General Helvetic, Federal, or Swiss Lexicon
The General Helvetic, Eydgenössische, or Schweitzerische Lexicon is the main work of the Zurich polymath, banker and later mayor Johann Jacob Leu (1689–1768).
From 1747 Leu published a new quarto volume with Denzler in Zurich every year . He financed everything out of his own pocket and in 1765 his topographical-biographical-historical reference work with 20 volumes was completed. The work could be completed relatively quickly because Leu had given preference to an efficient approach over a perfectionist approach .
On 11,368 pages in an estimated 20,000 headwords, pretty much everything was dealt with that was of interest to Leu and its subscribers , including the Confederation at the time , its subject areas and the surrounding areas .
- «Leus Werk […] primarily names Swiss places, family names and individual persons, as well as dioceses, common lordships (= subject areas), monasteries, monasteries, castles, mountains, valleys, lakes or baths. Terms from the law of the time, from politics and trade or from ethnology are much less common .
Between 1786 and 1795, also in the Leus working style, the pharmacist Hans Jakob Holzhalb (1720–1807) created six supplementary volumes with a total of 3,826 pages, printed by Blunschi in Zug.
A microfiche edition of the main work and supplements has been published in the Archives of European Lexicography: Section 1, Encyclopedias, Part 8 . It comprises all 15,347 pages.