Special Collections & Archives

News & Updates from ZSR’s Special Collections

Repairing Mr. Bayle’s Dictionary

Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) was a French scholar and philosopher who spent most of his adult life as a Huguenot exile in the Netherlands. His most famous work was the Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, a multi-volume biographical encyclopedia that encompassed Bayle’s wide-ranging and often unorthodox ideas. His arguments, carried out largely in the footnotes of the... more

Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers, edited by Denis Diderot (1751-1780)

The Encyclopédie; ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers is a 28-volume monument to the French Enlightenment, combining a wealth of information about all aspects of  human thought and achievement with a subversive attack on the stifling old regime of religion, classical tradition, and superstition. Many hands contributed to the Encyclopedie, but the... more

Preserving Diderot’s “Tree of Knowledge”

I recently began work on repairing an important book in our special collections, and thought I’d share the process of preservation.  The book is loaded down with a long French title, but is known as Diderot’s “Tree of Knowledge.”  The “Tree of Knowledge” was an attempt to represent the structure of knowledge graphically and was... more