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Translation and French encyclopaedism in the Age of Enlightenment (1680-1800): knowledge transfer, mediators, intercultural processes of appropriation and adaption. Research project sponsored by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SPP 2130 (

Encyclopaedias aims to provide the most complete documentation of encyclopaedias and their translations in the Age of Enlightenment (1680-1800). The database includes bibliographic information on original versions and their translations as well as links to digitized copies. In this way, it enables a systematic tracing of the genesis of important encyclopaedic works in the Age of Enlightenment and of the genre’s spread across Europe throughout the long 18th century.

You can browse the database by paramount title (e.g. Alcedo Diccionario geográfico or Diderot Encyclopédie) to check on all encyclopaedic works related to the title in the original language of composition or in translation. You can also browse the database by author (e.g. Bayle, Pierre or Chambers, Ephraim) for information about authors, translators and the related encyclopaedic dictionaries. If you are searching for particular subject matter, there is also the possibility for an advanced search.

Project description

Encyclopaedias is one result of the research project Translation and French encyclopaedism in the Age of Enlightenment (1680-1800): knowledge transfer, mediators, intercultural processes of appropriation and adaptation sponsored by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SPP 2130). Over three years, a total of more than 380 encyclopaedic dictionaries and their (linguistic) translations and/or adaptations have been tracked, checked for authenticity, and systematically recorded, including paratextual specificities. Where available, links to digitized copies of the encyclopaedic works and their translations have also been added to the database.

Against the background of the encyclopaedia as one of the leading media of the 18th century and its transnational contexts of creation, the research project examines the role of translation processes in the formation of a European knowledge and communication space in the Age of Enlightenment. The three other axes of the research project were focusing on:

  1. processes of cultural adaptation, appropriation and autonomisation taking place in individual translation projects,
  2. the meaning of translators as intercultural mediators and important actors in the context of the transmission of encyclopaedic knowledge, and
  3. the investigation of the role that translations played in the editing of country-specific lemmas of the most important French encyclopaedia of the Enlightenment: Diderot’s and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie.
In the context of the project, several new insights into translation processes in the early modern period have thus been gained.

Selection of publications:

Greilich, Susanne / Lüsebrink, Hans-Jürgen (eds.): Écrire l’encyclopédisme, du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2020 (Coll. Rencontres, Série Le dix-huitième siècle, vol. 34), 417 p. Donato, Clorinda / Lüsebrink, Hans-Jürgen (eds..): Translation and Transfer of Knowledge in Encyclopedic Compilations, 1680-1830. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2021, ca. 280 p. (forthcoming)
For more articles and activities related to the project, see the researchers’ personal websites:
Susanne Greilich:
Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink:

Research Team

The research project is led by PD Dr. habil. Susanne GREILICH (Universität Regensburg, Institut für Romanistik) and Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen LÜSEBRINK (Universität des Saarlandes, FR Romanistik). The database was created with the support of Franziska Müller, Marie-Christin Dotzler (Universität Regensburg) and Carla Dalbeck, M.A. (Universität des Saarlandes), research assistants in the project.


PD Dr. habil. Susanne GREILICH, Universität Regensburg, Institut für Romanistik
Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen LÜSEBRINK, Universität des Saarlandes, Fachrichtung Romanistik

  1. Institut für Romanistik