Encyclopedia (Latin encyclopaedia with stgr. Ἐνκύκλιos, enkýklios "creating a circle" + stgr. Παιδεία, paideía "education") - a compendium of knowledge written in the form of a collection of headline articles, composed of entries (keywords) and explanatory texts (containing information about these passwords). Passwords are organized in some logical order, usually alphabetical, so that you can find the right information quickly.
The encyclopedia can be universal, ie trying to capture all human knowledge (eg the Great Universal Encyclopedia PWN), or specialized in a specific field (eg PWM Music Encyclopedia, Book Knowledge Encyclopedia, Krakow Encyclopedia).
It is often assumed that the idea of a book consisting of an alphabetically arranged list of entries with a comprehensive explanation of their meaning comes from John Harris, who published his Lexicon technicum in 1704, although he first used the term encyclopedia in the meaning of "whole knowledge" in 1532 François Rabelais. In the title of the work, the encyclopedia appeared in 1559 in the work of the Croatian humanist Pavao Skalic (Encyclopaediae seu orbis disciplinarum tam sacrarum quam profanarum epistemon).
Encyclopedic works appeared two thousand years ago and were created in the following centuries:
Marcus Terentius Varro - Disciplinarum libri IX (c. 50 BCE)
Pliny the Elder - Historia naturalis (1st century)
Imperial Panorama (皇 覽 Huanglan) (China, c. 220)
Nonius Marcellus - De compendiosa doctrina (first half of the 4th century)
Marcjanus Kapella - De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercuri (between 410 and 439)
Isidore of Seville - Etymologiarum seu originum libri XX (beginning of the 7th century)
Al-Jahiz - The Book of Animals (Kitab al-Khaivan) (Arab countries, 9th century)
Semadeva (India, 12th century)
Hemadri (India, 13th century)
Vincent of Beauvais - The larger mirror (Speculum maius), 13th century
Brunetto Latini - Treasury of knowledge (Li livres dou Tresor), 13th century
The first universal encyclopedia was the French Encyclopédie, edited by Jean d'Alembert and Denis Diderot. This encyclopedia was completed in 1772. It had 28 volumes, 71,818 articles and 2,885 illustrations. Its co-authors are often referred to as the circle of French encyclopedists, many of whom later became co-organizers of the Great French Revolution.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica began to be written in parallel with the French encyclopedia, the first three-volume edition of which was published in the years 1768–1771.
In 2004, the full version of the Encyclopedia Britannica contained approximately 120,000 articles, totaling approximately 44 million words.
Currently, it is the largest publishing house of its kind in the world, with 32 volumes (17 Macropaedia, 12 Micropaedia, 1 Propaedia and 2 Index).
In the German language area, the Brockhaus encyclopaedias are highly appreciated.
In Poland, PWN has been occupying a dominant position on the encyclopaedic publishing market for decades.
The encyclopedia is a very convenient source of knowledge that can be implemented in digital form. As a result, the vast majority of encyclopedic publishers are switching from hard copies to versions distributed on CD-ROMs, other media, or available via the Internet. An additional advantage of this form of distribution is the ability to add multimedia files to passwords that could not be found in the paper version.
In principle, digital versions of encyclopedias no longer need to have an alphabetical arrangement of entries. They are usually searched for by various automatic search systems, in which advanced search methods can often be used using complex expressions (e.g. conjunctions or alternatives of the words keyword