As the title page states, the encyclopaedia, comprising 68 volumes and some 68,000 pages published between 1732 and 1754, presents 33 different disciplines and sciences. The digitisation project undertaken by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library) has enabled users to search in 289,000 entries and access 271,000 links in the ‘universal lexicon’. However, to date it has not been possible to include even a general outline of the subject areas described in the lexicon.

The project covers 16 key areas described in the lexicon and assigns all the entries to these categories (and their numerous subcategories). Using the existing database, the entries are primarily evaluated in electronic form, although a significant number are also examined directly. The underlying intention was to create a freely accessible search platform that would enable sophisticated searches in the entries corresponding to the 16 categories and all their subcategories. This spin-off from the virtual ‘partial lexicons’ existing within the Universal-Lexicon allows an index to be compiled of this comprehensive 18th-century encyclopaedia, thus providing essential research input.

In cooperation with the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG)
Project participants: Prof. Ulrich Johannes Schneider (project lead, Leipzig) and Dr Markus Brantl (project lead, Munich), Matthias Weiss, Nico Dorn, Stefan Hillger, Lena Oetjens (Wolfenbüttel), Dr Thomas Wolf-Klostermann (team member, Munich)