Bildung and Market. A study of Nordic encyclopedias at the turn of the century 1900

Project: Dissertation

Layman's description

The aim of my dissertation is to investigate the processes underlying the two Nordic encyclopedias, Nordisk familjebok and Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon, their production, distribution, and circulation. The study, which takes its starting point in the end of 1870 and ends around 1950, focuses on the period 1900-1940, when the influential second edition of both encyclopedias was published.

In the early twentieth century England and Germany published two encyclopedias that were to become benchmark projects for future European encyclopedias and reference works. Today Encyclopaedia Britannica and Meyers Konversations-Lexikon inspire encyclopedias in the digital world, such as Wikipedia.
With the two national encyclopedias Nordisk familjebok and Salmonsens Konversationsleksikon Sweden and Denmark respectively, entered the great European world of encyclopedias. The two Nordic enterprises came to be the two most extensive book projects ever undertaken in the publishing history of Scandinavia.
The aim of my PhD project is to investigate the processes underlying these two Nordic encyclopedias, their production, distribution, and circulation. The study, which takes its starting point in the end of 1870 and ends around 1950, focuses on the period 1900-1940, when the influential second edition of both encyclopedias was published. The investigation is based on material from three different Nordic archives, and consists of letters, account books, order lists, and photographs.
The study will provide an understanding of Nordic publishing history, and of the relationship between economic factors and the bourgeois formational Bildung-ideal. It will be concerned with publishing ambitions in a national as well as in a Nordic context, and from a book historical point of view it will interpret the formation of the Nordic countries in the twentieth century.
Short titleDen skandinaviske encyklopædi
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2011/09/012016/12/31

Participants