Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ramelli, IFLA, and Documentation

While exploring the affordance of Google scholar, I came across an interesting pull quote that may pull some of my disparate interests.

In a paper presented at the 64th IFLA conference in 1998, Michiel Nijhoff noted: "Some time before the computer era really got started the first Dutch professor of librarianship Loosjes defined documentary information as 'knowledge in motion', meaning the conti-nuing process of reading and researching, theorising and publishing, cataloguing and making available, reading and researching etc. Despite the fact that a lot of documentary information has lost its documentary aspect, and has become more volatile, and despite the fact that the motion has increased in pace, the underlying thought is valid still. And has been valid for a long time: lots of things we consider new were thought of long before the tools to realize them were there. In "Le diverse et artificiose machine del capitano Agostino Ramelli," published in Paris in the sixteenth century, we see a renaissance versi-on of Windows, Windows 1558 to be precise. The reader, sitting at the revolving bookmachine, can get simultaneous access to twelve books, not by using a mouse, but, much more efficient, by using footpedals."

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