Browsable Resource: Britannica Online

You might think of an online encyclopedia as a place just for factfinding, but the good people at Britannica have definitely worked hard on making this a place to play and explore for users of all ages.

When you enter the Britannica Library, you have the option of entering through one of three portals: Children, Young Adults, and Reference Center. There's an interface in Spanish, as well!


When you enter the portal for Children, opens a new window, you arrive on a page of brilliant green filled with icons and things to explore. A revolving carousel of quizzes and word walls shimmies across the top half, and you can start clicking on icons immediately.

Each click leads you to a new list to click or explore, whether it is Media, where you can see lots of pictures and videos, or Compare Countries, where you can just start randomly picking countries and seeing the differences in their governments, populations, language, etc. This feature is actually available at all the levels, with varying information.  You can double click any word for the definition or Spanish translation, or translate the whole page (not just into Spanish, but nearly every language with written text)!


The Young Adult portal, opens a new window features a bit more information on the homepage, with lots of information to gather without clicking anywhere at all (though you might have to do a little scrolling). Once you click you way into an article, the information is at an intermediate reading level. You can click the Reading Level buttons at the top to make the language simpler or more complex:

You can do this in the Children and Adults portals too.

Browse biographies, read recommended U.S. primary source documents, and play with the World Atlas powered by Google—which means you can use Street View for any place in the world while you're still inside Britannica.

Reference Center

And then we have the big shebang. The full use Britannica Reference Center, opens a new window. Explore the same way you can at the kids and teen levels, with even more and even more complex approaches to that information.

Is there a popular news article you've been thinking about? There might be a Behind the News breakdown with all the background information you might need. Do you like knowing what has happened on this day in years past? Read all about it here. There are so many rabbit holes to fall down just from the home page!

So if you're a surfer, not a seeker, this is definitely going to keep you busy for a while. Have at it!