Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary

Last updated
Title pages of Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Brockhaus and Efron titles.jpg
Title pages of Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedic Dictionary.
A part of the 86 volumes of Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Brockhaus and Efron (ddima).JPG
A part of the 86 volumes of Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedic Dictionary.

The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopaedic Dictionary (Russian : Энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона, romanized: Entsiklopedicheskiy slovar Brokgauza i Yefrona, abbr. ЭСБЕ, ESBE; 35 volumes, small; 86 volumes, large) is a comprehensive multi-volume encyclopaedia in Russian. It contains 121,240 articles, 7,800 images, and 235 maps. It was published in Imperial Russia in 1890–1907, as a joint venture of Leipzig and St Petersburg publishers. The articles were written by the prominent Russian scholars of the period, such as Dmitri Mendeleev and Vladimir Solovyov. Reprints have appeared following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.



In 1889, the owner of one of the St. Petersburg printing houses, Ilya Abramovich Efron, at the initiative of Semyon Afanasyevich Vengerov, entered into an agreement with the German publishing house F. A. Brockhaus for the translation into Russian of the large German encyclopaedic dictionary (de) into Russian as Энциклопедический словарь Брокгауза и Ефрона, published by the same publishing house. Initially, it was supposed to be limited to the translation of this publication, but only with a more detailed presentation of issues related to Russia. It was supposed to release only 16–18 volumes.

The first eight volumes (up to the letter "B"), published under the general editorship of Professor Ivan Efimovich Andreevsky, were almost literal translation with a slight adaptation for the Russian reader. These volumes caused a lot of complaints about the quality of the translation, and the overall management of the publication also left much to be desired. So, the journal "Northern Herald" noted: "There are too many significant shortcomings. There is too little effort, love, and, what is stranger, not enough impressive edition, both literary and purely scholarly!" (1890. № 4. - pp. 76-77), and the journal "Historical Bulletin" added to this that the Encyclopaedic Dictionary was "carelessly and unsatisfactorily compiled. The very language of the articles is heavy and in places wrong. The translation is immediately visible, and it is far from a professorial one, but a gymnasium, awkward, literal" (1890, No. 5. – p. 454).

After the death of Professor Ivan Andreevsky, the editorial office was headed by Academician Konstantin Konstantinovich Arseniev and Professor of St. Petersburg University Fyodor Fomich Petrushevsky, which marked a new period in the encyclopaedia's history. Starting from the 9th volume, the translated material fades into the background, there is much more factual and statistical material. Particular attention is paid to geographical articles, the editorial states: "Russian cities are located absolutely everything, with the addition of more townships, villages and villages with over 3 thousand inhabitants or deserving attention."

The Encyclopaedic Dictionary began to be published in two versions. The first, more expensive, comprised 41 volumes, the second, with a more modest design, of 82 half-volumes. Having broken its expensive publication by half, the company made it more accessible to a wide audience of readers, thanks to which the circulation was brought to a record for that time – 130 thousand copies.

Many prominent scientists and philosophers were invited to the editorial board: Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev, Vladimir Sergeevich Solovyov, Semyon Afanasyevich Vengerov, Andrey Nikolaevich Beketov, Alexander Ivanovich Voeikov and many others. From that moment on, the encyclopaedia begins to replenish with original articles, and the primary attention is paid to issues related to the history, culture and geography of Russia. The displacement of translated articles by original ones and the appearance of new authors affected the very nature of the publication: from a trivial encyclopaedia it turned into a collection of the latest achievements and discoveries in all fields of science and technology.

The Encyclopaedic Dictionary was published from 1890 to 1904. 4–5 volumes were published annually. The circulation fluctuated significantly, from 12 thousand copies in 1890 to 25 thousand – in 1897. Semi-volumes 54 and 55, containing an extensive description of Russia (1899), were published in a circulation of 35 thousand copies. The large circulation determined the wide distribution of the dictionary on the market, despite the rather high price.

By 1907, four additional half-volumes were published. This also included all the most significant of what, for various reasons, had been omitted in previous volumes or appeared after the encyclopaedia was published. The 82nd half-volume ends with the "Portrait Gallery" of the editors and employees of the "Encyclopaedic Dictionary", comprising 300 portraits-prototypes: from the editor-in-chief to a simple typesetter.

Simultaneously, in 1899–1902, the Small Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron was published in three volumes; in 1907–1909, its second edition was published in four volumes.

In 1911, the "New Encyclopaedic Dictionary" was published, edited by Konstantin Konstantinovich Arseniev, which was supposed to cover the same circle of knowledge as ESBE, but in a more compact and modern processing. In 1916, because of wartime difficulties, the publication of the dictionary was discontinued on the 29th volume of the originally planned 48 volumes of this edition.

The RNL contains proofreading copies of the 30th ("Padalka" – "Perm diocese"; incomplete, without beginning) and 31st volumes ("Perm system" – "Poznan Grand Duchy").

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Okolnichy</span> Former Russian court official position

Okolnichy was an old Muscovite court official position. According to the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, directives on the position of okolnichy date back to the 14th century. Judging by the Muscovite records from the 16th and 17th centuries, okolnichy were entrusted with the same business in administration as boyars, with the only difference that they were placed second to boyars everywhere. While lower than boyars, it was one of the highest ranks close to the tsar in the courts of the Moscow rulers until the government reform undertaken by Peter the Great.

<i>Tsefal i Prokris</i>

Cephalus and Prokris, is an opera seria in three acts by the Italian composer Francesco Araja. Dating to 1755, it was the first opera written in the Russian language.

Eralash or Yeralash is a Russian trick-taking card game that is similar to whist. The Russian word "Eralash" means "jumble".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Black Sea Governorate</span> Governorate in Caucasus, Russian Empire

The Black Sea Governorate was a province (guberniya) of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire, established in 1896 on the territory of the Black Sea Okrug of the Kuban Oblast. The administrative center of the governorate was the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. In 1905, the population of the governorate was approximately 70,000 and its area was 6,455 square versts, making it the smallest Russian governorate by both measures. The governorate ceased to exist when the Black Sea Soviet Republic was established on its territory in the spring of 1918—later the governorate was incorporated into the Kuban-Black Sea Oblast of the Russian SFSR in March 1920.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mount Shahdagh</span> Mountain in northern Azerbaijan

Mount Shahdagh is a mountain peak of the Greater Caucasus range, located in the Qusar District of Azerbaijan, close to the border with Russia. The elevation of the peak is 4,243 metres (13,921 ft) above sea level.

Sukhoy Nos is a cape on Severny Island, the northern island of the archipelago Novaya Zemlya, projecting westward into the Barents Sea. The site lies near the southwestern corner of the island, 15 km (9.3 mi) from Mityushikha Bay, north of Matochkin Strait, which separates Severny from Yuzhny Island, the southern island of the archipelago.

Julius Gottlieb Iversen was a Russian phalerist.

Aresh <i>uezd</i> Uezd in Caucasus, Russian Empire

The Aresh uezd was a county (uezd) of the Elizavetpol Governorate of the Russian Empire and later of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic with its center in Aresh from 1874 until its formal abolition in 1929 by Soviet authorities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kirill Lemokh</span> Russian painter

Kirill Vikentievich Lemokh, also known as Carl Johann Lemoch was a Russian genre painter and member of the Imperial Academy of Arts.

<i>Granat Encyclopedic Dictionary</i> Russian encyclopedia

The Granat Encyclopedic Dictionary is a Russian encyclopedic dictionary originally published in 58 volumes with one supplement throughout both the Tsarist and Soviet periods. The dictionary's full title is The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Granat Russian Bibliographical Institute. The word "Granat" refers to the last name of two brothers, Alexander and Ignatiy Granat, who commissioned the articles in their Moscow office.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nikolay I. Storozhenko</span>

Nikolai Ilyich Storozhenko was a Russian literary historian and a leading Shakespearean scholar of his time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nikolai Chayev</span>

Nikolai Alexandrovich Chayev was a Russian writer, poet and playwright.

Russkiy Mir was a daily Russian newspaper published in Saint Petersburg in 1871–1880. Its publishers Mikhail Chernyayev, Vissarion Komarov, Pavel Viskovatov, and Fyodor Berg were also its co-editors, alongside Dmitry Stakheyev and later Evgeny Rapp.

Narodnaya Shkola was a pedagogical fortnightly published in Saint Petersburg in 1869–1889. The journal's objective was providing the teachers, mostly in the Russian province, with the new methodological and theoretical materials, as well as keeping a general view on the state of school education in Imperial Russia. The magazine was edited first by Fyodor Mednikov (1869—1877), then by Vasily Yevtushevski and Alexander Pyatkovsky (1878—1882), then by Pyatkovsky alone. The best Russian practicing pedagogues and theoreticians contributed to Narodnaya Shkola, including Fyodor Rezener, Vasily Vodovozov, Vladimir von Boole, Nikolai Bunakov and Dmitry Semyonov.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vasily Skalon</span>

Vasily Yurievich Skalon was a Russian writer, essayist, journalist, editor and later in life, political activist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vladimir Maksheyev</span>

Vladimir Alexandrovich Maksheyev was a Helsingfors-born Russian stage actor, associated with the Moscow's Maly Theatre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vissarion Komarov</span>

Vissarion Vissarionovich Komarov was a Russian journalist, editor and an Imperial Russian Army colonel who in 1876 was promoted to the rank of the Serbian army general for his victories in several battles he conducted against the Turkish army during the Montenegrin–Ottoman War, in 1876.

Oberjägermeister is a courtier Class II rank in the Table of Ranks of the Russian Empire. Ober-Jägermeister belonged to the highest ranks of the Imperial Court.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avdotya Yelagina</span>

Avdotya Petrovna Yelagina, née Yushkova was a Russian translator, who hosted a popular social and literary salon.