what is an Encyclopedia ?


An Encyclopedia is a type of reference work – a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge. Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries, which are usually accessed alphabetically by article name. Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, unlike dictionary entries, which focus on linguistic information about words, encyclopedia articles focus on factual information to cover the thing or concept for which the article name stands.

Encyclopedias have existed for around 2,000 years; the oldest still in existence, Naturalis Historia, was written in ca. AD 77 by Pliny the Elder. The modern encyclopedia evolved out of dictionaries around the 17th century. Historically, some encyclopedias were contained in one volume, but some, such as the Encyclopædia Britannica or the world's largest Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana, became huge multi-volume works. Some modern encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia, are electronic and are often freely available.

The word encyclopedia comes from the Koine Greek γκύκλιος παιδεία, transliterated enkyklios paideia, meaning "general education" from enkyklios (γκύκλιος), meaning "circular, recurrent, required regularly, general" and paideia (παιδεία), meaning "education, rearing of a child"; it was reduced to a single word due to an error by copyists of Latin manuscripts. Together, the phrase literally translates as "complete instruction" or "complete knowledge".

Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race in the future years to come.


The Encyclopaedic Assistance for Social Transformation (EAST) is presently offering the following five Encyclopaedias which are very popular among the students, faculty members and researchers in the Universities, Colleges and Institutions of Higher Learning.

Name of the Encyclopaedia                                                  No. of Volumes      Price Per Set

Indian Encyclopaedia of Ecology and Environment                       10                     Rs. 17,500

Encyclopaedia of Intellectual Property Rights                                 10                     Rs. 20,000

Encyclopaedia of Total Quality Management                                   12                     Rs. 24,000

World Encyclopaedia of Geoinformatics & Remote Sensing        12                     Rs. 24,000

International Encyclopaedia of Bioinformatics                                10                     Rs. 20,000


Those interested in placing orders may send an Email to : east@ecology.edu so that these popular Encyclopaedias may be despatched to the Government / Public / Private / Colleges / University Libraries.


They may also place orders by sending a letter by Speed Post / Registered Post addressed to the Head, Distribution Network, Encyclopaedic Assistance for Social Transformation (EAST), Vidyavaran, A 15, Paryavaran Complex, South of Saket, New Delhi – 110030, Mobile : 09818902681, Tel. : 011-29533125, Email : east@ecology.edu