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Tracing back the posthumous invention of the internet


2015


2014


From industrial heartland to the Internet age (screen-capture). Video published by The Mundaneum, 2014

The idea of the internet was born in Belgium. Idea No.1: The Mundaneum [1]

L'homme qui a presque inventé le cyberespace : Paul Otlet [2] Le père (belge) de l’idée du web [3]

2013


The unsung heroes of the Internet [4]

2012


2011


Our view is that the creative ways in which he [Paul Otlet] faces tensions of scalability, representation, and perception of relationships between knowledge objects might be of interest today.[5]

2010


He also wrote extensively about the need for a universal network for the communication of knowledge. His theoretical approach to the organi-zation and dissemination of information was far ahead of its time, notably in foreshadowing the Internet, Hypertext, and the World Wide Web.[6]

2008


Building Society, Constructing Knowledge, Weaving the Web: Otlet’s Visualizations of a Global Information Society and His Concept of a Universal Civilization[7]

Paul Otlet's visionary Mundaneum was a proto-internet made of 3-by-5-inch index cards [8]

2003


Otlet imagined a day when users would access the database from great distances by means of an “electric telescope” connected through a telephone line, retrieving a facsimile image to be projected remotely on a flat screen. In Otlet’s time, this notion of networked documents was still so novel that no one had a word to describe these relationships, until he invented one: “links.” Otlet envisioned the whole endeavor as a great “réseau”—web—of human knowledge. [9]

1993

  1. Jim Boulton: 100 ideas that changed the web Laurence King Publishing, 2014
  2. http://expositions.mundaneum.org/fr/conferences/lhomme-qui-presque-invente-le-cyberespace-paul-otlet
  3. http://expositions.mundaneum.org/fr/conferences/lhomme-qui-presque-invente-le-cyberespace-paul-otlet
  4. http://expositions.mundaneum.org/fr/conferences/linventeur-de-linternet-vinton-cerf-en-conference
  5. Charles van den Heuvel, W. Boyd Rayward, Facing Interfaces: Paul Otlet's Visualizations of Data Integration. Journal of the American society for information science and technology (2011)
  6. Rayward, Warden Boyd (who translated and adapted), Mundaneum: Archives of Knowledge, Urbana-Campaign, Ill. : Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010. Original: Charlotte Dubray et al., Mundaneum: Les Archives de la Connaissance, Bruxelles: Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2008.
  7. Van den Heuvel, C. Building society, constructing knowledge, weaving the web. Otlet’s visualizations of a global information society and his concept of a universal civilization. In W.B. Rayward (Ed.), (2008) European Modernism and the Information Society (pp. 127–153). London: Ashgate.
  8. When the internet was made of paper. By: Collins, Paul, New Scientist, 02624079, 3/22/2008, Vol. 197, Issue 2648
  9. Alex Wright: Forgotten Forefather: Paul Otlet http://boxesandarrows.com/forgotten-forefather-paul-otlet

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