Browse Items (17 total)

  • Tags: The Materiality of Information

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Originally an idea to organize “groups” on a nascent social media platform, the hashtag as we know it -- a “#” character used to tag, search, aggregate, and promote social media posts -- is credited as the brainchild of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) fan…
Item Type: Event

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The Swiss doctor Konrad Gessner published the first volume (he would complete two out of his proposed three) of the Bibliotecha Universalis, an alphabetical bibliography of all the known books in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew in 1545. Unlike the typical,…
Item Type: Event

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Founded in 1983, Dynix (now SirsiDynix) was a library automation company that created software for Integrated Library Systems (ILSs) that automated many different functions of the library before there was access to the internet (Blount). There were…
Item Type: Technology

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In 1876 a meeting took place in Philadelphia at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania during Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition with 103 librarians. At this meeting, the American Library Association was established as Melvil Dewey emphasized the…
Item Type: Event

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In their 1998 paper “The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web,” Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (PageRank’s namesake) of Stanford University lay out their algorithmic “method for rating Web pages objectively and…
Item Type: Technology

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With an influx of immigrants arriving in the United States in the late 19th century (History), clerks at the U.S. Census Bureau were forced to tabulate an increasingly overwhelming amount of data collected in the 1880 census by hand. This took them…
Item Type: Technology

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Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, full-text search systems were being developed. IBM’s STAIRS system touted incredible statistics regarding the two main factors to measure the efficiency of search: precision (the relevance of the majority of results…
Item Type: Event

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Behold the humble index card, a 3x5” rectangular piece of cardstock made from heavy paper, linen, or cotton fibers whose ancestors revolutionized information storage, processing, and retrieval. Lined, or unlined, punched or without a hole, human…
Item Type: Technology

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Information Access Company’s (IAC) InfoTrac provided access to over 900 magazines ranging from business to general interest through various databases stored on laserdiscs. One 12-inch laserdisc could hold bibliographic information about the current…
Item Type: Technology

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Launched by Tim Spalding on August 29, 2005, “LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily.” (Spalding) A web-based platform, LibraryThing combines elements of social media (like customizable user profiles and group…
Item Type: Technology

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Former housewife, computer programmer at the National Security Agency, and eventual librarian with the Library of Congress Henriette Avram led the mammoth undertaking to convert library card catalogs into a machine (computer) readable format. The…
Item Type: Event

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At various Occupy movement camps throughout the country and internationally, (like New York, Boston, Madrid, Vancouver) protestors created their own libraries including their own classification systems. The People’s Library in New York City’s Zucotti…
Item Type: Event

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Indicative of a fundamental (and final) shift in thinking about information storage, organization, and retrieval morphing from the realm of the physical to the digital, the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) stopped printing its card catalog cards…
Item Type: Event

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The Oxford English Dictionary declared “Google” (with capitalization, which differs from Meriam Webster’s non-capitalized addition on July 8, 2006) a verb, defining it as: “intr. To use the Google search engine to find information on the Internet.…
Item Type: Event

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The first schedule (Class E-F = American History & Geography) of the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) was published in 1901 by Charles Martel and J.C.M. Hanson. Whereas the Dewey Decimal Classification System (1876) was devised as a means…
Item Type: Event

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The brainchild of Belgian lawyers Paul Otlet and Henri LaFontaine, the Mundaneum was a physical information repository whose purpose was to collect all of the world’s knowledge on nearly 15 million 3 x 5” index cards organized according to the…
Item Type: Event

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The Silent 700 Series was a line of computer terminals manufactured by Texas Instruments in the 1970s and 1980s, with the first 700 model making its debut in 1971. These “dumb” terminals were essentially output devices that had no processing…
Item Type: Technology
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