Value of Encyclopedia Britannica?

We have the whole set, 1974 Britannica Encyclopedias 1-23 and Index, which was handed to us. I am wanting to know how much they would be worth.

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November 3, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Encyclopedias that are +100 years old are valuable to collectors as long as they are in good condition. Depending on the year of the book, condition of the cover and pages will determine the price. However, encyclopedia that only date back to 1974 have no value whatsoever.

If you try to donate the books to a school, library, or thrift store, they won't accept them. These institutions receive so many encyclopedias that they normally end up sending them to a paper recycle center. Selling the books online will prove rather expensive when you try to ship them to the buyer.

Your best bet is to put these out at a yard sale and see if anyone would like to buy them from you. If the books are nicely illustrated, a few crafters will take the books to make crafts with them.


It is very hard to get rid of these books because they have no real value to people. All the information is readily available online and people no longer need these types of reference books.

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February 28, 20200 found this helpful

Actually the internet is a poor resource for encyclopaedic information. You are far better getting a 30-50 year old copy of almost any Encyclopedia than looking at free online offerings.

Something like Wikipedia is very badly written, maths articles are impossible to understand unless you are a maths undergraduate. Medical articles are downright dangerous. And so it goes on and on. One article will contradict another, dates are mixed up, those editing are in a constant ideological battle. Almost all of the major encyclopaedic articles, at least the readable ones, are from the 1911EB.


There are more articles on fictional cities and towns then real ones on this planet.

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November 2, 20170 found this helpful

Many people have old books they think are valuable and would like to sell. Most old dictionaries, references etc., have very little value, a few dollars at most. Encyclopedias dated after 1923 are essentially worthless but crafters may be interested for the old pictures. Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc., receive donations of tons of old encyclopedias, dictionaries and reference books but send them to recycling centers or dumps as they cannot use or sell them.
You can check online for old book collectors, on EBay, Craigs List and other retail sites for possibilities. Everything is now online and updated constantly so old books are just that-old.

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November 3, 20170 found this helpful

Unless it is both complete and 100 years old or more, it has no value. Donate it and take the tax deduction instead.

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November 3, 20170 found this helpful

$20-$30 at most depending on what the buyer uses them for (ie: decoration, repurposing, etc)

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