The first edition of The World Book Encyclopedia, issued in 1917, set a new direction for encyclopedia publishing. “As a rule,” wrote Editor in Chief Michael Vincent O’Shea in thre preface to that first edition,  “enycyclopedias are apt to be quite formal and technical. A faithful effort has been made in the World Book to avoid this common defect.” Since World Book first appeared, in addition to ensuring its accuracy and up-to-dateness, its editors have worked to make information come alive with clear, interesting writing and informative, inviting illustrations.

The 1917 edition consisted of 8 volumes of 6,300 pages. Its title page carried the name of the Hanson-Roach-Fowler Company as publisher. But within two years, World Book had become the property of W. F. Quarrie & Company, which guided its growth for the next quarter century. Quarrie began the practice of publishing a revised edition every year,  a tradition that – except for 1920, 1924, and 1932 – has continued to the present day. The first major revision of World Book appeared in 1929. The “new” edition consisted of 13 volumes.

The 1930’s saw the formation of an Editorial Advisory Board composed of distinguished educators. The Board launched an analysis of typical school curriculums, which provided the editors with data on the subjects being studied in all grades from kindergarten to high school. Today, World Book editors continue to develop content that meets curriculum needs.

In 1945, The World Book Encyclopedia became the property of Field Enterprises, Inc. Two years later, the second major revision of World Book was published. It expanded the set to 19 volumes.

In 1955, World Book launched the Classroom Research Program, in which students in many classrooms fill out cards telling what they looked up in World Book. The cards provide the editors with data on actual student usage of World Book. The third major revision of World Book was published in 1960. It increased the set’s size to 20 volumes.

During the 1970’s, two new features enhanced the set’s ease of use. The addition of the Research Guide/Index for the 1972 edition, which expanded the set to its present 22 volumes, provided readers with an in-depth index and guidance in conducting independent research. Metric equivalents were included for virtually all the measurements in World Book for the 1975 edition, giving readers measurements in both the inch-pound system and the metric system. In 1978, World Book was purchased by the firm of Scott Fetzer.

The editorial pace quickened in the 1980’s, culminating with the fourth major revision of World Book in 1988. Highlights included a new typeface and page design, and some 10,000 new editorial features.

World Book has been a vital force in education since it was first published in 1917. Over the years, World Book has gained an unexcelled reputation for its quality, integrity, and value. Its encyclopedia has become the largest selling and most used encyclopedia in the world, and its other educational products have also come into extensive use both in homes and schools.

We take a heartfelt interest in helping parents in the critical early education of their child, and is what our products revolve around. What your child learns during these critical periods will determine his future ability to excel in his lifelong learning. As you may aware of his/her


Reviewers, researchers, scholars, teachers, parents and students all extol the virtues of The World Book Encyclopedia, Childcraft, Young Scientist, Early World of Learning, Learning Ladders, Welcome to Reading and many of our other products.