About

This site is dedicated to the history, development and usage of encyclopedias. Our focus is on the walking encyclopedias of knowledge such as Diderot and Voltaire, who worked to assemble the first comprehensive collections of human knowledge, as well as later developments in the field. We also discuss how encyclopedias not only collect human knowledge, but shape the way in which it is known and interpreted.

In a sort of meta inside joke, many of the articles on this site were scanned and reprinted from very old out of copyright encyclopedias, which means that the books are in a way commenting on themselves.

Why a site devoted to encyclopedias?

Firstly because we find the subject interesting. Secondly because we wanted to use this site as a proving ground for some site building techniques. It may not be obvious to the end user, but the site's template employs CSS and SSI to create a mobile friendly website. By tweaking a few settings we are able to change the width of the columns, add the number of columns, and add or remove coloring. This helps us understand and plan changes to other sites. So our site about the knowledge stored within encyclopedias ends up providing us more knowledge, which I think some of the early encyclopedia writers would have appreciated.