Organised by the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography and presided by the Institute's director general, Bruno Kragić, the second European and North American Encyclopedia Conference was held from 6 to 8 October 2022, bringing together editors and publishers from around ten countries.
Representatives of general encyclopedias from Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Norway, Slovakia, and Sweden discussed the role of encyclopedias in providing reliable and verified information about culture, art, science, and society as well as preserving national and cultural identity. The first European and North American Encyclopedia conference was held in Brussels in 2019, organised by the Great Norwegian Encyclopedia, the European Parliamentary Research Service, and the Mission of Norway to the EU.
By fulfilling their basic goal—offering access to reliable and verified information of general interest in one's native language—encyclopedias can play an important role in combating the spread of disinformation, misinformation, and fake news. This is why the exchange of experiences about the current status and operating models of national encyclopedias is exceptionally important, especially when the constantly growing amount of freely accessible information from various sources is taken into account. Introductory talks were given on 6 October by Bruno Kragić, director general of the Institute and chief editor of the Croatian Encyclopedia, Filip Hameršak, director of the Institute, and Naja Bentzen, senior policy analyst at the European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC. The conference participants then presented their national encyclopedia projects and exchanged experiences about working in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and armed conflicts as well as the many challenges faced by encyclopedia publishers in the digital era, particularly regarding the visibility and findability of encyclopedia contents when using internet search engines.
Striving to define potential areas of cooperation, which would in the near future enable the implementation of inter-institutional projects, exchange of encyclopedia content, and joint activities with regard to the recognisability and evaluation of encyclopedias in a European context, an agreement was reached to establish the European and North American Encyclopedia Network under the leadership of Bruno Kragić.
A representative of the Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine also addressed the participants virtually.
This event was an opportunity to promote Croatian encyclopedistics as well as reliable information about Croatian culture, art, and science, which was facilitated by a study trip to the island of Krk on 8 October, the final day of the conference. Among other things, the participants and their hosts visited the multimedia centre of the Baška Tablet and were acquainted with one of the most recognisable heritage sites and most precious monuments of Croatian literacy.
The conference was financially sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia.