It was edited in part by the publisher, but under the charge of Dr Andrew Findlater as acting editor. It was founded on the 10th edition of Brockhaus. A revised edition appeared in 1874, 8,320 pages. The index of matters not having special articles contained about 1,500 headings. The articles were generally excellent, more especially on Jewish literature, folk-lore and practical science; but, as in Brockhaus, the scope of the work did not allow extended treatment. A further revision took place, and in 1888-1892 an entirely new edition was published, in 10 vols., still further new editions being issued in 1895 and in 1901.
A completely new encyclopaedia under this name was published in 1950 by George Newnes, Ltd.