Last volume of Swiss history lexicon finished

Malcolm Curtis
Malcolm Curtis - [email protected]
Last volume of Swiss history lexicon finished

The final volume of a massive dictionary of Swiss history is set to be published at the end of the week.


The publication of the 13th tome — more than 800 pages long— will bring to completion a project launched by the federal government in 1988.

The completed dictionary, containing more than 36,000 articles, is written in each of the country’s three official languages — French, German and Italian.

In addition to two volumes written in Romansh, Switzerland’s fourth national language, the latest publication brings the entire history to 41 volumes, each weighing three kilograms, the ATS news agency reported on Tuesday.

The work is notable for being one of the first dictionaries in the world to be developed electronically since its inception.

The first volume of the dictionary appeared in 2002.

Articles from the reference books can be accessed on the Internet for free.

While work on the dictionary is finished, information on the Internet will be continually adapted and updated, ATS reported.

One thing missing from the Internet version is the illustrations, which give an added allure to the printed volumes, which sell for 298 francs each.

Close to 3,000 contributors and teams of editors in Bern, Bellinzona (in the canton of Ticino) and Chur (in the canton of Graubünden) spent 25 years compiling the dictionary.

One hundred academic advisers from Swiss and foreign universities were involved.

The final volume, covering the letters Valk to Zz in French, includes more than 3,300 articles. 

For online access to the dictionary, click here.


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