The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary stands out from the most famous encyclopedias and dictionaries. It celebrates its birthday today: On October 25, 1808, young German publisher Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus made a major purchase at a Leipzig fair – he bought the right to publish the Encyclopedia with Special Regard to the Present Times for 1,800 thalers. The former German officer immediately began his work on the Brockhaus dictionary. Friedrich Arnold’s sons and grandchildren continued his business, and the result was impressive: 14 editions of the encyclopedic dictionary were published only during the 19th century. One cannot say that everything was cloudless: a severe fire that occurred in the publishing company in 1868 destroyed all the sets released for implementation along with the many-year work performed by hundreds of scientists. In 1889, Brockhaus’ successors established a joint venture in Saint Petersburg in cooperation with Russian book publisher and book seller Ivan Abramovich Efron. The simple translation did not satisfy the demanding Russian audience. To create a really high-quality and up-to-date encyclopedia, they invited the most prominent scientists of that time: Mendeleev, Beketov, Voeykov, Vengerov, Vladimir Solovyev. 82 basic and four auxiliary volumes were published in 17 years. The new edition was interrupted by the Revolution. After becoming obsolete in terms of sciences, The Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary became a historical phenomenon: a monument to the knowledge of its time.
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