The science of researching and developing encyclopedic reference works is called encyclopedia or (older) encyclopedia . Occasionally, under Enzyklopädik the historical study and focus Enzyklopädistik rather the study of the structure and the design subsumed by encyclopedias. However, an exact separation is not possible, as both terms are often used synonymously. The newer name for today's research discipline is encyclopedia.
In Germany, as in Austria, science is not an independent university subject. Their subjects are usually dealt with in the history of humanities and education. One focus is on the early modern period and the relationship to the understanding of science and the Enlightenment. Other sciences related to viewing encyclopedias are cultural studies , media studies, and philosophy of science .
The encyclopedia originated as an encyclopedia in the Middle Ages and developed, for example, the alphabetical structure as a structure principle (e.g. first edition of Polyanthea by Dominicus Nanus Mirabellius). Further features are the introduction of subheadings and the effort to create a clear hierarchy for the body of the text.
The General Brouillon by Novalis represents a collection of material for the project of an encyclopedia. Novalis was inspired by models such as the science of Johann Gottlieb Fichte or the Bible , but then concentrated more and more on an introduction to the classification principles of an encyclopedia in his considerations on the principles of classification of an encyclopedia Theory of encyclopaedics, where he dealt in particular with the preparatory work of the French encyclopedists .
- Andreas B. Kilcher: mathesis and poiesis - The Encyclopedia of Literature 1600 to 2000. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich 2003, ISBN 377053820X .
- Christel Meier : Basic features of the medieval encyclopedia. Forms and functions of a problematic species. In: Ludger Grenzmann, Karl Stackmann (Hrsg.): Literature and lay education in the late Middle Ages and in the Reformation period. Wolfenbüttel Symposium 1981. Stuttgart 1984 (= German Symposia. Volume 5), pp. 467–503.
- Research literature on encyclopedia from the Swiss project General Knowledge and Society
- Encyclotheque. Historical reference works - digital library