Encyclopaedia Galactica, The

Encyclopaedia Galactica
Image from Selden Ball
A virtual of the Encyclopaedia, capable of display in virtual and augmented reality environments. It is also possible to produce this as a physical copy which can update itself constantly (or more rarely, as a much reduced, static copy with no update functions)


Long before Terragen mindkind left the Earth behind, before electronic communications existed, even before the invention of the printing press, encyclopedic collections of the world's knowledge were disseminated to all who could afford them. For thousands of years, the Encyclopaedia Galactica has followed in this long, proud tradition.


The Encyclopaedia provides an organized reference to the sum total of Terragen knowledge. Edited and designed by dedicated staff in the Encyclopaedia Galactica Institute on Ken Ferjik and elsewhere, it includes articles on significant topics written by renowned teachers, philosophers and researchers. Most articles are authored by the leading experts on their topics. The accuracy of the information provided is then validated by transophic entities at the highest level.

Encyclopaedia Galactica Formats


The standard method of accessing the Encyclopaedia Galactica is by way of displays and other virtual services connected to the Known Net, or directly within any number of public library virches. While many versions designed for common clades are available for public download, please contact any authorized representative of the Encyclopaedia Galactica Institute or a certified public fabricator to obtain your own personalized interface.

The EG's informational interfaces make use of the highest bandwidth and lowest latency communication infrastructure to access the nearest of the Institute's information storage systems, though simple text-and-image-based formats (like this present version) will almost never require this. Most versions of the EG can connect to the reader's exoself or local teaching Vot to explain the articles using dynamically-generated clarifications, diagrams, and lesson plans should they wish to learn the material in a particular, customized style. Somewhat greater latency (measured in days of waiting time) may be experienced in the rare event that a query requires access to off-planet libraries, including the Institute's central servers on Ken Ferjik and the secondary servers on Alexandria. Every system in the Negentropy Alliance maintains supplementary servers, librarian vot hives, and Encyclopaedia research staff, as do many other worlds in the Inner Sphere and Hinter-regions.


The Institute is delighted to make available physical access systems for use in situations where there is minimal or no access to high bandwidth communications networks and associated display systems. These physical Encyclopaedia Galactica systems can be obtained in a large variety of formats. One very popular design emulates the form of an ancient data storage system known as a "book." Although it appears to be much like one of the encyclopedias available to ancient humans, this hardcopy version of the Encyclopaedia Galactica is far more versatile.

  • Physical durability:
Physical incarnations of the EG have been known to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange. Paper books were easily burned.
  • Storage capacity:
Physical EGs are available in a variety of sizes and data capacities, but the content of even the smallest exceeds the sum total of all of ancient Earth's libraries, both electronic and physical, by many orders of magnitude.
  • Data access protocols:
When in the form of a book, a physical EG can be accessed using the same archaic protocols as you would use when accessing an ancient book: by turning its pages and by visually interpreting the words on them. However, this is not the only archaic access method available. A physical EG will also respond to audible, visual and networked queries.
  • Data presentation:
For fans of ancient civilizations, and non-virtual sophonts who wish to experience embodiment to its fullest, a physical EG book can offer access to information using authentic methods from before or soon after the first invention of software: it can provide a static "table of contents" in its front, an "index" at its back, and data and informational articles in the form of static words on its intermediate pages. However, most sophonts using a book form of the EG opt to keep features with at least minimal interactivity. In the minimalist form of the standard EG, pages can only generate immersive audio, project moving holograms, and receive updates through the known net.
  • Information updates:
Optionally, a physical EG book can receive updated content whenever it is able to communicate with one of the Institute's available nodes. It need never go out of date. This would not have been the case for a paper encyclopedia. Usually the only way to update its contents would have been to replace the entire object with one manufactured more recently.

Encyclopaedia with 3D images
Image from Selden Ball
A virtual Encyclopaedia can display 3D images and maps, as well as moving images and complex mathematical data in a variety of formats.


The Encyclopaedia Galactica Institute is not responsible for the results of any use made from the information provided in the the Encyclopaedia. Each individual must make er's own decision as to the suitability of that information for er's situation.

The Encyclopaedia Galactica in any of its physical incarnations is not designed to be used as a substitute for The Encyclopaedia Everythingiana. Neither its physical durability nor its data content is likely to be appropriate. Use of the EG in events sponsored by the Institute of Survival probably will disqualify the contestant and the contestant's descendants, if they exist.


Although some polities may restrict the availability of the Encyclopaedia Galactica, it can be accessed almost everywhere throughout the Terragen Sphere within the sephirotics and allied polities. Its contents are automatically translated into every language known to the Institute.

You are currently reading one of the freely distributed, static versions of the Encyclopaedia Galactica, designed for nearbaseline, or even baseline humans, and which is available through the known net connections of most sephirotic systems. Additional information about any of the topics mentioned above or elsewhere in this Encyclopaedia is readily available through any of our licensed service providers, and can be expanded upon in a variety of styles using available chatbots and help forums. Communications, Import, and other fees may apply , in the rare event that your local polity uses a market economy and/or money.

Local Versions

Local versions are maintained on most worlds in the Sephirotic Empires, and on many independent worlds; these local versions often contain data that is not included in the authorized version, and should be treated with caution (like any other source of data). Representatives of the Encyclopaedia Galactica periodically review as many local versions as possible, both to remove controversial/inaccurate data and to collect new information for the master database in the Ken Ferjik system.

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Development Notes
Text by Selden Ball
additional material by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 21 September 2016.

Minor edits by worldtree, October 2023