Would you keep a set of 1968 Encyclopedia Britannicas? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Disclaimer: I'm not a "real" homeschooler. My ds entered kindy this year at a small school (62 kids, K-12), but we have always done an enormous amount of learning at home to this point and that is what this post is about.

So, I was given a set of 1968 Encyclopedia Britannicas.

They're a bit outdated, but it is a complete set and it is the E.B.

The people who gave them to us said "We know you do a lot at home, and these will help your kids learn to "look things up", so here you go."

I'm not sure if I want to keep them until the kids are of age to independently look stuff up and all, but I can't decide if I will regret it if I get rid of them.

Do you find that outdated resources like this are still usable to you in hs'ing, or am I wasting energy and space?

Thanks!

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#2 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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There's no way I would. My house is small, and we have so many books already. I would trust precious little in a 1968 encyclopedia to be accurate by current standards, so we would always need to check a second source anyway.

Much of the EB content is available on-line. A fair bit for free. And there are so many other internet sources.

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#3 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 06:05 PM
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No, I would not keep that set, and I love books.

Learning how to use the Internet as an informational resource is so much more important, IMO, than learning how to look things up in an encyclopedia. Really, there isn't much to learn about how to use an encyclopedia, other than knowing alphabetical order.

I wouldn't even keep a brand new encyclopedia set. Waste of space, seeing as information changes so quickly and you can buy an entire encyclopedia set on CD-ROM.
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#4 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 06:25 PM
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Nope, in fact we just paid the dump to get rid of them. Someone gave us a set too--I told dh to find out the year (because they take up so much space) and the person said a fairly recent year. Turns out that the set was from the 60s and they also had all the yearbook updates which is why they told us the more current year. Ugh! I can't believe dh took them home.

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#5 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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No way. I only just got rid of my set from the mid-80s, that I was holding onto for the same reason. But in looking through it, there is sooooo much that is out of date. It's a really great resource if you want to find out all about the USSR, though.

I would LOVE a newer set. I toy with the idea of getting a set of the World Book encyclopedias, which seem to be one of the last remaining print ones available. I think that there is A LOT to be gained from having a paper set, and my kids will definitely be learning old fashioned research tools. But it's ridiculously expensive, so we'll probably just end up using the library's.

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#6 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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no. i gave our encyclopedia set away on freecycle. if i were to keep a set though, i'd really love the childcraft volume!

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#7 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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I personally would not keep paper encyclopedias in the house regardless of the date. They are not very good "cite-able" resources at all.

Maybe recycle them for pictures and paper crafts?
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#8 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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YES!.... Not so much for reference but for history.
If I had the space and assuming the books were in good condition I would take them in a second.

Ds and I love learning about the way things were, what people thought, how things were done... a complete set of 45yr old encyclopedias would be awesome

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#9 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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I wouldn't even keep a brand new encyclopedia set. Waste of space, seeing as information changes so quickly and you can buy an entire encyclopedia set on CD-ROM.


AND you can get pretty much anything else at the library, old and new resources. I'd rather have a bookshelf full of good literature or art supplies or sheet music or any number of other things.
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#10 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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No way, Jose. I wouldn't even keep a brand new set. Wikipedia is my friend.

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#11 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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No way, Jose. I wouldn't even keep a brand new set. Wikipedia is my friend.
Wikipedia is not a valid reference.... As a teacher this is a major pet peeve....

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#12 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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No I would not. You can go to by a subscription to encyclopedias or some libraries have one open to anyone.

Wikipedia is not a valid source for research but you need to be teaching your child that and how to find valid information.

Wikipedia can be an awesome starting point if you know nothing but you should always search further.
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#13 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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Everything is biased. Humans are biased. The winners get to write the history books. I'm not going to find an unbiased source of information.

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#14 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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Yeah, another person who would REALLY not encourage teaching your child that Wikipedia is a valid source. They'll have to learn otherwise when they get to college anyway, so you might as well teach them to do research the correct way now.

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#15 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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I wouldn't keep a set of encyclopedias but I have kept outdated science and history books. As he grew, they became an invaluable resouce of how science changes as scientists learn and discover new things. How history and science isn't static or set in stone but expands as knowledge is gained and changed with new discoveries.

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#16 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:24 PM
 
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Everything is biased. Humans are biased. The winners get to write the history books. I'm not going to find an unbiased source of information.
Who said "unbiased"? Wikipedia is unreliable, period. It's hit or miss whether the article you're looking at was written by someone who knows what they're talking about, whether it's been changed as someone's idea of a joke, and if any of the information is even correct.

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#17 of 32 Old 09-28-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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Well then, instead of saying "Wikipedia is my friend", pretend I said, "the internet is my friend." "Wikipedia" just sounded good because we're talking about encyclopedias. Whatever site one uses, personally I would not waste all the shelf space a set of encyclopedias would take up. I would research things on the internet instead. And even then I'd take it all with a grain of salt! But at least the information wouldn't be taking up my shelf space!lol

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#18 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
YES!.... Not so much for reference but for history.
If I had the space and assuming the books were in good condition I would take them in a second.

Ds and I love learning about the way things were, what people thought, how things were done... a complete set of 45yr old encyclopedias would be awesome

Me too!! My parents have the set that we had when I was a kid (they are from the late 70s) I loved them!! I would happily keep a set like that!

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#19 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Wikipedia is not a valid reference.... As a teacher this is a major pet peeve....
However Wikipedia is an excellent starting point for research. It often offers information in a succinct and clear format and then follows that up with loads and loads of sources. So you look it up on Wikipedia and then you follow their source trails, viola, excellent research! It doesn't mean you specifically cite Wikipedia, it means you use it as a resource. You don't cite the card catalog!
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#20 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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However Wikipedia is an excellent starting point for research. It often offers information in a succinct and clear format and then follows that up with loads and loads of sources. So you look it up on Wikipedia and then you follow their source trails, viola, excellent research! It doesn't mean you specifically cite Wikipedia, it means you use it as a resource. You don't cite the card catalog!
i agree. it's not my "go-to" site (especially regarding hot topics such as politics, people,. etc), but it otherwise serves as a pretty good source for most things i need to reference.

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#21 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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Not only would I keep it: I DO keep one. I have two encylopedia sets. One from the 20's and one from the 60's. I also have 40 years worth of "book of the year" ranging from 40's to 70's. Phew....it's a lot of books but fun to look up and see the point of view from a different era.

And yes, DH has actually successfully used them as a source for a college class.

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#22 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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I'd cut up the 1968 encyclopedia for time line figures.

Wikipedia is, of course, hit or miss. However, just last night I read the "Michael Collins" entry to get some insights into the civil war that followed the Irish war for freedom from English rule.
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#23 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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You could keep them, but not necessarily use them as encyclopedias. I have a friend who, some years back, bought an entire set of law books. Big, heavy, hardcover things (like encyclopedias). Then she made book shelves out of them. I wish I had a picture. They were pretty cool.

Your kids might like them. Books are eminently more browseable than the internet. I remember spending hours at school just looking through the encyclopedias and dictionaries, not looking for anything in particular, but seeing if anything caught my eye. It might be a good jumping off point for something they didn't know they were interested in. If I had the space, I'd keep them.
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#24 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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#25 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, those shelves are really cool.

The thing of it is, I love to browse encyclopedias and dictionaries and maps and stuff. I will own the OED someday... I just couldn't decide if I wanted to keep the space for an older reference that my kids may never use and that wouldn't be valid for reference papers and all. I tend toward over-decluttering/minimalism, but I have a soft spot for books and reference materials.

Hmmm. I'm still conflicted.

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#26 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Okay, those shelves are really cool.

The thing of it is, I love to browse encyclopedias and dictionaries and maps and stuff. I will own the OED someday... I just couldn't decide if I wanted to keep the space for an older reference that my kids may never use and that wouldn't be valid for reference papers and all. I tend toward over-decluttering/minimalism, but I have a soft spot for books and reference materials.

Hmmm. I'm still conflicted.
They're not going to publish the OED in print anymore I'm so sad. That's been, like, one of my biggest life dreams for years and years!

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#27 of 32 Old 09-29-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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If I had space I would. Growing up we had a 1918 World Book, as well as a more recent encyclopedia. The old World Book was beautiful to look at as well full of interesting ideas from the era.
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#28 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 03:53 AM
 
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LOVE THIS!!!
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#29 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 03:55 AM
 
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i have a mid 80s set. I would keep them lots of things change or new information is added but a lot stays the same. the fall of the roman empire or the basics of life in ancient egypt isn't going to change. They provide a good jumping off point for more research and a great to just flip through and go 'Oooooo gee i wanna know more about THAT?'

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#30 of 32 Old 09-30-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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I will own the OED someday.
Oh yeah! Me too! Somehow I can't justify the cost of an online subscription, but if I come across an actual print edition that's reasonably in date, I'm so getting it. Maybe even not reasonably in date.

As an OED aside, has anyone here read The Professor and the Madman. It's a fictionalized true (that's an oxymoron, isn't it?) account of how the OED came to be. Fascinating.
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