Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste

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Title page of volume 1

The Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste ("Universal Encyclopaedia of Sciences and Arts") was a 19th-century German encyclopaedia published by Johann Samuel Ersch and Johann Gottfried Gruber, therefore also known as the "Ersch-Gruber." One of the most ambitious encyclopaedia projects ever, it remains uncompleted.

It was designed and begun in 1813 by Professor Ersch to satisfy the wants of Germans, only in part supplied by foreign works. It was stopped by the Napoleonic Wars until 1816, when Professor Gottlieb Hufeland joined, but he died on November 25, 1817, while the specimen part was at press. The first volume appeared in Leipzig in 1818. The editors of the different sections at various times were some of the best-known men of learning in Germany, including Gruber, M.H.E. Meier, Hermann Brockhaus, W. Müller and A.G. Hoffmann of Jena. Naturalist Eduard Poeppig wrote most of the articles on the Americas.[1]

The work is divided into three sections:[citation needed]

  1. A-G (99 vols.)
  2. H-N (43 vols.)
  3. O-Z (25 vols.)

All articles bear the authors' names, and those not ready in time were placed at the end of their letter. By 1889 the encyclopaedia had reached 167 volumes when it was abandoned. The article about Greece alone covered 3,668 pages, spanning eight volumes. Section 1 was completed, but section 2 only up to the entry Ligatur, and section 3 up to Phyxios.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Poeppig, Eduard". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 

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