Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia Publishing House

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia Publishing House


the largest publisher of scientific and scholarly reference works in the USSR, part of the system of the State Committee on Publishing, Printing, and the Book Trade of the USSR.

Located in Moscow, it was founded in 1925 as a joint-stock company under the Communist Academy of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR for the purpose of publishing the first edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. In 1930 the publishing house was reorganized as the State Publishing House for Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. From 1935 to 1949 it was the State Institute of the Soviet Encyclopedia, and from 1949 to 1959, the Bol’shaia Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia State Scientific and Scholarly Publishing House. In 1959 it became the Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia State Scientific and Scholarly Publishing House. The publishing house then merged with the State Publishing House for Foreign and National Dictionaries and with the editorial boards of the scientific and technical dictionaries published by the State Publishing House for Physics and Mathematics. In 1963 it became the Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia Publishing House; the dictionary editorial staffs were transferred to the Russkii Ia-zyk (Russian Language) publishing house in 1974.

The Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia Publishing House publishes multivolume general and specialized encyclopedias and encyclopedic dictionaries, one-volume encyclopedias, and reference books in various branches of knowledge, science, technology, and culture. The general encyclopedias include the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (three editions), the Lesser Soviet Encyclopedia (three editions), the Encyclopedic Dictionary (two editions), and the Great Soviet Encyclopedia Yearbook (since 1957).

Specialized encyclopedias in the social sciences are the Soviet Historical Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Pedagogical Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedia of Economics, Political Economy, Economic Life in the USSR: A Chronicle of Events and Facts, 1917–1965, Labor Law, The USSR: 1917–1967, Africa, Leningrad, and The Great October Socialist Revolution. Also published is a series of reference books on foreign countries, including The United States of America, Lands of the Pacific Ocean, Latin American Countries, and Scandinavian Countries.

Natural science and technical encyclopedias include the Great Medical Encyclopedia (three editions), the Lesser Medical Encyclopedia, the Agricultural Encyclopedia, the Veterinary Encyclopedia, the Technical Encyclopedia, the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Physics, the Concise Chemical Encyclopedia, the Concise Geographical Encyclopedia, Automation of Production and Industrial Electronics, Structural Materials, Construction, the Encyclopedia of Polymers, Atomic Energy, Quantum Electronics, Space Exploration, and the Polytechnic Dictionary.

Encyclopedias dealing with literature and the arts are the Concise Encyclopedia of Literature, the Encyclopedia of the Theater, Art of the World’s Peoples and Countries, the Encyclopedia of Music, the Dictionary of the Cinema, The Circus, and the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Music. Reference works include the Concise Encyclopedia of Home Economics and The Olympic Games.

Between 1926 and 1974 the Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia Publishing House issued 448 volumes of general and specialized encyclopedias in runs totaling approximately 52,000,000 copies. In 1975, 12 titles were published in runs totaling 3,245,300 copies and 225,600,000 printer’s sheets.

The Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia Publishing House is highly regarded in the USSR and abroad. The one-volume work The USSR has been translated and published in a number of countries, including the German Democratic Republic and Great Britain, and the third edition of the Lesser Soviet Encyclopedia has been published in Greece. In the USA, since 1973, the third edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia is being translated and published in full.

The publishing house was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1975).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.