Works are continuing on the historically first general encyclopaedia ever published in Slovakia. At the beginning of May 2010, already the sixth volume of BELIANA, Slovak General Encyclopaedia, an edition of the academic VEDA publishing house, has appeared on the bookshelves. Its name resembles the Slovak universal scientist Matej Bel who lived between 17th and 18th centuries and is considered a founder of studies in national history and geography of the former Kingdom of Hungaria, of which Slovakia formed a part.
The job of organizing, editing, and lay-out of the project is the responsibility of the Encyclopaedical Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences (EU SAV). Its team has already accomplished several encyclopaedias and dictionaries, nevertheless, as different from BELIANA, of national character - dealing mostly with Slovak or Slovakia-related matters. Notably, in the past work on general encyclopaedias was concentrated mostly in the Encyclopaedical Institute of Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague, however in close collaboration with its Slovak counterpart.
As a whole, BELIANA is to contain about 150,000 entries in 12 volumes. Completion of project was expected within eight-to-ten years, as the Project Manager Hana Procikova of EU SAV told us. But in 2100 we are ony in a middle of the project. The 7th volume is expected till the end of 2012. Nevertheless the Beliana is very popular in Slovakia.
About a third of encyclopaedia entries is devoted to nature and sciences, a third to humanities and culture, and a third to technology. Prominently represented is information on Slovakia, from the earliest times to present, on its geographical and cultural features, including ethnic minorities living in Slovakia and Slovak expatriates around the world. It is richly illustrated: for example the third volume carries about 1,600 colour and black-and white pictures and about 40 maps.
Beyond the main series, a smaller English-language publication with the title The Encyclopaedia of Slovakia and the Slovaks (A Concise Encyclopaedia) was published at the end of 2006. It includes 3,640 entries compiled mainly for foreign readers seeking more information on Slovakia.