On 28/06/05, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>
I can see the EB list being used that way,
especially by newbies. The list just shows what we don't have; it does
not suggest that the potential contributor seek out the Britannica
article. If instead it inspires someone to research an otherwise
obscure historical personage, then we all benefit.
The "obscure historical personage" is one of the key things for us; I
think we're past the stage that we run the risk of failing to include
a field of academic interest through not knowing about it (Having a
bad article through no expert knowledge is another matter). But a lot
of those personages will be in the 1911 Encyclopedia, or the various
other old encyclopedias we have lists for - I just went to look at the
project page, and was happily surprised to see that Britannica is just
one of a set of similar projects being undertaken as comparisons.
Hmm. The original Oxford /Dictionary of National Biography/ was
originally printed in 1909. It'd be an excellent source for things
like this; I wonder if an index is available? I note that the
Australian and Canadian equivalents have had lists set up.
Yes there is, and there is a statistical analysis in reprint volume 22.
Each reprint volume (which consolidated 3 original volumes each) has its
own index. What's more the original body was in alphabetical order anyway.