Putting the RealEncyclopadie online

An article here tells us that people unspecified are beginning to create an electronic version of Paulys RealEncyclopadie at the German Wikipedia.  Some 3,957 articles have been turned into text.  Someone has noticed that the early volumes are all in the public domain (although the whole work was only completed in 1980).

Google books and Archive.org have led the way.  Sensibly the people on the project have created a page with a list of volumes accessible (here).  There’s a list of what is in the volumes here

But of course OCR’ing the text will make it searchable, and thereby increase markedly access to it.  It will show up in search engines, for instance.  And if part is online and part is not, when all German scholars start to use it — and why wouldn’t they? — sooner or later pressure will build to add the remainder.  Already there are pirate versions of the whole series circulating around the web. 

Here is the entry page for the digitisation project.  The index of articles (which is not very helpful, actually — they need to get this on one page) is here.

“But I don’t speak German!” I hear you cry.  No matter.  Google translate gives you the means to read this stuff.  Just find the article, then pop the URL into Google translate, and you’re away. 

Magic.  And well done to the Germans in the white hats.

2 Responses to “Putting the RealEncyclopadie online”


  1. Cottrell

    The Paulys on-line would indeed be a great achievement, and a necessity by all means, because the “New Paulys” (the one that exists in English) has some articles which are strinkingly too short. But it has great maps, too… Unfortunately one has either to belong to an institution or to visit a library to access it online.

  2. Roger Pearse

    Well, until now anyway!



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