World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Encyclopedic dictionary

Article Id: WHEBN0002927989
Reproduction Date:

Title: Encyclopedic dictionary  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Biographical dictionary, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Lexicography, Dictionary, Century Dictionary
Collection: Dictionaries by Type, Encyclopedias
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Encyclopedic dictionary

Title page from the 1894 four volume version of Robert Hunter's The Encyclopædic Dictionary.

An encyclopedic dictionary typically includes a large number of short listings, arranged alphabetically, and discussing a wide range of topics. Encyclopedic dictionaries can be general, containing articles on topics in many different fields; or they can specialize in a particular field, such as Art, Biography, Law, Medicine, or Philosophy. They may also be organized around a particular academic, cultural, ethnic, or national perspective.

Historically, the term has been used to refer to any encyclopedic

However, it later developed into a somewhat distinct class of reference books. While there are similarities, of course, to both dictionaries and encyclopedias, there are important distinctions as well:

  • A dictionary is primarily focused on words and their definition, and typically provides limited information, analysis of different forms, and an etymology (in more complete dictionaries) for the word defined. Hence, while it may offer a definition, it may leave the reader still lacking in understanding the meaning or import of a term, and how the term relates to a broader field of knowledge.
  • An law) or a topic (such as the Scottish enlightenment), and less on the alphabetic terminology related to that discussion. An encyclopedia also often includes many maps and illustrations, as well as bibliography and statistics.

Compared to a dictionary, the encyclopedic dictionary offers a more complete description and a choice of entries selected to convey a range of knowledge. Compared to an encyclopedia, the encyclopedic dictionary offers ease of use, through summarized entries and in some cases more entries of separate terms; and often reduced size, and the reduced publishing and purchase cost that implies.

Of course, the question of how to structure the entries, and how much information to include, are among the core issues in organizing reference books. As different approaches are better suited to different uses or users, all three approaches have been in wide use since the end of the 18th century.

The title of the volume may not be a good indication of which type of reference it is, as commercial concerns may have affected the publisher's selection of a title.

History

Illustration of fossils from Brockhaus and Efron's Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890—1907)

The encyclopedic dictionary evolved from the dictionary. John Harris subtitled his landmark Lexicon Technicum a "universal English dictionary of Arts and Sciences;" it was the first English-language, alphabetically ordered collection of knowledge.

The 18th-century encyclopedias, the French Encyclopédie and later the British Encyclopædia Britannica. However, such comprehensive works were costly and difficult to produce, and to keep current; and the detailed entries were not ideal for some reference uses. The first version of the German Conversations-Lexikon (1796-1808) was just 2,762 pages in six volumes, and while that work was later expanded, its format using numerous, less lengthy entries served as the principal model for many 19th-century encyclopedias and encyclopedic dictionaries.

The principal English-language encyclopaedic dictionary of the nineteenth century was the 7-volume in 14 eponymous work by Robert Hunter (1823-1897), published by Cassell in 1879-88, and reprinted many times up to 1910, including (1895) as the mass-circulation Lloyd's Encyclopaedic Dictionary. Hunter was assisted by zoology author Henry Scherren and a small team of domestic assistants at his house in Loughton. In the USA, the dictionary was reissued with a variety of titles.

See also

Further reading

  • Robert Hunter, Henry Scherren, and John Williams. The Encyclopædic Dictionary. 7 volumes. 1879-1888.
  • Sandro Nielsen: The Effect of Lexicographical Information Costs on Dictionary Making and Use. In: Lexikos 18/2008, 170-189.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Fair are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.