Cataloging the Social World

Ian F. Mcneely

in The Emancipation of Writing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780520233300
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928527 | DOI:
Cataloging the Social World

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This chapter addresses the state officials and local citizens who drew on a host of powerful Enlightenment ideas—encyclopedism—to portray and depict this new civic landscape in the statistical almanacs. Leopold Krug, Philipp Ludwig Heinrich Röder, and Christian Heinrich Niemann speak to both the limitations and potential of statistical topography as it was practiced at the end of the Enlightenment, the field having exploded the boundaries of the old “science of state” but lacking institutional organization for its efforts. The Biedermeier world animating the otherwise inert and discrete findings of the county almanacs were a small, provincial one, but also thoroughly modern in accommodating a negative capability conjoining diverse types of knowledge in a single worldview.

Keywords: encyclopedism; state officials; local citizens; Enlightenment; civic landscape; statistical topography; Leopold Krug; Philipp Röder; Christian Heinrich Niemann; Biedermeier

Chapter.  9011 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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