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The Probert Encyclopaedia
Your Questions Answered

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you competing with Britannica/Encarta?
Why is this article short?
What are sections?
Why are people listed firstname-lastname?
Can I use this picture?
Where is it hosted?
I think you've got it wrong!
How big is it?
Can I link to you?
Can I license data?
Who is responsible?

Are You Competing With Britannica/Encarta?

People often think The Probert Encyclopaedia is in competition with other large encyclopaedias such as Britannica and Encarta. It is not. The Probert Encyclopaedia seeks to complement other encyclopaedias by specialising in the data they omit, and presenting a large volume of short, specialised and inter-linked articles in contrast to the fewer more general articles presented by other encyclopaedias.

Why Is This Article Short?

The Probert Encyclopaedia utilises a web approach of many concise articles linked together by hypertext links, rather than repeating the same information in associated articles. This we feel enables the reader to quickly get the facts, and then research a topic more deeply should the reader wish, rather than overwhelming the reader in the first instance with a large volume of, perhaps, unrequired information.

What Are Sections?

The Probert Encyclopaedia sub-divides information into categorised sections, in a fashion much like the Pears Cyclopaedia. Thus, articles with the same heading, such as 'Lynx', but with very different contexts will appear in separate sections. Reading about the Lynx cat in the nature section the reader may be oblivious to the astronomical constellation of Lynx and the computer programme known as Lynx. If one was interested in the Lynx cat then these two additional articles about 'Lynx' would not be required. Hence we separate them into their relevant sections.

Why Are People Listed Firstname-Lastname?

The Probert Encyclopaedia refers to people in the same way that human beings refer to them, by their first name followed by their family name. This is different to other reference works where people are listed by their family name first. We have done this to facilitate easy referencing of articles about people from related articles. It does mean, however, that to locate an article about a person you need to search on their first name followed by their family name, and not simply their family name.

Can I Use This Picture?

You may use any of the pictures in The Probert Encyclopaedia in your own projects. But, you should not link directly to pictures served from our web server from your web site. Instead, copy the pictures you want to your own web server. We do monitor requests to our web server, and regularly change the names of pictures, so if you are linking directly to a picture you may find it changes from what you expect to an advert for The Probert Encyclopaedia, or simply does not display any longer. Please note: some pictures in The Probert Encyclopaedia have been obtained from the public domain in good faith, but may have been released without the copyright holder's permission, while we never knowingly include any copyright images accidents can happen and we cannot guarantee the status of images you choose to copy.

Where Is It Hosted?

The Probert Encyclopaedia is hosted on its own server at, with a UK gateway at
Other sites you find on the web are unofficial hosts of an early public domain edition of the Probert Encyclopaedia released through the Simtel network of freeware and shareware.

I Think You've Got It Wrong!

Despite rigorous attempts to corroborate all information supplied, occassionally errors will occur. While we welcome suggested corrections, please supply corroborating evidence in support of your suggestion - you should be suprised how often we are correct and other sources are wrong.

How Big Is It?

As of April 2007, the Probert Encyclopaedia consisted of:
  • 235,000+ references
  • 138,000+ headings
  • 3,824,000+ words
  • 23,600,000+ bytes of raw data
  • 14,600+ illustrations and photos

Can I Link To You?

Please feel free to link to pages of this encyclopaedia as you wish, but do NOT link to pages or images causing them to be served from our server to be displayed on your web site. Incidentally, linking to external web sites helps to improve your own web site's rankings with the search engines.

Can I License Data?

Yes. The Probert Encyclopaedia sells data not only in e-book form but also licenses data for redistribution by companies within their own applications and publications. Licensed data includes pictures when required and does not require any reference to be given to The Probert Encyclopaedia. Prices vary, depending upon what data is required, but are all a single payment for a lifetime, transferable, unrestricted, license. Data may be supplied in various formats as required.


Grateful thanks are due to the following people who, since this project started in 1993, have provided the support, encouragement, assistance and contributions without which The Probert Encyclopaedia would not have been produced:
  • Barbara Anne Farwig
  • Paul Steven Farwig
  • Malcolm Rowe
  • Deloris Probert
  • Jonathon Probert
  • Jeremy Probert
  • Stephen Yarrow
  • Dave Mayer
  • Dave Beecham
  • David James
  • Barry Fewtrell
  • Diane Wyatt
  • Thierry Brethes
  • Benedicte Scotto
  • Dylan Parry
  • Sicco Ens (Dutch Butterfly Conservation)
  • New Forest Otter, Owl and Wildlife Conservation Park
  • Brendan Delaney
  • Kathleen Patane
  • Peter Holder

The Probert Encyclopaedia is written by Matt Probert and Leela Probert and published electronically by The Probert Encyclopaedia
©1993 - 2007 The Probert Encyclopaedia
Harefield, Southampton, England, SO18 5HN