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The introduction to these proceedings is written in the form of historical annotations to the three topics: large scales, including the largest one conceivable: the scale of the universe; large numbers, in a field which - on the observational side - has to rely on extensive accumulation of data; large efforts, traced as a tribute to the minds to whom we owe many of the thoughts and methods used in our present work.


Sincere thanks go to G. Borner and J. Ehlers, MPI Astrophysik Garching, for critical comments on parts of the manuscript. The active support of the MRSP group and of H.E. Nager of the Universitatsbibliothek der WWU Munster is gratefully acknowledged.