Introduction to Digital Libraries - Memex of the Future
||Introduction to Digital Libraries - Memex of the Future
||ELPUB2006. Digital Spectrum: Integrating Technology and Culture - Supplement to the Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Electronic Publishing held in Bansko, Bulgaria 14-16 June 2006 / Edited by: Klaus Kreulich, Peter Linde, Stefan Pletschacher and Arved Hübler. ISBN 978-954-16-0040-5, 2006, pp. 16-34
||After Johann Gutenberg's fabulous invention, in the middle of the 15th century, libraries, as we know them, slowly started to appear. At first as private collections but in the 17th and 18th century developing into college and university libraries, as well as libraries of scientific societies. Libraries were created to supply library patrons with relevant material, collecting and protecting books and manuscripts. The texts just started to add and add and add... During the 17th century more then one million titles were printed and in the same century, a number of scientific societies were established in Europe. In the following century they multiplied but also became more specialised. The societies adjusted to how science diverged into new aspects and new fields of academic study, each with its own agenda and methods that not necessarily were comprehensible to specialists in other branches. It´s during the expansive and experimental 18th century, that voices of complaints are raised more and more often regretting the flood of scientific literature that seemingly have no end. Laymen and scientist alike were drowning in a flood of information that just seemed impossible to handle. And that was not enough! Complaints about difficulties getting hold of primary sources and the low general quality of scientific output were not uncommon either . Does it sound familiar? Since the 18th century complaints of info-overload have been legio. Contemporary scientific society tried to handle the problem by exchanging abstracts, constructing bibliographies and by publishing scholarly journals. Today the problem is more or less the same. It has not gone away. Instead we have invented new tools and technologies for dealing with the problem. With the coming of computers in the mid 20th century visionary people proposed ideas and solutions for how to solve the info overload dilemma. One of these was Vannevar Bush.
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