"a complete set of the Britannica"
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1911)
Creative Commons AttributionEncyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1911) - Credit: Stewart Butterfield

The Encyclopaedia Britannica has been respected as a reliable source of information since the late eighteenth century, when the first edition was produced in Scotland (between 1768 and 1771). It is the oldest publication of its kind in the world: its founders, Colin MacFarquhar, Andrew Bell and William Smellie intended it to be "the worldwide leader in reference, education and learning".