La Grande Encyclopédie
La Grande Encyclopédie, inventaire raisonné des sciences, des lettres, et des arts (The Great Encyclopedia: a systematic inventory of science, letters, and the arts) is a 31-volume encyclopedia published in France from 1886 to 1902 by H. Lamirault, and later by the Société anonyme de la grande encyclopédie.
Major articles are signed and include a bibliography. In its 31 volumes of 1200 pages each, there are about 200,000 articles, 15,000 engraved illustrations and 200 maps.
From the Preface:
|“||Despite numerous attempts, some of which were crowned with success in their time, France still does not have a great encyclopedic work, popular yet up-to-date with the latest progress of science....
The Grande Encyclopedie is a work of high popularization (haute vulgarisation). It presents the current state of modern knowledge, arranging a collection of the human knowledge of our time.
Staying above current disputes, resolute in not becoming a partisan tool, the Grande Encyclopedie has no rule other than the impartiality of science.
...It sets out facts with scrupulous precision, and diverse or contradictory theories with impartiality: it is up to the reader to compare them and reach conclusions.
In the article "Encyclopédie":
|“||Since the publication of the Encyclopédie, no comparable work had been published, except in England. In 1882, a group of scholars and men of letters, at the initiative of Camille Dreyfus and the publisher Baer, undertook to fill this lacuna. At first, it was just a matter of an undertaking such as that of Brockhaus and of Appleton. But soon the plan was enlarged by Mr. Dreyfus, in agreement with the directors, to the scale of a true encyclopedia.||”|
According to the Library of Congress catalog record, the individual volumes were published in the following years: 1-2: 1886, 3-4: 1887, 4: 1887, 5-6: 1888, 7-8: 1889, 8: 1889, 9-11: 1890, 12-13: 1891, 14-16: 1892, 17-18: 1893, 19-20: 1894, 21: 1895, 22: 1896, 23: 1898, 24-26: 1899, 27-8: 1900, 29-30: 1901, 31: 1902.