European Modernism and the Information Society: Informing the Present, Understanding the Past

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W. Boyd Rayward
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008 - Social Science - 343 pages
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The contributors to this volume present the ideas of early Twentieth Century European thinkers about how best to create, disseminate and manage publicly available information.Interdisciplinary in perspective, the volume reflects the nature of the thinkers discussed, including: Otto Neurath, Patrick Geddes, the English Fabians, Paul Otlet, Wilhelm Ostwald and H G Wells. It also charts the interest since the latter part of the nineteenth century in finding new ways to think about and to devise systems and technologies to manage the growing body of available information in such a way that Western civilization might be advanced; social misery and inequalities across classes and nations alleviated; economic prosperity promoted; and to the cause of peaceful coexistence among nations advanced. In doing so, the contributors provide a novel historical context for assessing widely held assumptions about today's globalized, 'post modern' information society.This volume will be of interest to sociologists, cultural studies scholars, historians of architecture, urban planning, science and technology studies and to library and information scientists as well as to all who are curious about the complex context of what has been called today's information revolution and the creation of a modern networked information society.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Uneasy Relations between
27
On the Cultural and Intellectual Context of European Documentation
45
Prolegomena to an Alternative
59
The Role of Facts in Paul Otlets Modernist Project of Documentation
75
European Resistance
89
Architectural and Epistemological Differences
105
Otlets
127
Fabian Anticipations of
185
Public Science in Britain and the Origins of Documentation
201
The March of the Modern and the Reconstitution of the Worlds
223
An Encyclopedia in Otto Neuraths
257
Otto Neuraths ISOTYPE Project
279
F M Feldhaus and the Historiography of Technology
295
Aspects of the German Information
307
Index
329

Documents and Culture in Suzanne Briets
155

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About the author (2008)

W. Boyd Rayward is Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

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