Michael Twomey, English Department, Dana Professor of Humanities and Arts, was quoted in an article published in the Summer 2012 issue of Colonial Williamsburg magazine.
The article, "Volumes of Knowledge: How the Enlightenment Perfected the Encyclopedia," by James Breig, presents the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d'Alembert, published serially in 1751-1772, as an expression of eighteenth-century empiricism and as the first modern encyclopedia. Modern scholars working at Colonial Williamsburg use the Encyclopédie as a guide to eighteenth-century tools and technologies, making necessary allowances for the differences between French and English material culture. The article also explores the making of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1768ff.)--pirated early editions of which were owned by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton--as a nationalistic response to the French. In a section of the article that contrasts recent encyclopedias with these two giants of the Enlightenment, Twomey comments on the differences between editorially-supervised encyclopedias and Wikipedia.