Is there any way to browse the Civilopedia for Civilization V without entering the game, for example by browsing some online source or opening some file?
I made this online version of the civilopedia.
I have never seen this for any version of Civilization, having played since Civilization 2. This is why I keep linking to the Manual everywhere.
What's worse, in Civilization 4, you could view the Civilpedia from the main menu. However, this appears to be missing from Civilization 5?
As of September 2010, there is currently no way to see the Civilopedia without starting up the game, and in addition, having to actually start playing a game to access it. Though Civ IV had an option to access its Civilopedia from the menu, that feature is missing in Civ V.
Something to keep an eye on would be Wikia's Civ V article, which seems to have a good start on their Leaders and Buildings articles, but is sparse in most other areas. The CivFanatics website also had a complete Civilopedia on their site for Civ IV, so I imagine it will also be a good resource in the future.
As of the June 2011 update, the Civilopedia can now be accessed through the main menu under "Other."