Encyclopedia and library in the contemporary age


  • Paolo Traniello




Encyclopédie, encyclopedia, library, public library, Enlightenment


With the publication of the Encyclopédie of Diderot and D’Alembert, which dates from 1751, the concept of library is declined in a negative sense, as a closing tool and impediment in the hands of the State, compared to the Encyclopedia, considered the book of the people. The constitution of the public library (the british Public Libraries Act is dated 1850), funded with public money, determines to change and both realities, Library and Encyclopedia, begin to interact contributing to the development of contemporary culture. Such as the Library, the Encyclopedia also supposes a work of organization of knowledge through classifications. From this point of view, both institutions seem closer in a purpose that unites them. In view of the information revolution, the Library should help reduce complexity of digital information and should play, against the vastness of the network, a role similar to what the Enlightenment Encyclopedia has assigned to itself in the face of large library collections, which were seen as points of accumulation, and also as points of the knowledge’s dispersion. 



How to Cite

Traniello, P. (2017). Encyclopedia and library in the contemporary age. Bibliothecae.It, 6(1), 370–385. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2283-9364/7042



Notes and discussions