Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age

Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age

by Alex Wright

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199931415
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 06/04/2014
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 925,829
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author



Alex Wright is a professor of interaction design at the School of Visual Arts and a regular contributor to The New York Times. He is the author of Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages.

Table of Contents



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

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Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
A_Sloan More than 1 year ago
Before Google: Kicking off the Information Age The desire to organize information seems innate, especially when you consider what lengths people have gone to do it. Alex Wright uncovers the life of one man who was passionate about capturing the world's knowledge in Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age. Wright portraits Otlet as a librarian with a simple goal: to expand our use of the card catalog. His hope was that he could connect his home in Belgium to the rest of the world; however, his endeavor encompassed much more than this. This book also explores his creation of a Mundaneum, which was meant to hold everything that had ever been printed. His invention would allow "everyone from his armchair to contemplate creation" with images and text "projected on an individual screen." His dreams were big and so close to what has come to be. Unfortunately, he lost his greatest achievement to the Nazis in 1940 and died just four years later. Cataloging the World is well-researched without feeling dry. Wright's style is easy to read and engaging, and his overarching idea about humanity's quest for wisdom is most intriguing. Compared to his first book, Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages, I find this one superior. With so little known about Otlet, this is an excellent resource that explores his character and shares the history of collecting knowledge.