Kafker, Frank A. “La place de
l’Encyclopédie dans l’histoire des encyclopédies,” in L’Encyclopédisme (Actes du Colloque de Caen, 12-16 janvier 1987), edited by Annie Becq, le Concours de la Ligue Française de l’Enseignement et l’Université de Caen, 1991, pp. 97-108.
Although there has been a plethora of scholarship on the Encyclopédie, little (as of the 1980s) have focused on its place in the history of encyclopedias. That is, emphasis has not been placed on how prior references works influenced the Encyclopédie or on its influence on those in the future. Kafker here aims to discuss the inspirations and origins of the Encyclopédie in relation to encyclopedias surrounding it. He explores the Masonic origin theory, the basic background of the editorship, the attributes of contributors, alphabetical order, cross-references, trees of knowledge, article content, and more. Overall, the majority of the attributes listed appeared in prior encyclopedias, indicating that the Encyclopédie is more traditional than has been previously assumed. There is mention of a few unique aspects of the Encyclopédie (including the plates and experts as authors) as well as of the Encyclopédie’s lack of influence on nineteenth-century reference works (and therefore modern encyclopedias). Nevertheless, Kafker praises the Encyclopédie; no encyclopedia of our day could match its expenses, novel research, editorial talent, and wide range of contributors.
Country of Publication: France
Main Classification: Origins, Relations
6/24/2021: Created page.