The Encyclopedia Galactica, sometimes spelt Encyclopaedia Galactica or called the Encyclopedia Foundation, was a compendion of knowledge collected by the Seldon Project, and later the Foundations, from 12,058 GE onwards. Originally conceived as a fraudulent project to cover the real Seldon Plan, it later became an important Galactic work, as the ultimate compendium of human knowledge and a major part of Foundation history.


In 12,052 GE, Hari Seldon confronted Las Zenow, Chief Librarian of the Galactic Library at Trantor:

"I want to create a great Encyclopedia, containing within it all the knowledge humanity will need to rebuild itself in case the worst happens - an Encyclopedia Galactica, if you will."

This was merely a cover, however, for his real plans, which he did not see clearly himself yet. He requested permission to work on this Project using extra access for him and the members of the Seldon Project to the Library. However, Las could not, as he needed the Board's permission, which he could not get. He did, however, manage to get Zenow to find Terminus for him in 12,054, which was a world he could somehow manipulate into being "exiled" to.

When Tyrma Arcanio became Chief Librarian in 12,058, Seldon tried to get Tryma Arcanio to convince the Board to give permission, but failed. However, he later used Mentalics Wanda Seldon and Stettin Palver to convince him, and the Seldon Project, rising from decay in the 12,050s, began work on the Encyclopedia.[1]

By 50 FE, or 12,119 GE, a first draft was being produced, and it was the First Foundation's top priority. When it was revealed as a fraudulent project, however, it faded into the background, still in production as a cover.[2]

By 498 FE, the Encyclopedia was stored digitally and was revised daily as a compendium of all human knowledge. The uncompleted original of 50 FE was held in the Salvor Hardin Museum of Origins.[3]

In 1020 FE, the 116th Edition of the Encyclopedia was published by the Encyclopedia Galactica Publishing Co., Terminus. Excerpts from it were used in books on the Foundation's history.[4] The 117th Edition was published in 1054, and was used in further historical works.[5]