Uses for Old Encyclopedias

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April 2, 2012

One volume of a Harver World encyclopedia.Most of the time old sets of encyclopedias are worth nothing. If the sets are very old there might be some artistic quality in the old pictures that are in them. For instance pictures of cities in the 1800's or even more recently. These pictures could be cut out, enlarged and put in frames. Especially pictures of places that have changed or no longer exist. I am not sure about copyrights pertaining to them but if they are for your own use or for children's projects and not for selling it probably would be fine.


By Lilac from Springfield, MA

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May 29, 2015

Since old encyclopedia sets are hard to sell and no one has the space for them anymore, individual volumes make great "birthday" or event cards. Give the volume that is the initial of the person ...

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9 Questions

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October 21, 2016

I have a complete set of the World Book Encyclopedia. I want to give it away. I live in Randallstown, Maryland.


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October 23, 20162 found this helpful

You may find it difficult to find someone to take your set. Encyclopedias published after 1923 are worthless; even Goodwill and Salvation Army won't take them so they end up in landfill. Everything is now online and updated constantly so people are not interested in large sets of outdated books.


Consider contacting child care agencies, churches, senior craft centers etc., as they may be interested in the books for the pictures. Yes, sad!

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September 16, 20170 found this helpful

I am cleaning out my Dad's house who passed away in Clarksville. He has an old 70's I think set of encyclopedias.
Are you interested? You can just have them.

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October 16, 20170 found this helpful

I have a full set of encyclopedia brittania along with entire children's encyclopedia set. I live in Toronto. If you are interested in them.

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January 23, 2010

I would like to sell a set of 1985 Collier encyclopedias or find a good home for them. Any suggestions?

By Marge Polakiewicz from central NJ


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January 23, 20100 found this helpful

If you want to give them to a good casue you could try a local boys/girls club. Or a church even, especially one with an after school program.

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January 28, 20100 found this helpful

Do you have a ronald mcdonald house by you or a children's hospital, maybe a shriner's hospital All 3 would be glad to have them. These places have to have the children there for extended periods of time, most of the children have to do schooling at the hospital.

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January 28, 20100 found this helpful

Check E-Bay, they might be collectibles. I remember having that set as a child.

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January 28, 20101 found this helpful

As a former teacher, I say call your local elementary school and ask if they would be interested in using them. They could be used in the library or the classroom or even in the art room for projects.

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January 28, 20101 found this helpful

Take them to your local library. Even if that branch doesn't need them they will pass them along to another branch or a charity.

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December 9, 2014

We have an old set of World Book encyclopedia and Childcraft with several yearly updates. Is there anywhere we can donate them?

By Cindy H from western IA


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August 10, 20170 found this helpful

St.Vincent de Paul picks up. You can also drop off at Goodwill

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August 11, 20170 found this helpful

You can donate books dictionary's encyclopedias at school's and Library's

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August 18, 20170 found this helpful

If you can find the recent post from the woman on here wanting a particular book, the one with the human body and the overlays that childcraft had in their books for several years, she might take them.

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August 20, 20170 found this helpful

i have a friend who works at a small private pre-K/early education centre and they always welcome donations of any sort, i would look for some in your area


i would post a FREEE ad on craigslist and on the new facebook groups that appear

aside form that the St Vincents or the NKF or the Salvation Army picks things up and you can get the tax writeoff

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January 31, 2015

My mom has a complete set of World Book large print dated in the 50s. What can she do with them?

By Jennifer


February 1, 20150 found this helpful

I make "book lamps".

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February 5, 20150 found this helpful

It is sad but there is almost no place to dispose of these sets but you can check out eBay, Google sites, and maybe Craigslist. It is sometimes very difficult to even give them away - library sales will not usually accept sets.


But, try Free-cycle in your city to see if anyone would like to have them.

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November 4, 2012

Encyclopedias on bookshelf.We have a 30 volume set and wish to find someone who would want it or know what to do with it besides put it in the dumpster. Anyone have any ideas, please.

By Marilyn


July 27, 20130 found this helpful

Hi, I've been looking for a set of encyclopedias that I used to have as a child and used all the time. Sadly, I cannot remember the name of them. These look similar to them, but I cannot be sure.


Can you tell me, does this particular set have summaries of great works of literature at the end of each book?

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February 21, 2017

Although old encyclopedias don't typically have value as reference books, they are sometimes of value to crafters. This is a page about donating old encyclopedias.

Old Encyclopedias

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 23, 2010

I have a 30 year old set of Encyclopedia Britannica in almost pristine condition. I must downsize and dispose of them.


I have called thrift shops, rescue mission, library and no one wants them.

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