March 17, 2005

The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert. This magnum opus of the French Enlightenment took over twenty years to complete and includes 21 volumes with subjects ranging from asparagus to zodiac as well as a map of the system of human knowledge. They're still translating a bunch of articles, but if you're up to it, you can read it in the original French.
  • Sacre blue! Just as well it's quiet in work today...
  • Tres bien, Singe Metallique. I could spend some time just looking through the map. The four branches of chemistry, for example: Chemistry, properly said (pyrotechnics, dyeing, etc); Metallurgy; Alchemy; and Natural magic. If I have information about a large meteor in the last century, does it go under Uniformity of Nature/History/Meteors, or Deviations of Nature/Large Meteors??
  • I heard a radio documentary on this Encyclopedia not too long ago. IIRC, the poor editor, to his tremendous frustration, had quite a number of his articles butchered by the publisher to save space, and they were only recovered by chance many, many years later.
  • )))!!! Would I be right in assuming the Map of the System of Human Knowledge inspired Roget to create his thesaurus?
  • i love stuff that takes 20 years or more to complete. like cathedrals that take more than 100 years. amazing.
  • Too bad the full text is subscriber-only. I couldn't find out how much a subscription costs, because the link that would tell me this gives a 404. So, y'know.
  • Wow! I've signed up to do some volunteer translations for them. An awesome project, very much in the spirit of he original.
  • Here's another interesting site asking for French-English translators. So why don't I do some? Because I get paid to do stuff like this now, although I didn't always.