Edinburgh Encyclopædia

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American reprint 1832

The Edinburgh Encyclopædia was an encyclopaedia in 18 volumes, printed and published by William Blackwood and edited by David Brewster between 1808 and 1830. In competition with the Edinburgh-published Encyclopædia Britannica,[1] the Edinburgh Encyclopædia is generally considered to be strongest on scientific topics, where many of the articles were written by the editor.[2]

Other contributors – "Gentlemen Eminent in Science and Literature" – included Adam Anderson, Charles Babbage, Thomas Carlyle,[3] Robert Gordon, Robert Edmond Grant,[4] John Leslie,[5] Henry Liston, John Gibson Lockhart[3] and Thomas Telford.

In 1815 William Elford Leach published the first bibliography of entomology in Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopædia (see Timeline of entomology – 1800–1850).

Joseph Parker of Philadelphia and Whiting & Watson of New York City printed American editions, both in 1832.[citation needed]


A list of major contributors, with indications of their articles, was published in 1830.[6]


  1. ^ Brewster, David (1832). David Brewster, ed. The Edinburgh encyclopædia conducted by David Brewster, with the assistance of gentlemen eminent in science and literature, Volume 18. J. and E. Parker. ISBN 978-0-415-18026-9. 
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica (10 ed.). 1902. 
  3. ^ a b The Literary gazette: A weekly journal of literature, science, and the fine arts. 17. H. Colburn. 1833. 
  4. ^ Desmond, Adrian; Parker, Sarah E. (October 2006). The bibliography of Robert Edmond Grant (1793–1874). Archives of Natural History. 33. 
  5. ^ O'Connor, J J; Robertson, E F. "John Leslie". School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  6. ^ Sir David Brewster (1830). The Edinburgh Encyclopædia. Printed for W. Blackwood. pp. ix–xiv. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  7. ^  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1885). "Annesley, Alexander". Dictionary of National Biography. 2. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  8. ^ a b Martha McMackin Garland (1980). Cambridge Before Darwin: The Idéal of Alihsral Education, 1800-1860. Cambridge University Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-521-23319-4. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Georg Lehner (2011), China in European Encyclopaedias, 1700-1850, Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, ISBN 9789004201507 
  10. ^ Letters, TC to Alexander Galloway; 25 December 1821; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18211225-TC-AGA-01; CL 1: 419
  11. ^ John Bulloch, John Alexander Henderson (editors), Scottish Notes and Queries (1888), p. 40; archive.org.
  12. ^  "Stevenson, William (1772-1829)". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  13. ^ Chapple, John A. V. "Stevenson, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26443.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  14. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Thomson, Andrew Mitchell". Dictionary of National Biography. 56. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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