of the information that was out of date. I think that you are right; for most folks the instantaneous nature of today's information is a necessity.

    Thanks for the comment - Jess


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