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Who was Paul Otlet? Meet the forgotten forefather of information architecture. A bibliographer, pacifist and entrepreneur, Otlet had in his heyday been feted as a great man, enjoying the company of Nobel laureates and even playing a role in the formation of the League of Nations.

The Universal Decimal Classification: Although generations of philosophers had tried to solve the problem of classifying human knowledge - including Bacon, Wilkens, and Linnaeus - it was not until the middle of the 19th century that the problem came to a practical head. The industrialization of the printing business, coupled with the advent of cheap binding materials, spurred an explosion in publishing no less disruptive than the advent of Gutenberg's press 400 years earlier. Faced with an onslaught of new texts, nineteenth century scholars and bibliographers began to wrestle again with the problem of classification. Catalogers like Panizzi, Dewey and Ranganathan all devised elaborate subject schemes, laying the foundations of modern library and information science.

In 1895, Otlet and Henri La Fontaine established the Repertoire Bibliographique Universel (RBU), an ambitious attempt at developing a master bibliography of the world's accumulated knowledge. Otlet recognized from the beginning that the success of the whole undertaking would depend largely on the usefulness of its conceptual software, the classification system. Keywords: Web, Link, Hypertext, Memex, Universal Decimal Classification, Mundaneum

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Who was Paul Otlet? Meet the forgotten forefather of information architecture. A bibliographer, pacifist and entrepreneur, Otlet had in his heyday been feted as a great man, enjoying the company of Nobel laureates and even playing a role in the formation of the League of Nations.

The Universal Decimal Classification: Although generations of philosophers had tried to solve the problem of classifying human knowledge - including Bacon, Wilkens, and Linnaeus - it was not until the middle of the 19th century that the problem came to a practical head. The industrialization of the printing business, coupled with the advent of cheap binding materials, spurred an explosion in publishing no less disruptive than the advent of Gutenberg's press 400 years earlier. Faced with an onslaught of new texts, nineteenth century scholars and bibliographers began to wrestle again with the problem of classification. Catalogers like Panizzi, Dewey and Ranganathan all devised elaborate subject schemes, laying the foundations of modern library and information science.

In 1895, Otlet and Henri La Fontaine established the Repertoire Bibliographique Universel (RBU), an ambitious attempt at developing a master bibliography of the world's accumulated knowledge. Otlet recognized from the beginning that the success of the whole undertaking would depend largely on the usefulness of its conceptual software, the classification system. Keywords: Web, Link, Hypertext, Memex, Universal Decimal Classification, Mundaneum More...

 
       
 
         
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