This collection of scholarly sources was born out of frustration with the amount of time research takes. Since information is spread throughout the world, online and physical, finding what we want becomes more and more difficult each day. While reading sources may be a fun and interesting part of creating a project, the actual searching for scholarship is not always the best part and can comsume every waking hour; we get to page 58 of Google Scholar and start to question why we're even researching in the first place. That is why I wanted a central location on the internet containing an annotated bibliography of all sources on the French Encyclopédie. With it, researchers could drastically cut down the time it takes to produce a final project; with sources collected together, all one must do is search for keywords and topics. In research, I believe, the focus should be on producing and finishing a product rather than diving deep into the internet or getting lost in the Enlightenment stacks in a library (although I do admit I enjoy losing myself in a library).
My project began in Spring/Summer 2020 under the Library Summer Scholars Program at Grand Valley State University. I only had twelve weeks and it became necessary to narrow my scope, it being virtually impossible to search for, access, read, cite, and annotate all the scholarship existing on the Encyclopédie. I started with all the sources I had access to and could find that were 1) in English, 2) available online, 3) published in the United States, and 4) "about" the Encyclopédie (rather than using it to support an arguement alongside other examples) which gave me well over 50 articles. This website currently contains the same sources as found from the original project. They can also be located in a document with an annotated bibliography published on the GVSU ScholarWorks website. For the next few years, I intend on slowly incorporating all sources on the Encyclopédie, including those publishing outside of the U.S. and in other languages than English, into this searchable website to benefit researchers everywhere.
As of September 2020, I have begun the process of adding annotations for articles published online and in English, regardless of location. Expect about one new annotation a week. The current goal is to have as many online articles cited here before I graduate in two and half years as possible. Although I would love to also have annotations for physical books and resources, it may not be possible in the amount of time I have left.
As of May 2021, I have decided to simply add sources as I read them regardless of format, location, or language. With a second research project in progress, I have several sources which belong on this website and do not want to wait to publish a page on them.
This website is run, managed, and paid for by Ian Curtis, an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, U.S.A. I have always been fascinated with France and French culture and when Dr. David Eick introduced me to the Encyclopédie, I was enthralled. This website is a product of that and it is my hope that it ignites the same energy towards the Encyclopédie in all who use it.
Image credits can be found here.