Encyclopedias are extremely handy sources for biographical information as most contain entries for significant individuals. With the mindset that encyclopedias are sources for young people or the general populace, scholars often overlook them to their detriment, because many of the encyclopedias produced in Russia and Eastern Europe are scholarly endeavors with bibliographical references for further reading. Since encyclopedia articles are summaries of accepted knowledge on a topic with bibliographies of recommended resources, they can answer your basic questions and also be the beginning of more in-depth research.

Some encyclopedias have the word "dictionary" in the title, but they are still alphabetically arranged treatments of general knowledge or of a particular subject. Don't let this confuse you. Below are links to descriptions of some of the most famous general and subject encyclopedias as well as some newer, more specialized ones from the countries of the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Biographical encyclopedias/dictionaries are covered on a different page in this guide.

Printer's mark for Brokgauz & Efron

Encyclopedias for Russia
Guides to Russian Encyclopedias
Russkie entsiklopedii. Obshchie entsiklopedii. Bibliografiia i kratkie ocherki.
Terminologicheskie slovari.Bibliografiia.
Russian General Encyclopedias
Entsiklopedicheskii slovar'. + Novyi entsiklopedicheskii slovar'. aka the Brokgauz.
Entsiklopedicheskii slovar' Russkogo Bibliograficheskogo Instituta Granat.
Bol'shaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia.
Subject Encyclopedias for Russia
The Arts
Muzykal'naia entsiklopediia.
Muzykal'nyi Peterburg: Entsiklopedicheskii slovar' XVIII vek.
Teatral'naia entsiklopediia.
Russkii balet. Entsiklopediia.
Populiarnaia khudozhestvennaia entsiklopediia.
Kratkaia literaturnaia entsiklopediia.
Literaturnaia entsiklopediia.
The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History. + Supplement.= MERSH.
Morskoi entsiklopedicheskii slovar'.
Voennaia entsiklopediia.
Evreiskaia entsiklopediia: Svod znanii o evreistv i ego kul'tur v proshlom u nastoiashchem.
Polnyi pravoslavnyi bogoslovskii entsiklopedicheskii slovar'.
Khristianstvo. Entsiklopedicheskii slovar' v 3 tomakh.

Czech/Slovak Encyclopedias
Bibliografie encyklopedicke literatury ceske a slovenske vydane v letech 1860 az 1967.
Slovnik naucny and Nazorny atlas k Slovniku naucnemu.
Ottuv slovnik naucny: illustrovana encyclopedie obecnych vedomosti and Ottuv slovnik naucny nove doby: Dodatky.
Masarykuv slovnik naucny: lidove encyclopedie vseobecnych vedomosti.
Mala Ceskoslovenska encyclopedie.
Vseobecna encyclopedie ve ctyrech svazcich.
Slovensky naucny slovnik. Prirucna encyklopedia vedomosti v troch dieloch.
Slovakia and the Slovaks. A concise encyclopedia.

Ukrainian/Belarusian Encyclopedias

Polish Encyclopedias

Yugoslav Encyclopedias

Hungarian Encyclopedias

Baltic Encyclopedias

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