as in “free bread”,
not as in “free press”.
There is no charge to retrieve & view the articles,
and there is no mechanism to prevent saving individual pages
to disk after retrieving them.
The project offers a CD-ROM
providing the complete content of the
and much of New Advent
minus the site's ads
for a very few dozen dollars
(reference to price in this note is deliberately vague
because there do seem to be seasonal offers
that reduce that price).
Cursory examination has shown
for each C.E.
That's “cursory” in the sense that
every time the author of this
Web page has looked
for Nihil obstat
in the course of reading an article Web page,
the pair of formal approvals appeared in its footer.
Alas, the edition to be transcribed by the project
was not chosen to maximize respect for Catholic tradition;
that was apparently not even considered.
A 1997 general-interest overview article,
by 2 of the project's volunteers,
reported that the 1913 edition was chosen for legal reasons:
“because the later editions are still
under copyright protection.”
Typographical errors are not especially rare,
but they seem to appear at the rate of only 1 or 2 per page.
It seems that most of the errors are minor flaws in spacing,
but there are others best explained as
deficiencies in optical-character recognition (OCR),
or mistaken strokes on adjacent keys.
Collectively, they do
about the quality of proofreading.
To keep these flaws in perspective,
it's important to recognize that
this Internet project,
like the unrelated secular Project Gutenberg
is an all-volunteer effort,
and it's in the nature of volunteers--especially if unpaid--
not to be keen on “controls”.
So the flaws discussed in this note
seem heavily outweighed
by the Web-site's overall value
as a free
resource[$] for traditional Roman Catholics.
The absence of what would seem
to be obviously useful links within some articles
seems to be evidence that not all the articles are on line yet.
The 1997 article
reported “only 25% of the encyclopedia entered”
at that time.
Or perhaps the hypertext mark-up is still added
as a manual process,
and there's a backlog there
that gives the impression of incompleteness.
raises regrettable issues about fidelity to the source material,
a.k.a. data integrity
The opening section of the body
of that article,
discussing political borders,
reports “Armenia has been partitioned
between Turkey, Iran, and (formerly) the Soviet Union”.
“Formerly” according to the 1913 edition of
documented as “completed”
Back then, the country in question
have been the Russian Empire.
own main article on Russia
ends its section on its history
with the assassination of ‘Premier’ Stolypin,
in Sep. 1911
The de facto
‘Soviet’ national government
was not organized until
9 Nov. 1917 (N.S.?),
albeit as the Council of Peoples' Commissars.
A federation named the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
first appeared on 30 Dec. 1922
more than 8 years after
the 1913 edition of the
The epithet “former” was not applicable
until it was dissolved,
by Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachëv,
on Christmas Day 1991.
Such an historical update should never
into the body of an
but should appear instead only
as a clearly delimited note identifying itself as added
by editors or transcribers many decades after publication.
Readers might fairly conclude that
the methods & controls applied to accurately transcribe
articles to the Web
are not yet adequate to prevent tampering
with the original text.
Tsar Nicholas II, proprietor.
Until his abdication 15 Mar. 1918 (N.S.), that is;
nearly 4 years after “completion” of the
Aurelio Palmieri 1912: “Russia
(Rossiiskaia Imperiia; Russkoe Gosudarstvo)”.
Robert Appleton Co.: New York.
(retrieved for New Advent CD Edn. 2.1:
26 Apr. 2010).
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics:
Nominally a federation of
“Russia, the Ukraine, White Russia,
“came into being” on 30 Dec. 1922,
Riasanovsky 1977, p. 526, 540.
The explanation above now seems more plausible than
an earlier inference, based on never having observed
an article numbered as great as 16000,
that more than 15,000 articles were planned
to be on line eventually.
In a sample of more than 180 hypertext links,
the final 3 digits, inferred to be a page number,
combined for a number as great as 800.
Whereas each of the 29 volumes of its contemporary:
of the Encyclopædia
typically has more than 900 pp.,
with 40,000 ‘subject headings’ total,
the more modest 10 volumes of the 1st
of the secular World Book
contain only 6,528 pp. total.