October 28, 2021
Encyclopedia (Ancient Greek: εγκυκλοπαιδεία, modern Greek: εγκυκλοπαίδεια) is a term derived from the Hippies of Ellis (5th century BC) and which means comprehensive education. Today, the term encyclopedia implies a structured, possibly extensive description of human knowledge in a form adapted to everyday use. An encyclopedia is a reference work or compendium that provides an overview of information either from all branches of knowledge or from a specific field or discipline. Today there are general and professional encyclopedias. General encyclopedias cover all scientific fields, while professional ones cover only one field, but much more extensively. The science of encyclopedias is called encyclopedics and uses encyclopedic theory. Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries that are usually arranged alphabetically by article title and sometimes by topic category. Encyclopedic entries are generally longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, unlike a dictionary that focuses on linguistic information about words, such as meaning, pronunciation, use, and grammatical forms, encyclopedic articles focus on factual information related to the subject in the title of the article. Encyclopedias have existed for about 2,000 years and they have evolved significantly since their inception in terms of language (written in major international or spoken languages), size (several or a large number of volumes), purpose (presentation of a global or limited scope of knowledge), cultural perception (authoritative, ideological, didactic) , utilitarian), authorship (qualifications, style), reading (educational level, background, interests, abilities), and available technologies for their production and distribution (manuscripts, small or large prints, internet production). As a valuable source of reliable information compiled by experts, printed versions have found a prominent place in libraries, schools and other educational institutions. The advent of digital and open source in the 20th century has greatly expanded the accessibility, authorship, readability, and diversity of encyclopedia entries and challenged the idea of what an encyclopedia is and the relevance of applying it to such dynamic productions of traditional critiques.