Cataloguing the world : Paul Otlet and the birth of the information age / Alex Wright.
By: Wright, Alex.Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press,, 2014Description: 350 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 9780199931415 : (hbk.).Subject(s): Otlet, Paul, 1868-1944 -- Biography | Mundaneum -- History | Information organization -- History | Classification -- History | World Wide Web -- History | Bibliographers -- Belgium -- BiographyDDC classification: 020.9
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Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction -- 1. The Libraries of Babel -- 2. The Dream of the Labyrinth -- 3. Belle Epoque -- 4. The Microphotic Book -- 5. The Index Museum -- 6. Castles in the Air -- 7. Hope, Lost and Found -- 8. Mundaneum -- 9. The Collective Brain -- 10. The Radiated Library -- 11. The Intergalactic Network -- 12. Entering the Steam -- Conclusion.
"The dream of capturing and organizing knowledge is as old as history. From the archives of Sumeria to the Library of Alexandria, humanity has long wrestled with information overload and management of intellectual output. Revived during the Renaissance and picking up pace in the Enlightenment, the dream grew and by the late nineteenth century was embraced by a number of visionaries who felt that at long last it was within their grasp. Among them, Paul Otlet stands out. A librarian by training, he worked at expanding the potential of the catalogue card -- the world's first information chip. From there followed universal libraries and reading rooms, connecting his native Belgium to the world -- by means of vast collections of cards that brought together everything that had ever been put to paper. Recognizing that the rapid acceleration of technology was transforming the world's intellectual landscape, Otlet devoted himself to creating a universal bibliography of all published knowledge. Ultimately totaling more than 12 million individual entries, it would evolve into the Mundaneum, a vast "city of knowledge" that opened its doors to the public in 1921. By 1934, Otlet had drawn up plans for a network of "electric telescopes" that would allow people everywhere to search through books, newspapers, photographs, and recordings, all linked together in what he termed a réseau mondial: a worldwide web. ..." - LC.