Importing encyclopedia files

It’s long been a dream of mine to keep the entire Encylopedia Brittanica on my hard drive, fully searchable and integrated into the rest of my online resources.

DT seems like the perfect application to hold an encyclopedia. Does anyone have any experience with EB or WorldBook or other CD/DVD-based encyclopedia? Can their files be imported into DT?

Don’t know about importing files to DT, but you can get the whole of the Britannica DVD on your hard drive (though Britannica don’t seem to want you to, as this was undocumented the last time I looked). It’s some time since I did it (with the 2002 DVD), but as far as I remember I did the fullest possible version of the install from the DVD, then created a disk image of the whole DVD on my hard drive, with the same name as the DVD. Every time Britannica prompts for the DVD (for Quicktime movies etc) you simply mount the disk image.

I would advise against copying a large reference source, such as EB, to a local hard drive. As a practical matter, the copy will quickly go out of date: EB constantly revises and updates its articles and often reassigns their authorship.

But the legal issue is more important: if you have a license to browse the EB, that does not give you the right to download its entire contents. You cannot do that with the 1911 edition, hosted at Here is their statement on use of contents:

  1. Use on Other Web Sites. The Contents are licensed only for the personal, household, educational use by a single individual. Reproducing Content on another site or redistributing Content is forbidden. Taking Content from this site and editing it and posting it on another site is also forbidden. Framing of this site is forbidden.

Wholesale copying is most likely seen as "redistributing Content."