Source: The Boston Globe
During the Middle Ages, Muslim scholars played a key role in the development of the encyclopedia, attempting to pool all knowledge in one accessible place. Among others, the Brethren of Purity, a group of scholars in what is modern Iraq, compiled an encyclopedia of Greek and Arabic learning in the 900s.
Over the past two years several Harvard-based scholars have been working on a modern American version. Their recently published two-volume "Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States" is the product of a wide scope of contributors - professors and graduate students, Muslim and non-Muslims - from around the country.