The Paleo-Web: Paul Otlet and the Mundaneum

by Kurt Cagle

We are, all of us, guilty of a common conceit - the idea that the web is a unique product of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century and those people who worked hard to create the Internet and the structures on it. Yet every so often we're reminded that the idea of information management goes back a long way, with pioneers, some lauded and some, unfortunately, forgotten, who blazed the trail. Among the latter was a gentleman few in this day and age have heard of, yet who discovered both the power and problems of large information spaces nearly a century before the advent of the Web.

This article was forwarded to a colleague, and then on to me, but I think there is some remarkable insight to be gained from the story of Paul Otlet: The Forgotten Forefather of Information Architecture.


2 Comments

len
2008-05-22 06:23:53
That is fascinating.


Nothing GNU Under the Sun.

Erik Wilde
2008-06-17 10:26:07
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/science/17mund.html is a new york time article from today (jun 17, 2008). maybe otlet is getting his share now? finally (and justly) replacing all those "vannevar bush was the first one to think of hypertext" intros to articles and books?