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Yverdon Encyclopedia

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With the participation of the Fondation De Felice (Lausanne, Switzerland)

Yverdon Encyclopedia published between 1770 and 1780 in 58 quarto volumes is an original scientific project. It is founded on Diderot's solid rules for building an “encyclopedic system of knowledge”, but its ambition is to give this encyclopedia more of an European scope, to reconsider in a better way the theoretical foundations and to enlarge the field of knowledge.
A European team led by Fortunato Bartolomeo De Felice (1723-1789), an italian scholar established in Yverdon, elaborated the Encyclopedia.
It is because he was inspired by Diderot's methodological rules that De Felice could aim to create a profoundly renewed “encyclopedic system of knowledge”. He brought a detailed hierarchy to the classification of knowledge. His protestant collaborators tried to reestablish the link between scientific knowledge and the spiritual dimension of the world. The ambition was to give the encyclopedic system a wider scope and the possibility to comprehend all things in a way that was impossible for Diderot.
The European network of collaborators helped De Felice to use unexploited sources of knowledge. These sources correct, supplement, renew or replace the content of the Parisian Encyclopedia of Diderot et d’Alembert. This dynamic scientific spirit had a direct influence on the number of articles in the Yverdon Encyclopedia, which is much greater than in the Parisian Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert. Encyclopaedic nomenclature was consequently increased.


The full text of the Encyclopedia with finely-defined tagging, with both modern and ancient written form, with the facsimile (image mode) of the whole Encyclopedia with an active link to the text mode.
New and specialized search possibilities: typographical searches, material bibliography studies, field labels, inventory records, for each article and each plate, comparison tools with Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopedia .


Literature and humanities, history, book history, history of art, philosophy, theology, history of sciences


Claude Blum, professor at the Sorbonne


Alain Cernuschi, coordinator (Lausanne University), Sylviane Albertan-Coppola (Valenciennes) ; Silvio Corsini (Lausanne) ; Kathleen H. Doig (Georgia State U./Atlanta) ; Jens Häseler (Potsdam) ; Étienne Hofmann (Lausanne) ; Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink (Saarbrücken) ; Simone Zurbuchen (Fribourg).