Reading list

From Mondothèque

Cross-readings. Not a bibliography.

Paul Otlet

  • Paul Otlet, L’Éducation et les Instituts du Palais Mondial (Mundaneum). Bruxelles: Union des Associations Internationales, 1926.
  • Paul Otlet, Plan belgique; essai d'un plan général, économique, social, culturel. Plan d'urbanisation national. Liaison avec le plan mondial. Conditions. Problèmes. Solutions. Réformes, Bruxelles: Éditiones Mundaneum, 1935.

Re-reading Otlet

Or, reading the readers that explored and contextualized the work of Otlet in recent times.

  • Warden Boyd Rayward, El Universo de la Documentacion: la obra de Paul Otlet sobra documentacion y organizacion internacional, Trans. Pilar Arnau Rived, Madrid: Mundanau, 2005.
  • Warden Boyd Raywar, "Visions of Xanadu: Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and Hypertext." Journal of the American Society for Information Science (1986-1998) 45, no. 4 (05, 1994): 235-251.
  • Warden Boyd Rayward (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.
  • Wouter Van Acker, “Universalism as Utopia. A Historical Study of the Schemes and Schemas of Paul Otlet (1868-1944)”, Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University Press, Zelzate, 2011.

Fathers of the internet

Constructing a posthumous pre-history of contemporary networking technologies.

  • Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassila, The Semantic Web, in Scientific American - SCI AMER , vol. 284, no. 5, pp. 34-43, 2001.
  • Heuvel, Charles van den, “Building Society, Constructing Knowledge, Weaving the Web”. in European Modernism and the Information Society – Informing the Present, Understanding the Past, Aldershot, 2008, pp. 127–153.

Classifying the world

The recurring tensions between the world and its systematic representation.

Don't be evil

Standing on the hands of Internet giants.

  • Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey, Evil Media. Cambridge, Mass., United States: MIT Press, 2012.
  • William Miller, Living With Google. In: Journal of Library Administration Volume 47, Issue 1-2, 2008.

Embedded hierarchies

How classification systems, and the dream of their universal application actually operate.

  • Paul Otlet, Traité de documentation, Bruxelles, Mundaneum, Palais Mondial, 1934. (for alphabet hierarchy, see page 71)
  • Ducheyne, Steffen, “Paul Otlet's Theory of Knowledge and Linguistic Objectivism”, in Knowledge Organization, no 32, 2005, pp. 110–116.

Architectural visions

Writings on how Otlet's knowledge site was successively imagined and visualized on grand architectural scales.

  • Catherine Courtiau, "La cité internationale 1927-1931," in Transnational Associations, 5/1987: 255-266.
  • Giuliano Gresleri and Dario Matteoni. La Città Mondiale: Andersen, Hébrard, Otlet, Le Corbusier. Venezia: Marsilio, 1982.
  • Isabelle Rieusset-Lemarie, "P. Otlet's Mundaneum and the International Perspective in the History of Documentation and Information science," in Journal of the American Society for Information Science (1986-1998)48.4 (Apr 1997): 301-309.
  • Wouter Van Acker. "Architectural Metaphors of Knowledge: The Mundaneum Designs of Maurice Heymans, Paul Otlet, and Le Corbusier." Library Trends 61, no. 2 (2012): 371-396.
  • Van Acker, Wouter, Somsen, Geert, “A Tale of Two World Capitals – the Internationalisms of Pieter Eijkman and Paul Otlet”, in Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire/Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis, Vol. 90, nr.4, 2012.
  • Anthony Vidler, “The Space of History: Modern Museums from Patrick Geddes to Le Corbusier,” in The Architecture of the Museum: Symbolic Structures, Urban Contexts, ed. Michaela Giebelhausen (Manchester; New York: Manchester University Press, 2003).
  • Alfred Willis, “The Exoteric and Esoteric Functions of Le Corbusier’s Mundaneum,” Modulus/University of Virginia School of Architecture Review 12, no. 21 (1980).


It includes both century-old sources and more recent ones on the parallel or entangled movements around the Mundaneum time.

  • Julie Carlier, "Moving beyond Boundaries: An Entangled History of Feminism in Belgium, 1890–1914," Ph.D. dissertation, Universiteit Gent, 2010. (esp. 439-458.)
  • Bambi Ceuppens, Congo made in Flanders?: koloniale Vlaamse visies op "blank" en "zwart" in Belgisch Congo. [Gent]: Academia Press, 2004.
  • Sylvie Fayet-Scribe, "Women Professionals in Documentation in France during the 1930s," Libraries & the Cultural Record Vol. 44, No. 2, Women Pioneers in the Information Sciences Part I, 1900-1950 (2009), pp. 201-219. (translated by Michael Buckland)
  • François Garas, Mes temples. Paris: Michalon, 1907.
  • Madeleine Herren, Hintertüren zur Macht: Internationalismus und modernisierungsorientierte Aussenpolitik in Belgien, der Schweiz und den USA 1865-1914. München: Oldenbourg, 2000.
  • Robert Hoozee and Mary Anne Stevens, Impressionism to Symbolism: The Belgian Avant-Garde 1880-1900, London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1994.
  • Elisée Reclus, Nouvelle géographie universelle; la terre et les hommes, Paris, Hachette et cie., 1876-94.
  • Alfred Willis, “The Exoteric and Esoteric Functions of Le Corbusier’s Mundaneum,” Modulus/University of Virginia School of Architecture Review 12, no. 21 (1980).
Last Revision: 23·05·2018

What links here