This is a list of encyclopedias, arranged by time period. For other arrangements, see Lists of encyclopedias.
An encyclopedia or encyclopædia is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either general or special to a particular field or discipline. Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries that are arranged alphabetically by article name or by thematic categories, or else are hyperlinked and searchable. Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, encyclopedia articles focus on factual information concerning the subject named in the article's title; this is unlike dictionary entries, which focus on linguistic information about words, such as their etymology, meaning, pronunciation, use, and grammatical forms.
Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, better known as Encyclopédie, was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It had many writers, known as the Encyclopédistes. It was edited by Denis Diderot and, until 1759, co-edited by Jean le Rond d'Alembert.
Johann Heinrich Zedler was a bookseller and publisher. His most important achievement was the creation of a German encyclopedia, the Grosses Universal-Lexicon , the largest and most comprehensive German-language encyclopedia developed in the 18th century.
The Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschafften und Künste is a 68-volume German encyclopedia published by Johann Heinrich Zedler between 1731 and 1754. It was one of the largest printed encyclopedias ever, and the first to include biographies of living people in a systematic way.
Encyclopedism is an outlook that aims to include a wide range of knowledge in a single work. The term covers both encyclopedias themselves and related genres in which comprehensiveness is a notable feature. The word encyclopedia is a Latinization of the Greek enkýklios paideía, which means all-around education. The encyclopedia is "one of the few generalizing influences in a world of overspecialization. It serves to recall that knowledge has unity," according to Lewis Shore, editor of Collier's Encyclopedia. It should not be "a miscellany, but a concentration, a clarification, and a synthesis", according to British writer H. G. Wells.
Cyclopædia: or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences is an encyclopedia prepared by Ephraim Chambers and first published in 1728; six more editions appeared between 1728 and 1751 with a Supplement in 1753. The Cyclopædia was one of the first general encyclopedias to be produced in English.
Lexicon Technicum: or, An Universal English Dictionary of Arts and Sciences: Explaining not only the Terms of Art, but the Arts Themselves was in many respects the first alphabetical encyclopedia written in English. Although the emphasis of the Lexicon Technicum was on mathematical subjects, its contents go beyond what would be called science or technology today, in conformity with the broad eighteenth century understanding of the terms "arts" and "science," and it includes entries on the humanities and fine arts, notably on law, commerce, music, and heraldry. However, the Lexicon Technicum neglects theology, antiquity, biography, and poetry.
The Oekonomische Encyklopädie was a German language encyclopedia started by Johann Georg Krünitz. It appeared in 242 volumes between 1773 and 1858. Each volume has about 600-800 pages, giving a total of about 170,000 pages.
The Historical Dictionary of Switzerland is an encyclopedia on the history of Switzerland that aims to take into account the results of modern historical research in a manner accessible to a broader audience.
An encyclopedic dictionary typically includes many short listings, arranged alphabetically, and discussing a wide range of topics. Encyclopedic dictionaries can be general, containing articles on topics in many different fields; or they can specialize in a particular field, such as art, biography, law, medicine, or philosophy. They may also be organized around a particular academic, cultural, ethnic, or national perspective.
The Dictionnaire de Trévoux, as the Dictionnaire universel françois et latin was unofficially and then officially nicknamed because of its original publication in the town of Trévoux, appeared in several editions from 1704 to 1771. Throughout the 18th century, it was widely assumed to be directed by the Jesuits, a supposition supported by at least some modern scholars.
The Popular Encyclopedia or Conversations Lexicon was a British encyclopedia that was published from 1837 to 1893 by Blackie and Son, of Glasgow. It was originally a reprint of Francis Lieber's Encyclopedia Americana, itself based on the Brockhaus Enzyklopädie.
Encyclopedias have progressed from the beginning of history in written form, through medieval and modern times in print, and most recently, displayed on computer and distributed via computer networks.
Paul Guérin was a French priest, professor of philosophy, writer and encyclopedist. He was gifted as a compiler, and is best known for being the author of the series Les Petits Bollandistes: vie des saints, with fifteen volumes (1866–1869) that were republished several times.