A vovelle is a paper disk attached behind a cover page so that the disk can be rotated to reveal alternative pieces of information on the cover page. Each vovelle shows a high resolution digital print of an engraving from the Encyclopédie chosen because of its puzzling and curious quality to our 21st century eyes.
The engravings are visually arresting. They were meticulously drawn to show the processes that were being described. They also have a very human touch, showing everyday scenes and settings as background and context for the information. From our vantage point today--more than 300 years after its publication--many of the illustrations can be puzzling. They pique our curiosity. Each of the vovelles here carries an image from the Encyclopˇdie. Initially, the vovelle displays the caption originally used in the Encyclopˇdie--in the French of the 18th century. Rotating the wheel of the vovelle gives alternative captions.