Save Grandma’s Encyclopedia… I’ll Tell You Why

You should save Grandma’s encyclopedia and I’ll tell you why. It holds the history of the world and it’s more candidly told than it would be today. I’m reading an encyclopedia that was published in the early 1950’s and has an earlier publishing date of 1945. Meaning that the research was done during the early twentieth-century. Don’t let the outdated publishing deter you. I’m impressed by the accuracy of the scientific articles, much of what they wrote is just now hitting the mainstream.

When the writers, (probably the best in the world) wrote about cultures, they were not as concerned about offending people or being sued. Authors today must be socially and politically correct. Of course, in 1945, authors had ethics but the rules were different. I’ve not run across any encyclopedia writer who intentioned malice. The authors went around the world, wrote about the people and took pictures, or had a photographer. Their intent was to share the world to those back home.

I assume that Google is scanning old encyclopedias. I hope so. I also hope that people will take a second look at their value. If you do get rid of it, I hope it finds its way into the hands of people like me, who didn’t pay enough attention in school or wasn’t in Castile, Spain in 1940. But after reading the articles, I feel like I’ve been there. Even more so, after seeing the colorful pictures. And because the authors weren’t hindered by political correctness, I know exactly what the people looked like.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:


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