Encyclopedias From tomes to technology LIB 640 Information Sources and Services Summer 2010
What is an encyclopedia?
An encyclopedia is a set of books with articles on every topic you can think of
Each article in the encyclopedia gives you information about the topic
Guide words on used in an encyclopedia to help you find information
An encyclopedia has the topics in alphabetical order.
Click on the girl above to practice using an encyclopedia.
Origin of the word?
The word encyclopedia comes from the Classical Greek “ἐνκύκλιos παιδεία” (transliterated “enkyklios paideia”), literally, a “[well-]rounded education,” meaning “general knowledge.”
The word encyclopaedia was first used as a noun by the Croatian encyclopedist Pavao Skalić in the title of his book, Encyclopaedia seu orbis disciplinarum tam sacrarum quam prophanarum epistemon (Encyclopaedia, or Knowledge of the World of Disciplines, Basel, 1559).
From “ Encyclopedia ” on Wikipedia (the entry has changed since this was first copied)
The first English encyclopedia in all but name “ the first English encyclopaedia arranged in alphabetical order” and also “appears to be the first technical dictionary in any language.” John Harris - Lexicon Technicum - 1704 first edition See also John Harris - Lexicon Technicum - 1708 second edition
A more famous revision of Harris
Ephraim Chambers (c.1680-1740) Cyclopaedia . First edition, 1728
“ Encyclopedia, or a systematic dictionary of the sciences, arts, and crafts ” was an encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1766, with later supplements and revisions in 1772, 1777 and 1780 and numerous foreign editions and later derivatives
A French “revision” of Chambers
Followed by a familiar title
First published in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1768; was published one section at a time, in “fascicles,” over a three-year period, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
2 nd edition 10 vols. 1777-84.
9 th ed. 1875-89. “Scholar’s edition.”
11 th ed. 1910-11 first under US ownership, but still with British authorship. Full text online at LoveToKnow Classic Encyclopedia .
Move to Chicago and continuous revision in 1930s
Encyclopedia or Dictionary?
the dictionary of arts and sciences was the more direct predecessor of the modern encyclopedia.
e. g. John Harris’s Lexicon technicum (2 vols., 1704, 1710); and Ephraim Chambers’s (1680–1740) Cyclopaedia (2 vols., 1728).
These works consisted of entries on terms (mainly from the arts and sciences) in alphabetical order, but they professed to be more than definitions of words by also being descriptions of things.
Encyclopedism - Alphabetical Encyclopedias Other Free Encyclopedias :: Science Encyclopedia :: The History of Ideas Vol 2
Britannica’s big change
Britannica 3 (AKA 15 th ed.). First publ. 1974
Propaedia : single volume systematic outline of human knowledge
Micropaedia : 10 vols., 102,000 entries, short articles
Macropaedia : 19 vols, 4,000+ articles, expansions of selected topics from Micropaedia.
How to explain the Propaedia? Well, I guess one way is to say that if an alien lands on earth and asks you for a single book that summarizes human existence since the beginning of time, give it the Propaedia ! Written in outline form, it is the sum of all knowledge, and where to find this knowledge in the Britannica! You probably won't have much need for it, but you should at least look at it to appreciate its scholarship. Encyclopaedia Britannica
From print to electronic
The first electronic encyclopedias, such as Grolier's Academic American Encyclopedia on CD-ROM (1985), were basically digitized versions of the printed sets. But by the early 1990s publishers began adding audio, video, and Internet links, making them fully interactive multimedia platforms, and often gave them away with the purchase of a new computer. By 2002 there were several general encyclopedias available in CD-ROM format, including World Book, Encarta, Grolier's, and Britannica.
US History Encyclopedia: Encyclopedias
A popular children’s encyclopedia
For almost 90 years, World Book has been committed to publishing encyclopedias and other reference products that meet the highest standards of editorial excellence while keeping pace with the technological developments that define the computer age.
About World Book
And then there was Wikipedia
Actually, Nupedia came first:
Nupedia was a Web-based encyclopedia whose articles were written by experts and licensed as free content . It was founded by Jimmy Wales and underwritten by Bomis , with Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief. Nupedia lasted from March of 2000 [ 1] until September of 2003, and is mostly known now as the predecessor of the free wiki encyclopedia, Wikipedia .
See also Larry Sanger’s The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.nupedia.com (archived) Type of site Internet encyclopedia project
But what is Wikipedia ?
Anyone can edit?
What is Wikipedia ?
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia written collaboratively by many of its readers . It is a special type of website, called a wiki , that makes collaboration easy. Many people are constantly improving Wikipedia, making thousands of changes an hour, all of which are recorded on article histories and recent changes . Inappropriate changes are usually removed quickly, and repeat offenders can be blocked from editing .
Learn more about the project
Discussion about Wikipedia
Library Journal :
. . . once given the freedom (to edit), will people abuse it? Most certainly. Many observers have already expressed concerns over Wikipedia’s shortcomings, pointing to valid examples of editorial inferiority, yet many others have been charmed by its concept and astonished by its up-to-dateness. Some have gone so far as to claim they prefer it to the venerable (albeit not free) Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
I Want My Wikipedia! by Barry X. Miller, Karl Helicher, & Teresa Berry -- Library Journal , 4/1/2006
Harvard debate page
This is a Harvard Business School case study about a specific article on Wikipedia , but it includes some useful review material about Encyclopedias in general, Wikipedia's Birth , Nupedia , the evolution From Nupedia to Wikipedia , a state of the website Wikipedia in 2006 , and a review of the Debates and Controversies
Harvard Business School Professors Karim R. Lakhani and Andrew P. McAfee prepared this case. . . . HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management.
Should we dismiss Wikipedia ?
Probably not, just be careful, though!
Because of its up-to-date information, Wikipedia will attract high school and college students. However, as with much information floating around in cyberspace, a healthy degree of skepticism and skill at winnowing fact from opinion are required.
Karl Helicher, Director of Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA in I Want My Wikipedia!
Despite its flaws, however, Wikipedia should not be dismissed. Although the writing is not exceptional, good content abounds.
Teresa Berry, Associate Professor/Science Librarian at the Univ. of Tennessee Libs., Knoxville in I Want My Wikipedia!
Wikiality.com , the Truthiness Encyclopedia!
No facts . No reality . No Spelcheck. An Internets Tube for America !
11,931,222 articles in American
Stephen Colbert first used the the term Wikiality on the Monday , July 31 , 2006 edition of The Colbert Report news program. Wikiality represents “ A reality where, if enough people agree with a notion, it becomes the truth. ”
Wikiality is generally believed to be a portmanteau of the words “Wikipedia ” and “ reality ”.
One solution to Wikipedia
We currently have 13,997 articles at different stages of collaborative development , of which 137 are expert-approved .
We are working on a Charter to provide a solid framework for further development of the project.
Eduzendium students are enrolled in formal higher education degree programs and work on wiki articles as part of their coursework assignments.
What is an encyclopedia for?
Authority and dependability?
Or a quick source of “facts”?
But is it OR any more?
Is Britannica Going Wiki?
Encyclopaedia Britannica recently introduced some new features to Britannica Online that make it easy for our readers to suggest edits, revisions, updates, amplifications, and corrections to our articles and to submit their handiwork to our editors for consideration.
Ha! User-generated content, you say. Well, yes. But a wiki ? No. Because the operative word in the paragraph above is suggest . Britannica users don’t have the ability or authority to publish the edits they propose; only Britannica editors can do that, and that’s the way it will stay.
Teaching the encyclopedia
Kentucky's Learning Goals and Academic Expectations
Academic Expectations: AE 1.1
Students use reference tools such as dictionaries, almanacs, encyclopedias , and computer reference programs and research tools such as interviews and surveys to find the information they need to meet specific demands, explore interests, or solve specific problems.