Bienvenue sur l’espace dédié au Mundaneum. Vous y découvrirez une sélection d’archives personnelles des fondateurs du Mundaneum Paul Otlet et Henri La Fontaine, mais aussi, à l’image du Mundaneum lui-même, des documents du 20 ème siècle provenant du monde entier, sur des thèmes très divers. Il s’agit d’un work in progress. Que la visite commence…
Before the age of 20, Paul already had had a solid experience of the world of publishing, libraries, and museums.
Henri La Fontaine (1854-1943)
Paul Otlet beside the model of the World City. Brussel. 1943
Beginning in 1893, he and Henri La Fontaine elaborated a bibliographic methodology based on the American Decimal Classification system. They called this the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC).
Boyd Rayward, biographer of Paul Otlet
Every publication was to be catalogued and classified in a single repertory, the Universal Bibliographic Repertory (UBR), the search keys for which were both alphabetic and numeric and so accessible to all.
Otlet was not yet 30 years old when, with Henri La Fontaine, he created the International Office and International Institute of Bibliography to promote these methods on an international scale.
The first International Conference of the International Office of Bibliography. Bruxelles. September 1895
Paul Otlet published his Magnum Opus in 1934, the Traité de Documentation, the culmination of 40 years of reflection
The organization of the documentation
International center of Brussels. Collections
International Library Collective
We see emerging in the course of his work striking similarities to the World Wide Web (making available all documentary formats), a hypertexual language ( creating links between different topics and information formats), the internet or even cloud computing. Ultimately Otlet has formulated a new vision of knowledge management that virtualises access to information, something revolutionary for his times.
For Otlet, the telephone and the television together formed a new transmedia dynamic for information transmission: the video conference ahead of its time!
Atlas of Prehistoric
International Museum. Section Telegraphs and Telephones
Otlet even imagined a piece of equipment that combined the different modes of information representation and transmission , the Mundothèque. This is kind of multimedia works station envisaged well before the arrival of the digital world. In it would be integrated summary and schematic forms of display (Atlas), encyclopedic files, the Universal bibliographic catalogue along with the communications functionalities of the telegraph, telephone, radio and television.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) (USA ) this American tycoon of the Industry sustained the libraries in USA and Europe through the Carnegie Endowment. In 1913, Carnegie visited the International Musea in the Cinquantenaire.