Great & Complete Encyclopaedia of Johann Heinrich Zedler (1732 - 1754)
1. Project 1999 to 2001
The working group for the preparation of the contents of a decentralised digital research library appointed by the German Research Foundation had explicitly recommended the digitisation of reference works. An intensive and extensive use could be expected particularly for this type of literature, and therefore also an added value created by the online availability of corresponding items. By digitising the most important German encyclopedia of the 18th century (Zedler) and the authoritative dictionary of the time (Adelung) it is the aim of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek to make complementary works available, which are important to a broad spectrum of historical disciplines. The access modes for the two works will differ from each other: Concerning the "Zedler'sches Universallexikon", all terms covered by an article will be rendered searchable, providing links to the respective page of the encyclopedia in an image format. It is not feasible to digitise the total of 68,000 pages covered in narrow print in full-text mode. However, the "Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch" with its 4.000 pages will be digitised and offered as a fully searchable text.
2. Project since 2004
Johann Heinrich Zedlers Universal-Lexicon is by far the most comprehensive general encyclopedia of the 18th century, for which a subject catalogue will be set up for the first time. The 68 folio volumes, which were published between 1732 and 1754, contain around 68,000 pages on which, according to the cover sheet, 33 different disciplines and fields of knowledge are represented. Through the digitisation of the Universal-Lexicon by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (http://www.zedler-lexikon.de) the approximately 288,000 entries are rendered individually searchable (which also applies to the around 270,000 references), but so far it has not been possible to catalogue the subject areas, not even to outline them roughly. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. It is intended to match an electronic evaluation of the database of the encyclopedia entries created in the course of the digitisation works as closely as possible with a subject-oriented categorisation carried out in accordance with as many different criteria as possible, and to thus identify central subject groups of the Universal-Lexicon. The exclusion of the partial encyclopedias virtually contained in the Universal-Lexicon will make it possible to prepare a statement of contents of this comprehensive encyclopedia of the 18th century, and academic research will thus be given substantial and specific new impulses.
[Zedler, Johann Heinrich: Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschafften und Künste
Bd. 1 (1732) - Bd. 64 (1754)]
Realised in cooperation with: 2. Projekt: Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel